Playing Handicap Calculation

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NewbyNewby  7644WRX Points: 596Members Posts: 7,644 Titanium Tees
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The following is causing some consternation over here prior to implementation in November.

Course Handicap

Note: The calculated 18-hole and 9-hole Course Handicap is rounded to the nearest whole number, with .5 rounded upwards, for the purpose of:

> Applying adjustments for maximum hole score (see Rule 3.1) and when a hole is not played (see Rule 3.2).

> Where applicable, calculating a Score Differential.

Otherwise, the full calculated value is retained and rounding occurs only after the Playing Handicap calculation.

Given that the individual stroke play allowance is 95%, how are players currently using WHS determining their playing handicap? eg 95% of 15.3 or 15.2

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  • HatsForBatsHatsForBats  1992WRX Points: 274Handicap: 7Members Posts: 1,992 Platinum Tees
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    Since most of the groups I play with tend to be less than 30 players I don't see it coming into play. For groups of that size I would expect it would be a more organized tournament where software (such as Golf Genius) is hopefully being used to automatically calculate playing handicaps. If the calculations are being done manually I would expect a large percentage will get it wrong and apply the 95% to the rounded Course Handicap rather than waiting to round until after the 95% is applied.


    C/1 – Impact of Field Size on Recommended Handicap Allowance

    Field sizes have an impact on equity and should be considered when determining handicap allowances for a specific event and format of play.

    The recommended handicap allowance for all individual stroke play formats of play is set at 95% for medium-sized field net events, of at least 30 players. For a field size of fewer than 30 players, the recommendation would be to increase the handicap allowance to 100%.

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  • SuperbritSuperbrit  610WRX Points: 138Members Posts: 610 Golden Tee
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    Am i missing something? hasn't this always been the case in the UK? for competitions etc if your HC is say 9.4 you play off 9, if its 9.5 you play off 10

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  • davep043davep043  4717WRX Points: 1,961Handicap: 6.3Members Posts: 4,717 Titanium Tees
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    At this stage, we haven't had any formal competitions. For informal betting purposes, we've just been using the Course Handicap with no reductions, even though most of that is done as fourball match play. As @HatsForBats suggests, I believe the tournament management software will automatically calculate the Playing Handicap appropriately. I'm sure there's also a method of overriding the recommended percentages when appropriate, for instance in small field events which @HatsForBats mentions.

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    Home is Reston, Virgina, with regular visits to Southern Pines, NC

  • Deceptively ShortDeceptively Short  553WRX Points: 126Members Posts: 553 Golden Tee
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    A different calculation dependent on size of field wouldn’t work in the UK as you do not always know the size of the field prior to play in all cases.

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  • SawgrassSawgrass  15768WRX Points: 1,073Members Posts: 15,768 Titanium Tees
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    If I'm understanding this correctly, it's concerning. Four-ball players might use an app to present their course handicap to them, and thereby not have the true decimal data by which 95% can be accurately calculated and then appropriately rounded off.

    Sounds like a big problem, albeit limited to two strokes of error I guess. This could easily be addressed by the GHIN app, or local Allied Golf Association app, but I can't find that function on either. If anyone knows if I'm missing something, please chime in.

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  • SawgrassSawgrass  15768WRX Points: 1,073Members Posts: 15,768 Titanium Tees
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    I just found this, which implies that at least in the US, the rounded off course handicap is the base for applying the playing handicap adjustment:


    6.2a Standard Calculation

    Playing Handicap is calculated as follows:

    Playing HandicapCourse Handicaphandicap allowance

    The calculated Playing Handicap is rounded to the nearest whole number, with .5 rounded upwards. 

    For recommended handicap allowances, see Appendix C: Handicap Allowances.


    But I must say that I'm not certain that when the above says "playing handicap" they don't mean the non-rounded decimal calculation.


    Still confused . . .

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  • SawgrassSawgrass  15768WRX Points: 1,073Members Posts: 15,768 Titanium Tees
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    I fear I'm talking to myself here, but let me go on . . .


    I just used my Allied Golf Association app and added a few buddies to see what came up. The app shows our course handicaps, something called "ADJ." next to that (with the identical number) and a "shots off" number netting down our strokes for our competition off my low HC friend. But I found no way to impact the "ADJ." number, which I assume should be a conversion to the playing handicap.

