Golf Australia

Daily Scratch Rating (DSR)

How does the DSR (Daily Scratch Rating) system work?
Under the DSR system, GOLF Link assesses a current course rating for you each day. This rating is appropriate to the conditions you actually experienced. GOLF Link does all of the work and provides the DSR immediately after the scores are processed.


Through GOLF Link, the DSR system establishes:

•  The expected average Stableford score for each player in the competition, based on their Daily Handicap.
•  The actual Stableford score for each player in the competition.
 

Then GOLF Link will establish the proportion of players who scored below expectation by one, two, three, etc Stableford points and similarly for those who scored above expectations.

•  Using statistical concepts, it is possible to determine from these proportions the likely level by which the conditions were different from what is normal.
•  The greater the field size, the more likely it is that a given level of variation in scores will lead to the conclusion that the variation is beyond normal random movements.
•  The DSR formulas are quite conservative – the DSR will only move away from the Scratch Rating if the scores clearly suggest than an adjustment is warranted. (DSRs will always be whole numbers.)
•  The lower limit of the DSR is one stroke below the Scratch Rating. The upper limit is three strokes above the Scratch Rating.


Does the DSR system require any work by clubs?
No. The GOLF Link system does all of the work. It provides the DSR immediately after the scores are processed.


Why do we need course ratings?

•  The objective of a course rating system is to enable us to standardise scores.
•  A gross score must first be standardised before it can be used for handicapping.
•  Standardisation enables us to meaningfully assess the value of a score, and to meaningfully compare it with all other scores. For example, is 78 a good score? In order to answer that question we need to know the difficulty of the course. (For example, 78 from the Tiger tees at The Australian Golf Club is a much better achievement than 78 on a par 3 course.)
•  Course ratings are intended to precisely measure the difficulty a course presents to a golfer in the playing of their round.
•  If the rating of a course is not a true reflection of the difficulty it presented to a golfer in the playing of a round, the player’s standardised score for that round will be inaccurate.
If the standardised score is inaccurate, the player’s handicap will be distorted (ie if inputs are inaccurate, so must the output also be inaccurate).
•  For this reason, every set of tees on every golf course has a Scratch Rating assessed for it by a group of State/Territory experts.


What is the benefit of changing the course rating from day to day?

•  We all know that the difficulty of a golf course can vary substantially from day to day.
Daily fluctuation can be caused by changed hole placements, varying green speeds & green firmness, and changed weather.
•  With the vast majority of our golfers playing in coastal cities that are prone to variable weather conditions, it is particularly important for Australia to have a handicap system that is sufficiently flexible to cater for daily movements in course difficulty. If we don’t, we end up processing scores against inaccurate course ratings, and that makes handicaps inaccurate.
•  DSR leads to more stable and comparable handicaps than if the vagaries of fluctuations in conditions from day to day and season to season prevail.


What role in the handicap system does DSR actually perform in the calculation of a handicap?

•  A player’s gross score is compared against the DSR in order determine a player’s ‘Played To’ value for that round. (The ‘Played To’ value is displayed in one of the columns in a player’s handicap record on www.golf.org.au.)
•  That is all.
•  DSRs are NOT used to retrospectively adjust the results of a competition that has already been played. When reading out competition results, if a player had 40 points, the Captain would announce that the player had 40 points (irrespective of the DSR).
•  DSRs are NOT used to retrospectively adjust the Daily Handicap that a golfer played off in a competition that has already been played. When reading out competition results, if a player played off a Daily Handicap of 23, the Captain would announce that the player played off a Daily Handicap of 23 (irrespective of the DSR).


Can the DSR strategy be summarised in one paragraph?
DSR provides golfers with a rating that is a reflection of the conditions they played under. The formulas determine whether the difficulty presented at the time by the playing conditions was normal or different to normal.
 


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