Holes Under Construction – Reporting Handicap

Last week, with the sunshine and pleasant temperatures, I had a couple of opportunities to enjoy a glass of wine and an appetizer on the patio with my playing partners. Topics of conversation included the Jets and politics, of course, but we also discussed the rule for entering handicap scores on the holes where greens are under construction. Read More>>
While it wasn’t shocking that my cohorts were wrong about both politics and the Jets, I was a little surprised that only a couple of them knew the rule about scoring holes which are under construction.

The Rules of Golf are clear on this one. On the holes that are under construction, or have temporary greens, “the score for that hole for handicap purposes shall be par plus any handicap strokes they are entitled to receive, as indicated by the designation of Handicap Stroke Holes on the scorecard”. This includes Number 2. Your score on 8b is not a substitute for Number 2. The rule applies here as well.

Certainly for the purpose of competition or match play the holes are played as normal with the normal handicap stroke assignment, but for handicap purposes your score is recorded as above.

Some numerical examples: For men, Number 2 is the 17 handicap hole, Number 13 is the 6 handicap hole, and Number 18 the 8 handicap hole. A fifteen handicap player, in every case until the holes are back in play, would record a par on Number 2 and bogies on numbers 13 and 18. A twenty-six handicap would enter bogies for Numbers 2 and 13 and a double bogie for Number 18.

For women, Number 2 is the 15 handicap hole, Number 13 the 4 handicap hole and Number 18 the 10 handicap hole. A twenty-four handicap would record bogies on Numbers 2 and 18 with a double bogie on Number 13. A 28 handicap would record double bogies, on 13 and 18, and a bogie on Number 10.

My explanation of this rule to my friends on the patio evoked a lively discussion and plenty of disagreement. Producing the Golf Canada Handicap Manual from my locker ended the disagreement. Unfortunately the sun and wine gave my colleagues the confidence to assail the logic of the rule, and, to propose alternate rules for adoption by the RCGA and the Royal and Ancient. Sometimes defending the logic of the Rules of Golf is beyond a simple Club Captain. It was time to leave – but the rule is still the rule.

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