    I ended up calling the Allied Golf Association, and was told that:

    1) you should use the already rounded off course handicap to apply the percentage for the allocation, say 90% for a four-ball match. Then round off again after the 90%, so you basically have two rounding off exchanges unless one is randomly a whole number anyway. This has to be done manually.

    2) the "ADJ." number on the app's screen doesn't actually work, it's kind of a place holder in the event that they arrange to have a percentage to be applied some time in the future. But they are having trouble fitting all the necessary functions on the screen, and they may end up not doing this, although they are still talking about it.


    I'm a little disappointed that a smart phone app can't function more completely, and sometimes requires this kind of manual manipulation.

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  • davep043davep043  4717WRX Points: 1,961Handicap: 6.3Members Posts: 4,717 Titanium Tees
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    You're not talking to yourself, just typing while some of us muddle through it on our own.

    Based on the wording of the rules, I'd say that your Allied Association has got it wrong. The last sentence of 6.1 clearly says to retain the full calculated value of Course Handicap, and round only after calculating the Playing Handicap. Double rounding, once to the CH and again for the PH, could cause a different of a stroke, maybe 2 in rare circumstances where one guy gets rounded down, another rounded up, as compared to the results when rounding only at the end.

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    Home is Reston, Virgina, with regular visits to Southern Pines, NC

  • NewbyNewby  7644WRX Points: 596Members Posts: 7,644 Titanium Tees
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    The draft CONGU manual says that 95% is compulsory for all individual strokeplay and stableford.

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  • davep043davep043  4717WRX Points: 1,961Handicap: 6.3Members Posts: 4,717 Titanium Tees
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    Would your pro shop or Committee typically pre-print scorecards for competitions? Or would the calculations be done after scorecards are turned in? I obviously don't know what kind of software is commonly used, but my guess is that the 95% would be automatically included, once the type of competition is selected.

    Posted:

    Home is Reston, Virgina, with regular visits to Southern Pines, NC

  • AugsterAugster  4592WRX Points: 527Members Posts: 4,592 Titanium Tees
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    For the US, and I thought WHS, you always find your CH first. You need that number. It’s an integer. THEN you take that CH integer times any multiplier that the competition you are playing (even casual competition like a friendly 4-ball).

    That’s how I understand it. I’m surprised other parts of the world would still be doing “their own thing” with the WHS at this point. The WHS works.

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  • NewbyNewby  7644WRX Points: 596Members Posts: 7,644 Titanium Tees
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    CONGU Handicaps

    (1) Exact Handicap – A player’s Exact Handicap is his handicap to one decimal place, calculated in accordance with the provisions of the UHS. (NB not the WHS)

    (2) Playing Handicap - A player’s Playing Handicap is his Exact Handicap rounded to the nearest whole number (0.5 is rounded upwards).

    (3) Competition Handicap Allowance – The Competition Handicap Allowance is the Playing Handicap adjusted ( by the allowance for the format of play) rounded to the nearest whole number (0.5 is rounded upwards)..

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  • NewbyNewby  7644WRX Points: 596Members Posts: 7,644 Titanium Tees
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    I'm afraid you missed the last part of 6.1b. ie the last two lines of my original post taken from the USGA manual

    Otherwise, the full calculated value is retained and rounding occurs only after the Playing Handicap calculation.

    The Allied Golf Association information is wrong.

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  • davep043davep043  4717WRX Points: 1,961Handicap: 6.3Members Posts: 4,717 Titanium Tees
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    Augster, the actual rule says not to round the Course Handicap if there's another modification to be made to get to the Playing Handicap.

    "Otherwise, the full calculated value is retained and rounding occurs only after the Playing Handicap calculation."

    For casual play, its certainly easier to take the Course Handicap shown in the app and then apply the Handicap Allowance to get a Playing Handicap, and the difference is likely to be pretty small.

