Golf Australia

Changed 9-hole and Incomplete Score Regulations

In designing the new regulations, Golf Australia has been particularly mindful of two key points:

• Firstly, it is important that the GA Handicap System cater for 9-hole scores. This recognises the degree to which some groups of affiliated players have become time-poor. It also recognises those players who for various reasons have a strong preference for 9-hole golf.

• Secondly, a theme to emerge from the GA consultation program was concern with any regulation that involved the handicapping of scores that had been estimated or extended in more than a small way.


The key points of the new regulations for the handicapping of incomplete scores and scores of less than 18 holes are as follows:

• Where 16-17 holes inclusive have been played, the player will be deemed to have had net par for the remaining holes. The score will be processed as an 18-hole score.

• Scores returned over 9-15 holes will not be doubled or extended. They will be entered into GOLF Link as 9-hole scores. (Where 10-15 holes inclusive have been played, the first 9 holes played will be used and the remaining holes will be disregarded.)

• Where only 8 holes have been played, the player will be deemed to have had net par on the 9th hole. The score will be entered into GOLF Link as a 9-hole score.

• Any score of less than 8 holes will be disregarded.

• The initial 9-hole score a player returns is to be entered into GOLF Link; it will not immediately be used in the calculation of the player’s GA Handicap. It will be automatically held by GOLF Link in the player’s handicap record (together with the relevant 9-hole course rating) until another 9-hole score is entered. The two 9-hole scores will be combined automatically by GOLF Link to create a single 18-hole score. (Note: The two 9-hole scores do not need to be played consecutively, multiple 18-hole rounds may be played between the play of two 9-hole scores.)

• An ‘un-joined’ 9-hole score will only expire when it is no longer in the player’s most recent 20 scores.

• The GOLF Link database holds 9-hole ratings for each club’s front 9 and back 9. As a result, 9-hole scores are compared against the actual difficulty of the 9 holes that have been played (and not simply 50% of the 18-hole value).

• There is no requirement for the two 9-holes scores being combined to have been played at the same course. For example, whilst it would be fine for two 9-hole scores from the front 9 at Royal Sydney to be combined, it would be equally fine for a score from the back 9 at Brisbane Golf Club to be combined with a score from the front 9 at The Australian.


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