This is a copy from GA’s Advertising poster in Australia.
The following items will remain unchanged
2/. Immediate handicap updates. A player’s handicap will continue
to be updated by GOLF Link on the same day a score is processed.
3/. No lapsed handicaps. Players will not be required to play a minimum
number of rounds each year in order to maintain their GA Handicaps.
4/. 9-hole. Australia’s regulations for the optional handicapping of 9-hole
rounds will continue.
5/. Stableford handicapping. Stableford handicapping of all Stroke
competitions will continue.
6/. Social scores. Continued handicapping of ‘pre-nominated social scores’s (when permitted by the home club).
7/. Hard Cap. The Hard Cap of 5 strokes will continue. There will also
be a Soft Cap at 3 strokes which will be a new regulation for Australia
(see Part C).
8/. Scratch Ratings. Whole number Scratch Ratings will continue.
9/. Four-ball. Australia’s regulations for the optional handicapping
of four-ball competitions will continue.
10/. Initial handicaps. A player will be required to submit 3 x 18-hole
scores (or 6 x 9-hole scores, or a combination of the two).
11/. No match play scores. Handicapping of match play scores
will not be permitted.
These are the changes adopted by GA
12/. Transfer of 0.93 Multiplier (which creates a small change
to the formulas for the GA Handicap and Daily Handicap)
• The 0.93 Multiplier will be transferred out of the GA Handicap calculation and into the Daily Handicap calculation.
• As a result, a GA Handicap will be calculated simply by averaging the
best 8 of a player’s most recent 20 results.
• Note: Our statisticians confirm this change will have no overall impact
on the handicaps players actually play off (ie Daily Handicaps). This is
because the slight increase it will cause to GA Handicaps (by being
removed from that formula), will be exactly the same as the decrease
it will cause to Daily Handicaps (by being transferred into this formula).
As a result there will be no overall impact. [See below for the full new
Daily Handicap formula.]
13/. Adjustment to Daily Handicap formula when Scratch Rating is different to Par
• Why the change? Have you ever heard someone ask: “So, if I have 36
points, will that mean I’ve played to my handicap?” To which the answer
is: “well, it kind of depends on whether there’s a difference between the
Scratch Rating and the par……”? Well we’ve heard plenty of feedback
that this is confusing…… And the simple change happening under the
WHS means 36 Stableford points will become the universal measure of
whether a player has played to their handicap. Regardless of the course
or set of tees.
• What is another key benefit? Comparing results in multi-tee and
mixed-gender competitions will be made simple – we’ve also heard
the feedback on this and we know the current complexities are a
barrier for many clubs. The change will help to drive game participation
and engagement initiatives. It will also make it easier for clubs to
manage their legal risk around compliance with the 1984 Federal sex
discrimination law (see the Australian Human Rights Commission
publication titled ‘Guidelines for the promotion of equal opportunity
for women and girls in golf’ – www.golf.org.au/equality-guidelines).
• So what is the actual change?
The Daily Handicap formula will include an adjustment when the Scratch Rating is different to the Par.
For example: Scratch Rating 73, Par 70 – Daily Handicaps will increase
by 3* (ie 73 – 70 = +3); Scratch Rating 68, Par 70 – Daily Handicaps will
decrease by 2* (ie 68 – 70 = -2). Note: *the Daily Handicap calculation
usually produces a number with multiple decimal places, which is then
rounded to a whole number; in some cases the rounding will soften the
impact of the adjustment by 1.
• Do you need to remember how all of this is done?
No! Because it will all be done for you by the computers and the Daily Handicap Look-up Charts.
• New daily handicap formula = (GA Handicap x (Slope Rating ÷ 113)
+ (Scratch Rating minus Par)) x 0.93.
14/. Daily rating system – PCC
• The WHS will feature a statistical daily rating system.
It will be called PCC (Playing Conditions Calculation).
• The WHS daily rating formulas and regulations have been in full effect in Australia since May 2019.
• When the WHS comes into effect, the PCC will be displayed on your
handicap record as an adjustment value (eg ‘+2’ or ‘-1’) rather than a
value such as ‘68’ or ‘72’ as happens pre-WHS under the Australian
• PCCs are permitted to range anywhere between -1 (ie easier conditions) and +3 (harder conditions).
15/. Maximum handicaps
• The maximum GA Handicap under the WHS is 54.0 for both
men and women.
• Your club’s handicap & competition management software can choose
default handicap limits lower than 54 for any (or all) competitions.
• For example, your club may choose to set Daily Handicap limits
at 36 for men and 45 for women for most competitions. And then
use a higher limit for beginner competitions or for events for less-skilled players.
16/. Soft Cap of 3 strokes
(to operate in conjunction with the Hard Cap – see Part A)
• A GA Handicap will continue to increase at the current rate of 100% of
the ‘8 of 20 scores’ calculation UNTIL it reaches 3 strokes above its best
point from the previous 12 months. Once in this new Soft Cap zone,
a player’s GA Handicap will only be allowed to increase by 50% of the
• Statistical modelling indicates that the Soft Cap will impact up to 20%
of the total number of handicap calculations performed by GOLF Link
each year. The introduction of the Soft Cap will reduce the percentage of
players impacted by the Hard Cap from 5% down to less than 1.5%.
• GA has been aware for some time that our pre-WHS handicap system
produces a competitive advantage to the inconsistent player over the
consistent player and we have been looking for a way to soften this
outcome. The Soft Cap will improve this situation and will improve the
equity of Australian handicapping.
17/. Bonus reduction for exceptional net score
• GOLF Link will apply an automatic additional reduction to a player’s
GA Handicap if they have an ‘exceptional score’.
• If the player’s score is 7.0-9.9 strokes better than what their GA
Handicap was at the time the round was played then GOLF Link will
apply an automatic additional reduction of 1.0 strokes to their GA
Handicap. If the player’s score is at least 10.0 strokes better than what
their GA Handicap was at the time the round was played, then GOLF
Link will apply an automatic additional reduction of 2.0 strokes to their
• To establish whether a score is exceptional, GOLF Link will compare the
player’s GA Handicap at the time the round was played with the number
in the ‘Sloped Played To’ column for that round. (The ‘Sloped Played To’
column is one of the columns that is displayed in a player’s handicap record.