    Posted:

    Home is Reston, Virgina, with regular visits to Southern Pines, NC

  • NewbyNewby  7644WRX Points: 596Members Posts: 7,644 Titanium Tees
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    No. The WHS is exactly as I wrote and applies universally. For PH take CH unrounded and round after the allowance calculation

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  • HatsForBatsHatsForBats  1992WRX Points: 274Handicap: 7Members Posts: 1,992 Platinum Tees
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    Have they released the 2020 Manual for CONGU or is there a link you can provide? My original reply is copied exactly from the USGA Rules for 2020 but I had to go a few links deep to find that the 95% only applied to medium-sized fields. Maybe it is a few links further in for CONGU as well?

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  • NewbyNewby  7644WRX Points: 596Members Posts: 7,644 Titanium Tees
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    No. The CONGU WHS draft is on limited issue on a need to know basis, which is why I have a copy. But the rule about compulsory allowances is in the public domain.

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  • SawgrassSawgrass  15768WRX Points: 1,073Members Posts: 15,768 Titanium Tees
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    Thank you Dave (and Newby) for correcting the misinformation I got from my AGA. While there is no excuse for them getting it wrong in my phone conversation (I asked twice since I had concerns) I do believe that this rounding policy makes it very hard for the average person who has a casual competition to work things out on the first tee. If the rule was as incorrectly described to me, it would be much easier to calculate the PH. I wish they left it that way -- it's way quicker to take, say, 10% off a whole number and then round than it is to do the whole calculation (to get the decimal points involved) and then apply the 10%.


    May be a small thing, but I really don't like it.

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  • rogolfrogolf  4266WRX Points: 530Members Posts: 4,266 Titanium Tees
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    Sometimes I wonder if the "allowances" are really necessary. They are only recommendations, but recommendations are usually backed up by some information that indicates why they are being recommended. Does anyone have any justification for why they exist at all?

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  • AugsterAugster  4592WRX Points: 527Members Posts: 4,592 Titanium Tees
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    That’s really what it means? There’s no mention of this “hold the rounding until the end” in any of the hokey videos or the picture/instruction sheet they used to have up that I can’t find anymore.

    In 6.2 the playing handicap is a formula. It is simply:

    Playing Handicap = Course Handicap x handicap allowance.

    It’s in a big font.

    Why did they use that line ABOVE the PH calculation. Confusing for sure. And I doubt anyone will do it correctly as the WHS app doesn’t spit out PH’s. It only spits out CH’s after the rounding.

    So, to handicap the matches correctly, we’ll be using the calculator app on our phones in addition to the WHS app. The only thing the WHS app does accurately, it seems, is calculate CH’s for individual match play, best 3 of 4 stroke play, and best 4 of 4 stroke play.

    At this point, I’m fairly certain, inside our groups our CH=PH. Everything is going to play off 100% “handicap allowance”. The lower the cap, the more he’ll take it in the shorts.

    It’s a sad day having this revealed.

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  • NewbyNewby  7644WRX Points: 596Members Posts: 7,644 Titanium Tees
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    I know the practicality of double rounding is being queried with the R&A. The expectation is that virtually everyone over here will in practice use the rounded CH. Only in exceptional circumstances will it make any difference to competition results and doesn't affect handicap indices anyway. Look out for a change in four years time.

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  • Colin LColin L  2400WRX Points: 366Handicap: 16.5Members Posts: 2,400 Platinum Tees
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    Is this just a USGA thing or universal? There is nothing to this effect in the Draft Rules.

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  • antipantip  1043WRX Points: 333Members Posts: 1,043 Platinum Tees
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    Here it is all done for you, in the whole country through a single website and database, for every competition player whenever/wherever they are playing in a club or open (not social) competition. At many clubs, the cards are issued by the club with the course handicap already on them, with the card print function linked to the database, which adjusts for the course slope, CR-Par, and the adjustment factor which in this country is universal at 93 per cent. If the competition doesn't print complete cards, the player just takes their handicap index and looks it up on a look up sheet in every proshop and on every notice board with that sheet turning the HI into the Course Handicap. Another alternative is to log in to the database and tell it which course you are playing and it will also spit out the answer. No-one does manual adjustments here ever.

