Changes to how Course Handicaps will be calculated highlighted by Scottish Golf

New system will be introduced at start of 2024 season for club golfers on 1 April
A golfer in action during the Scottish Golf Ping Winter Open Series at Fairmont St Andrews. Picture: Scottish GolfA golfer in action during the Scottish Golf Ping Winter Open Series at Fairmont St Andrews. Picture: Scottish Golf
A golfer in action during the Scottish Golf Ping Winter Open Series at Fairmont St Andrews. Picture: Scottish Golf

Changes to how a Course Handicap will be calculated starting on 1 April have been shared by Scottish Golf in an update to member clubs in a World Handicap System Player Update.

According to the governing body in Scotland, the changes are being made in order to give golfers “the number of strokes they need to play against par rather than the course rating”. It is believed that will make a golfer’s target score to ‘play to handicap’ more intuitive.

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Currently, a player’s Course Handicap is calculated by multiplying the Handicap Index by the Slope Rating of the set of tees a person is playing from, divided by 113. As of 1 April, the difference between the Course Rating and the par of the course will be added as well.

With the introduction of what will be termed as CR-Par, a target score to play to handicap will be the par of the course - or 36 points - and not the Course Rating figure.

If the Course Rating is higher than the par, players will receive additional strokes, however if the CR is lower, they will lose strokes. This applies for all handicap indexes.

The changes, which also cover ‘use of expected score for a hole not played’ have been outlined in full on Scottish Golf’s website www.scottishgolf.org

The World Handicap System was introduced in January 2020 and has been met with a mixed response by club golfers.

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