Golf Australia

Handicaps under Slope

How to Calculate a GA Handicap under Slope (PDF)


o Under our old handicap system, a player’s handicap had a tendency to adjust to their home course.

o In order to get a proper understanding of a golfer’s underlying ability, golfers would typically ask each other not only what the other’s handicap is, but the club of which they were a member.

o If they were at any easy course, their handicap would be lower than if they were at a harder course. So players at easy courses would find it difficult to compete when they went to harder courses.

o Slope gives everyone a nationally standardised handicap (ie a “GA Handicap”). You have strokes added on to your national handicap when you play at a hard course (this adjusted handicap is called a “Daily Handicap”), and you have strokes taken off your national handicap when you play on an easy course.

o The Slope Rating is a measure of how much the difficulty of a course increases for the handicap golfer. The Slope Rating determines how many handicap strokes you get from a specific set of tees. (Note: The Scratch Rating is what your score is compared against when it’s processed for handicapping.)

How to calculate a GA Handicap

To calculate a player’s GA Handicap:
• you must firstly identify the player’s most recent 20 scores,
• you then determine the ‘Played To’ value for each of these scores,
• you average the best 8 ‘Played To’ values,
• and finally you multiply this average by 0.93. The resultant figure (to one decimal place) is the player’s GA Handicap.

o If a player’s handicap record contains a lesser number than 20 scores, the number of scores used to calculate the player’s handicap is as listed in the table below.

o There is no requirement for a player’s most recent 20 scores to have been returned within a specific timeframe. For example, the most recent 20 scores may span a period of three years or they may span a period of three months.

o Once a player’s handicap record contains 20 scores, the next score they return will result in the oldest of the existing 20 scores being removed (to be replaced by the new score).

Full Technical Procedure for Calculating a GA Handicap

STEP 1 – Use the table below to determine the number of scores to be included in the GA Handicap calculation:
Number of Scores in Player's Handicap RecordScores to be Used in the Calculation
3 to 6
Best/Lowest 1
7 or 8
Best/Lowest 2
9 or 10
Best/Lowest 3
11 or 12
Best/Lowest 4
13 or 14
Best/Lowest 5
15 or 16
Best/Lowest 6
17 or 18
Best/Lowest 7
19 or 20
Best/Lowest 8
Note: When the handicap record contains more than 20 scores, the GA Handicap calculation uses the best 8 of the player's most recent 20 scores.

STEP 2 – Calculate a ‘Played To’ value for each score (this is the value that is listed in the ‘Played To’ column on
‘Played To’ values are calculated as follows:
A = Course Par plus Daily Handicap minus (Stableford Points Total minus 36)
B = A minus Daily Scratch Rating
C = B multiplied by Neutral Slope Rating (ie 113)
D = C divided by Slope Rating
D (rounded to one decimal place) = ‘Played To’

Exception: Where D is calculated to be more than 40.0 for men or 50.0 for women, the ‘Played To’ value will be deemed to be 40.0 for men or 50.0 for women.

STEP 3 – Average the ‘Played To’ values being used (as determined by the above table)

STEP 4 – Multiply the average by 0.93. (The 0.93 factor is the ‘Multiplier’. The Multiplier is a mathematical balancing factor, the purpose of which is to help to achieve national results patterns for net competitions that are as equitable as possible. Its necessity is the result of the different standard deviations of net scores exhibited by players on different handicap levels.)

STEP 5 – After applying STEP 4, delete all numbers after the tenths’ digit. Do NOT round to the nearest tenth. (For example 23.6983 becomes 23.6.)

STEP 6 – In the example provided in STEP 5, the GA Handicap is therefore 23.6 (although note the Cap Provision below). (The maximum values are 45.4 for women and 36.4 for men.)

NOTE: CAP PROVISION – GOLF Link will automatically prevent a player’s GA Handicap from increasing by any more than 5 strokes beyond their best exact handicap from the previous 12-month rolling period.

How to calculate a Daily Handicap

Daily Handicap = GA Handicap x Slope Rating ÷ 113 (rounded to the nearest whole number)

Gaining an Initial Handicap

o Three 18-hole scores will be required before a GA Handicap is calculated and allocated.

o Clubs may allow players to use 9-hole rounds for this purpose but they are under no obligation to do so. For this purpose, two 9-hole rounds equals one 18-hole round.

o Clubs should enter scores immediately into GOLF Link upon receipt (ie don’t wait for all 3).

o For the purpose of returning one of the initial 3 rounds, players are allocated a Temporary Daily Handicap of 45 for women and 36 for men.

o The Temporary Daily Handicap is not intended to enable the player to win prizes in a club competition.

o The Temporary Daily Handicap enables the player to know how many strokes they receive on each hole.

o The GOLF Link record will not display the temporary handicap for a player’s initial rounds, nor will it display the number of Stableford points that the player made off the Temporary Daily Handicap. The GOLF Link record will only display the ‘Played To’ value for a player’s initial rounds.

Current - 23 January 2014

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