Handicap Index vs Course Handicap

Captain’s Corner                 July 7, 2022

The golf season is in full swing and hope everyone is enjoying the unbelievable conditions we are experiencing at Niakwa.  

There seems to be some confusion between the Handicap index and your Course Handicap.

Handicapping is at the core of equitable competition in amateur golf, with few other sports enabling players to compete equitably across different skill levels in the way that golf does.

The Handicap Index is calculated using the lowest 8 of the player’s most recent 20 Score Differentials and updated with each new round played. The Handicap Index travels worldwide with the golfer from course to course (and tee to tee) and is used to calculate a “Course Handicap”. The Course Handicap is the number of strokes a golfer receives from the specific set of tees at the course. The more difficult the golf course, the more strokes the golfer receives and vice versa.

The relative difficulty of a golf course is determined jointly by Golf Canada and the provincial golf association using the WHS Course Rating System as administered by Golf Canada. Specially trained Course Rating Teams evaluate the difficulty of a golf course based on such variables as length and a number of obstacle factors (e.g. topography, bunkers, lateral & crossing obstacles, severity of rough, etc).

Therefore, if you are playing another golf course, please remember that your course handicap may be different at the course you are playing versus your course handicap at Niakwa.  I would recommend that you stop at the Pro Shop at the course you are playing before you tee off. They should be able to assist you in determining your course handicap based on your handicap index.

Captain Bill

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