New Handicap System: what you need to know

New Handicap System: what you need to know

GolfRSA launches the new handicap system on Monday 3 September – which fundamentally changes the way that golfers will acquire a Course Handicap.

As of Monday, club golfers in South Africa will no longer make use of the traditional Handicap that they have used for years. Instead, before they tee it up, they will need to select the club and the colour course (tee) they wish to play and use their new Handicap Index to look up their Course Handicap for the day.

Here’s what you need to do to get your Course Handicap for your round of golf:

Using your Handicap Index as a basis, look up your Course Handicap on the Conversion Table at the club.Or, you could make use of the HNA terminals or App – simply nominate your colour course (tees) and it will determine it for you. Some courses will also print your Course Handicap on your slip at registration, or you could ask for your Course Handicap during check-in.

An example of a Course Handicap Conversion Table

One of the strengths of the new handicap system is that golfers can effectively choose which course they wish to play – and their Course Handicap will adjust up or down according to the difficulty of the tee or course. A golfer playing a course with a high Course and Slope Rating will have a Course Handicap for the day that will be higher than when they elect to play an “easier” course, with a lower Course and Slope Rating.

Why is GolfRSA changing the Handicap System?

All of this has come about as countries across the world move towards a single method of handicapping golfers, known as the World Handicap System. In preparation for this, GolfRSA completed a process of re-rating all golf courses in the country using the USGA Course Rating System.

The USGA Course Rating System comprises two components – a more accurate Course Rating method and a Slope Rating for each course. Both these figures have influenced the rating of the course, which in turn affects golfers’ score differentials, from which their Handicap Index is calculated.

Another significant change is that golf clubs will do away with the traditional labelling of their tees into categories such as Ladies’ tees, Club Tees or Forward Tees. Instead, each set of tees will be colour coded and will effectively represent a different course for the golfer to play.