Golf Australia

Stableford Handicapping Adjustment (SHA)

SHA (Stableford Handicapping Adjustment)

• For handicapping, all Stroke scores must be converted to, and processed as, Stableford scores. (Where the competition is Stroke, the Stroke score will be the Competition Score; the Stableford Score will be the Handicapping Score.)

• Clubs will continue to play Par competitions exactly as they did prior to the introduction of the new handicap system  (players will not record Stableford scores in Par competitions). Any round played under the Par scoring system will be converted by GOLF Link into a Stableford score by adding 36 points to the player’s final result (for example GOLF Link will convert a score of 4 down into 32 points; the score of 32 points will be the player’s Handicapping Score).

• If a player is competing in a Stroke or Par competition, their Stableford score is disregarded when assessing Competition placings.


What is the purpose of this regulation?

• To reduce the effect of high hole scores for handicap purposes in order to make handicaps more representative of a player’s potential ability.

• To make all handicaps as equitable as possible by using a uniform score type for all handicapping (note: 78% of handicapping scores across Australia are currently Stableford or Par). Some players currently have ‘Stableford handicaps’ whereas other players have handicaps that are based on a mix of Stableford & Stroke. In a national handicap system there should be a uniform type of handicap.


In Stroke competitions, how will your club comply with the GOLF Link data provision requirements around the new SHA (Stableford Handicap Adjustment) regulation?

Note: Members of clubs with hole-by-hole computerised scoring systems will have their Stableford scores calculated for them by their club computer system (note: clubs should confirm this functionality output with their Tier 3 software provider).

Otherwise, the obligation will be on your members to provide to you at the end of the round a total Stroke score and a total Stableford score.

• This should not be an onerous request as almost the exact same work will be required of players in a Stroke competition as they currently perform in a Stableford competition (EXCEPT that they will have to add up their hole-by-hole stroke scores to get an 18-hole stroke total).

• The Rules of Golf do not require a player to record Stableford scores, however club sanctions should be applied to players who refuse to assist the Committee (eg player not eligible to enter the NEXT competition – GA will support clubs in writing on this). It is fundamental to the culture of Australian golf that players assist their club committees by recording Stableford scores on their score cards when required.

• The practical experience of this regulation in other parts of the world is one of ready compliance. GA believes that the practical experience of this regulation for Australian clubs will quickly become very smooth.


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