General Handicapping Information
The information below describes the more technical aspects of EGA golf handicapping that you may be interested in.
Most of this information is distilled from a document called the
"European Golf Association EGA Handicap System", which is very technical. If you would like to read
(or download) this document (PDF) please click (or right-click) on the button below.
Handicaps are grouped into categories and the rules for handicap adjustment vary according to category
(e.g. a category 3 player will have his/her handicap increased by 0.1 if his/her Stableford score is below
his/her category's buffer zone, while a category 6 player will never have it increased).
The following table shows the categories and the various factors that rely on them.
|Category||EGA Exact HCP||Buffer Zone||Below Buffer Zone Adjustment||Above Buffer Zone Adjustment|
|1||"plus" to 4.4||35 to 36||0.1||0.1x|
|2|| 4.5 to 11.4||34 to 36||0.1||0.2x|
|3|| 11.5 to 18.4||33 to 36||0.1||0.3x|
|4|| 18.5 to 26.4||32 to 36||0.1||0.4x|
|5|| 26.5 to 36.0||31 to 36||0.1||0.5x|
|6|| 17 to 54 || - || - ||1x|
A "plus" handicap is one that is better than "scratch". When a plus handicap player finishes a round of golf,
instead of SUBTRACTING the playing handicap from the gross score to get the net score the player has to
ADD the playing handicap to the gross score instead.
Normally, if a player has a Stableford score that is within the buffer zone for his/her category (e.g. if a
category 3 player scores 33, 34, 35 or 36) their handicap remains the same. However, if a lot of players in the
competition score badly then the Computed Buffer Adjustment (CBA), a measure of how well or badly the field
played as a whole, may decrease to -1, -2, -3 or -4. Say it became -2, this would have the effect of changing
the category 3 player's buffer zone from (33 to 36) to (31 to 34). So if that player had scored 36 he/she would have played
above the adjusted buffer zone (34) and would have his/her handicap reduced by 0.3x(36-34) = 0.6.
Similarly if a lot of players play well the CBA may increase (but only to +1).
The handicap of a category 6 player will never increase, it only decreases until the player reaches category 5.
Course Rating (CR)
The 'Course Rating' is a measure of the playing difficulty of a course for scratch golfers under normal course and
weather conditions. It is expressed as strokes taken to one decimal place, and is based on yardage and other obstacles
(such as bunkers and water hazards) to the extent that they affect the scoring ability of a scratch golfer.
A 'Scratch Golfer' is a theoretical construct used in rating golf courses. A scratch golfer would have a playing handicap of
zero on any and all properly rated golf courses.
- A male scratch golfer can hit tee shots an average of 250 yards and can reach a 470-yard hole in two shots.
- A female scratch golfer can hit tee shots an average of 210 yards and can reach a 400-yard hole in two shots.
Slope Rating (SR)
The 'Slope Rating' is a measure of the relative playing difficulty of a course for players who are not
scratch golfers, relative to the Course Rating (i.e. compared to the difficulty of the course for scratch golfers).
Slope Rating is computed from the difference between the rating for a Bogey Golfer and the Course Rating.
A 'Bogey Golfer' is a theoretical construct used in rating golf courses.
A male bogey golfer has a playing handicap of approximately 20 on a course of standard difficulty1)
He can hit tee shots an average of 200 yards and can reach a 370-yard hole in two shots.
A female bogey golfer has a playing handicap of approximately 24 on a course of standard difficulty.
She can hit tee shots an average of 150 yards and can reach a 280-yard hole in two shots.
A 'Playing Handicap' is the number of handicap strokes a player receives for a specific set of tees at the course
being played. It is expressed as a whole number (e.g. 0.5 rounds upwards to 1, 11.5 rounds upwards to 12, for "plus"
handicaps however 0.5 rounds upwards to scratch, "plus" 1.5 to "plus" 1 and so on) using the EGA Playing Handicap Formula:
PLAYING HCP = EGA EXACT HCP x (SR / 113) + (CR - PAR)
A less mentally demanding way of finding the playing handicap is to look at the "Playing Handicap Table" for the
particular set of tees on that course. This is displayed in the notice board by the first tee at Minthis Hills.
If you do not have an EGA handap, but have one assigned by CONGU2)
instead then your playing handicap for an EGA-rated course is calculated in a similar way:
PLAYING HCP = ROUND(GONGU EXACT HCP x (113/128)) x (SR / 113) + (CR - PAR)