Why Your Handicap index will change on 1st October

Handicaps News 
September 2019

Dear Golfer,

This newsletter covers the important Handicap Changes which will become effective on the 1st of October 2019 as part of the process of moving towards the adoption of the World Handicap System in January 2020.

The revised GolfRSA Handicap Rules will be available to view on the GolfRSA website or on the HNA website shortly. These rules will be superseded by the new World Handicap System rules in January 2020.

Changes coming into effect on 1 October 2019:

1. Average of the best 8 of the last 20 Score Differentials

Your Handicap Index calculation will be based on the average of your best 8 Score Differentials from your last 20 scores, with no further adjustment. All Handicap Indexes will be recalculated overnight on the 30th September 2019. The impact will be different for each golfer, so your Handicap Index on 1 October 2019 might be slightly higher or lower than your current Handicap Index, due to the combination of the average of the best 8 of the last 20 scores and the dropping of the 0.96 multiplier.
2. Maximum Score allowed on a hole changes to Net Double Bogey
When entering your score for Handicap purposes, the maximum score allowed, and what you have to record for a hole where you 'ring out', is a Net Double Bogey
(Net Two Over Par or Zero Stableford Points – as shown in the table below).

3. 9-Hole Course Handicap
When playing nine holes you must use your 9-hole Course Handicap based on the nine holes you elect to play. This 9-hole Course Handicap can be looked up on a chart at the club or on the HNA App.

4. 9-Hole scores and incomplete rounds
f you have played between 9 holes and 13 holes, you must enter a 9-hole score.
If you have played 14 holes or more, you must enter your Adjusted Gross Score for the holes played and add par plus any Handicap Strokes you are entitled to for the remaining unplayed holes, based on your Course Handicap. Enter this Adjusted Gross Score as an 18-hole score.

The 9-hole calculation will automatically be completed by the system by taking your Gross Score for the 9 holes you played, adding par for the second nine, plus your handicap strokes for these 9 holes, plus 1 additional stroke. This Gross Score will then be used to calculate a differential in the same way as an 18-hole score.

5. Holes not completed – most likely score
Where possible, players should always putt out and complete the hole. If, however, you do not finish a hole and you are on the green and within 1.5 metres of the hole, record 1 extra shot. If you are between 1.5 metres and 20 metres from the hole, record 2 or 3 strokes, depending on the difficulty of the green and the player's ability. If you are more than 20 metres, then add 3 or 4 strokes, depending on the difficulty of the green and player's ability.

6. 24 hours to enter a score before receiving a penalty
The time frame for entering a score before incurring a penalty has been reduced from 72 hours to 24 hours. Failure to enter a score within 24 hours (from 23h00 on the day of the round) will result in a penalty and the late score entered will be adjusted to the lowest differential in the player's last 20.

7. Golfers are required to ensure a round is Registered / Opened before playing and before entering a score
Golfers need to ensure a round is opened / registered on the system before they play. The clubs are encouraged to open all rounds (including those for affiliated visitors) on the club systems or terminals. If, however, the club does not open the round prior to play, the golfer must open a round on his/her HNA phone app or on the Handicap Terminal before play. (This option will be available on the App and Terminal from October 1).

A score may not be entered without opening a round. Any score entered for which the round was opened only after completion of the round will be flagged in the system for possible investigation by your Club Handicap Committee. All valid rounds (see section 5.6 of the GolfRSA Rules for invalid rounds), played with a marker and under the Rules of Golf, must be entered on the system. This now includes all Match Play scores. 

8. The exceptional score will be change to:
If a player's score differential is 7 to 9.9 shots below their Handicap Index, their Handicap Index will be reduced by 1 shot.
If a player's score differential is 10 or more shots below their Handicap Index, their Handicap Index will be reduced by 2 shots.

9. The maximum Handicap Index will change to 54 for men and women.

World Handicap System Final Changes:
The final changes to be made with the adoption of the World Handicap System on
1 January 2020 will be communicated to golfers in detail in the next few months. Importantly, these
final changes are all system related, so they will be applied by the HNA system after the golfer has entered his/her score.
They include a Playing Conditions Calculation that adjusts the Course Rating when adverse weather or course setup conditions affected the day's scores, as well as a cap on the amount a handicap can increase in a rolling 12-month period.

Thank you for the positive way you have accepted and adopted the recent changes.
With these latest changes and the adoption of The World Handicap System by South Africa and the majority of the countries in the world, your Handicap Index will be recognised and accepted worldwide on the 1st January 2020.

If you would like any further information on any aspects of the Handicap Rules, please visit our FAQ page here or email us at editor@handicaps.co.za.

Quote of the Month

"My favourite shots are the practice swing and the conceded putt. The rest can never be mastered.” – George Robertson

Swing easy!
The Handicaps Team