Course Handicap

It’s great to be out on the golf course again isn’t it? Like most snowbirds, we returned to Winnipeg in late March, endured house arrest, watched the snow melt, watched the grass grow, and then watched the snow melt for a second time. 

By now most Members have been on the course for a couple of weeks.  You should have your winter scores entered in the handicap system, recorded according to the new World Handicap rules – which came into effect January 1, 2020. Read More>>

We’ve posted a couple of entries in the past about the new handicap rules. But one new item that frequently slips by is the new method of calculating Course Handicap. In the past, your Course Handicap on Niakwa was always higher than your Handicap Index. That’s because the Slope from each tee is higher than 113. The previous calculation was: Course Slope/113 x Handicap Index. A player with a Handicap Index of 10, playing from the blue tees, would have had a Course Handicap of 123/113 x 10 = 10.9 (rounded up to 11)

Under the new World Handicap System the Course Rating minus Par is added to the Course Handicap. So the player with a 10 Handicap Index would now have a course handicap of 10.9 + (70.5-72) = 9.4 (rounded down to 9). It isn’t until your Handicap Index hits 16 that your Course Handicap is higher than your Index. For more information on Course Handicap please refer to the USGA Handicap Manual Rule 6.

My first game of 2020, under the World Handicap System, was in early January. I was playing with my friend, Ned. Ned lives in Idaho, a very conservative state. Prior to moving to Idaho, Ned lived in Alaska, an even more conservative state. Prior to moving to Alaska, Ned was born and raised in the most conservative corner of South Texas. 

So we’re playing the 5th hole and Ned, like all of us do from time to time, has a blow up. He pounds his tee shot into the kiawe trees, spends ten minutes looking for his ball, drops a new ball on the fairway, hits an eight iron far right of the green, chunks his pitch, chips on, and three putts.

Marking the score on the 6th tee box, Ned comments, “under the new handicap system that’s a five, right?” 

Now Ned was the CFO of a company which owned and dug many gravel pits, so I figured he was pretty good with numbers. “No Ned. The maximum score is now Net Double Bogey. That was the ten handicap hole and your course handicap is 11. It’s a par four so your max score is seven”. 

“What? No one will ever be able to understand this!”

Then suddenly, as we’re walking down the sixth fairway, with Ned extolling the virtues of ‘open carry’ legislation, the penny drops. “Now I get it! You add your handicap stroke, you don’t subtract it!”

“That’s right. Net Double Bogey – so add a stoke if you get one, two stokes if you get two, plus another two stokes to arrive at your max”.

Later that night at the barbecue, with the World Handicap System finally understood by all, the topic of conversation turned to: “How many times have you or your vehicle ever been shot at?” (true story).

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