Golf Australia

Handicapping of Good Four-ball Scores

Handicapping of Good Four-ball Scores

Note: The GA Handicap System’s four-ball handicapping regulations ONLY apply to stand-alone four-ball competitions. Where a four-ball competition is played in conjunction with a singles competition, the scores need to be handicapped as follows:

• The singles scores are handicapped in accordance with the regular procedure for handicapping singles competitions.

• The four-ball scores are NOT used for handicapping purposes.


Summary of the New Four-ball Handicapping Regulations

The score of an individual player competing in a four-ball event SHOULD be used for handicapping if they meet the following criteria:

• The pair the player played in had at least 6 better than the Scratch Rating (note: DSRs will not be calculated for four-ball events).

• The individual is at least 9 times on card.

• The extended individual score must see the player playing to their Daily Handicap for that round or better.

Procedure for creating an individual score for player whose four-ball result is to be used for handicapping:

• Missing holes for ALL levels of handicap attributed 1½ points. (Exception: When a player’s score is not recorded on the four-ball card, and their partner’s score is 1 Stableford point, the player is given 1 Stableford point.)

• When both players have 0 Stableford points on a hole, they are both considered to have their score listed on the score card, including for the purposes of ‘being on the card 9 times or more’. For the purposes of creating an adjusted individual score card, each player will have 0 points listed on the individual card for this hole.


Note: Clubs are to strongly discourage players from recording the scores of both partners on a hole or holes unless a concurrent singles event is being played. Players who regularly return four-ball score cards featuring identical net scores for both players in the same hole will not be eligible to have these rounds handicapped.


GA Recommendation Around the Handicapping of Good Four-ball Scores

• GA encourages the handicapping of good four-ball scores, provided this does not place an undue administrative burden on the golf club, and provided there is not a clear novelty nature to the competition.

In developing the new regulations, GA was mindful of the following:

• The underlying objective of this regulation is to enable those clubs for which four-ball competitions are an important part of their club culture an opportunity to handicap players who perform well in a four-ball event (or events). GA notes that whilst four-balls are an important part of the culture of some clubs, they are only very rarely played in other clubs.

• GA has received strong feedback from some clubs expressing a desire to return to the regulation that operated in the men’s Australian handicap system for over 30 years until recently which provided clubs the flexibility to not operate the four-ball handicapping regulations. Clubs that choose this option are generally those clubs for whom four-ball competitions play very little part in their internal culture.


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