How is your handicap actually calculated
1. Handicap Calculation Method
A handicap, contrary to widespread belief, is not supposed to represent your average score or differential, but rather your potential for scoring. When you are playing at your best, what is your level of play, your potential best scoring? That's what handicaps seek to represent.
1.2) How is my handicap calculated?
The handicap calculation is complex and will be managed by the SAGA Handicap Server. If you wish to perform an approximate check, you may do so as follows:
a) Provided that you have at least 20 valid differentials in your 'Handicap Record Sheet', you should select the 10 lowest of these (Differential = Adjusted Gross - Standard Rating)
b) Average them
c) Multiply the result by 0.96 to get what is known as the exact handicap
d) Then round the exact handicap to the nearest whole number to get your playing handicap. Decimal values of 0.1 – 0.4 round down and 0.5 – 0.9 round up.
Should there be two or more scores among these 20 entries for which the differential is three or more strokes less than what your handicap was at the time of the round, only your best eight differentials will be used to compute your handicap.
If you are new to the system and have at least five but fewer than 20 scores in your 'Handicap Record Sheet', the number of differentials used for your handicap calculation will be determined as per the table in section 7.8 of the SAGA Handicap Manual.
1.3) How often is my handicap calculated?
Your handicap is calculated after every score you submit.
1.4) I've played very badly of late. Why is my handicap not moving out?
It’s important to realise that your worst differentials aren’t considered in your handicap calculation. Only your 10 best differentials are (while the 10 worst ones are disregarded). This means that it's quite normal if you play a number of bad rounds and not see a change in your handicap.
1.5) That's all good, but how on earth is it possible that a very bad score has caused my handicap to come down?
In this situation, you need to compare the differential you entered with the differential that, because of the new entry, is no longer considered in the handicap calculation—the 21st most recent differential, in other words. In all likelihood, the new differential is better than the old one. You may also have unknowingly received a penalty