Your Golf Handicap Understanding the Basics

Whether you are a new golfer looking to gain more information on golf handicaps or a seasoned player looking for a reliable guide for your juniors, we’ve put together five facts that Australian golfers should know about their handicaps.

1. What is a handicap?

In golf, your handicap is a numerical measurement of your potential abilities as compared to an expert’s. There are two handicap numbers, the Handicap Index and the Course Handicap.

In Australia, there is an official Golf Australia Handicap as well as a Golf Australia casual handicap, the latter of which can only be used by golfers to track their game improvements instead of participating in official competitions.

2. What is the purpose of the handicap?

By having golf handicaps, golfers with different skill levels can play together without the game being too biased towards the better-skilled player. Once you know your Handicap Index, you will be able to know the Course Handicap for whichever golf course on which you are playing.

The score between two players will be tallied based on their scores after taking into consideration their Handicap Index and Course Handicap.

3. How is it calculated?

To calculate a golfer’s nationally standardized handicap (GA Handicap), you will need to have a player’s 20 most recent golfing scores.

Then, the ‘Played To’ value needs to be calculated for each of the scores that you have. This can be calculated by adding the Course Par with the Daily Handicap Minus.

From there, you will need to subtract the Daily Scratch Rating, and take the resulting data and multiply it by the Neutral Slope Rating.

Divide this resulting value by the Slope Rating and round it off to one decimal place, and you would have gotten your ‘Played To’ scores.

Next, you will need to calculate the average of the ‘Played To’ scores, and multiply the figure by .93, which is the multiplier to achieve national results pattern.

You might get a very long chain of numbers, but you only need to delete any numbers after the 10th digit instead of rounding it off.

For example, 2.29 might be cut to 2.2 instead of being rounded off to 2.3.  This resulting number is your GA Handicap.

4. What is a sub-junior handicap?

A sub-junior handicap basically refers to the handicap for golfers who are younger than 18, but the recommended handicap reduction varies from Australia’s official version.

Since a sub-junior’s performance can vary from day to day, a maximum reduction of two shots per round is implemented.

5. What is Golf Link?

Golf link refers to Golf Australia’s national computerized golf handicapping system, which utilises a swipe card you can use to access your latest handicaps from a Club PC or at any other Australian golf club.

The Golf Link system is connected to about 1,600 golf clubs. With this system, you do not need to manually calculate your GA handicap scores, since these will be updated automatically every time you play your rounds.