    RO asked why adjustment? In this country we started at 96 per cent and a few years back it got adjusted to 93 per cent and has stayed there through this WHS adjustment. The motivation was statistically based on trying to deliver what was perceived as more equitable outcomes in competition results across the handicap range. That was code for high handicappers carting off too much of the silverware.

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  • davep043davep043  4717WRX Points: 1,961Handicap: 6.3Members Posts: 4,717 Titanium Tees
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    I'm sure that @Newby will confirm, but I believe he is looking at the draft rules for implementation in November of this year, at the WHS rules that (will) apply to all of us. I feel confident that the Tournament Management Software used in USGA areas will do the calculation correctly (I'll try to confirm that if I can), but its definitely a PITA for casual matches. I also agree with @Augster , this could have been presented differently, perhaps with just an additional sentence in 6.2 to indicate that the "un-rounded" CR should be used in calculating PH.

    Posted:

    Home is Reston, Virgina, with regular visits to Southern Pines, NC

  • ShilgyShilgy Phoenix 12228WRX Points: 1,360Handicap: 3.2Members Posts: 12,228 Titanium Tees
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    I do not recall this being mentioned previously in this thread.....if it was let me know. If you think about it doing the rounding last makes the most sense. The discussion here has mostly centered on individual comps where 95% is used. But even in events where 90% is used the 5 and under group was always secure in the knowledge that they were safe and their PH would not be affected. Rounding last they could be abecause if they are “low” on the scale for their CH the percentage for the comp could take them down to the next stroke. However as many have mentioned it is easier to round twice as players can effectively “check the math” of the committee and easily do the calculation themselves.

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  • davep043davep043  4717WRX Points: 1,961Handicap: 6.3Members Posts: 4,717 Titanium Tees
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    @Shilgy says

    "However as many have mentioned it is easier to round twice as players can effectively “check the math” of the committee and easily do the calculation themselves."

    I'm guessing that most of us, maybe all, have access to a calculator app on our phones, so we can check the math while rounding only once. Its not too complicated to start with Index, Slope, CR, Par, and Handicap Allowance to get to Playing Handicap, but its definitely a few additional keystrokes. I do agree, its so much easier to take the "already-rounded" Course Handicap that the GHIN app provides, and then have to make only one adjustment for the Handicap Allowance. For most casual play, the occasional discrepancies are tolerable. I think its fair to suggest to your State Associations that future improvements to the GHIN app could include calculation of a PH based on a specific format selected by the user. And I said a few posts back, I think the Rule could be improved by inserting a sentence into 6.2 indicating that CH should not be rounded until the final step in calculating PH. If you're looking at 6.2, its easy to miss that requirement in 6.1.

    Thinking about this, I'm glad we have two separate terms. Course Handicap applies when evaluating net par and net double bogey. Playing Handicap applies in a specific competition, and may be different from CH. This procedures was followed previously, there were suggested Handicap Allowances for different formats in the USGA system, but there wasn't specific terminology. There's no question that there will be a little confusion at times, but we will learn to adapt, and I believe having specific defined terminology will help.

    Posted:

    Home is Reston, Virgina, with regular visits to Southern Pines, NC

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  • Colin LColin L  2400WRX Points: 366Handicap: 16.5Members Posts: 2,400 Platinum Tees
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    Dave

    When I say there is nothing in the Draft Rules about the Handicap Allowance being applied before rounding up the calculation for the Course Handicap, I mean the same draft rules for the WHS you refer to. I am wondering if this is something added in to the finalised USGA Manual and perhaps to the draft CONGU Manual (which I don't have as yet).

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  • rogolfrogolf  4266WRX Points: 530Members Posts: 4,266 Titanium Tees
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    Sounds like they just took the "reward for excellence" out of the formula for handicap index and made it an "allowance" so that nothing changed.

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  • davep043davep043  4717WRX Points: 1,961Handicap: 6.3Members Posts: 4,717 Titanium Tees
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    Yes and no. The 95% applies to individual stroke play, and individual Stableford. For individual match play, its 100% of the CR, for fourball match its 90%. I won't go through all of them, but looks like each of the formats has had the allowances tweaked a bit. Its more complicated than simple elimination of the 0.96 multiplier for the Index and replacement with 95% handicap allowance.

    Posted:

    Home is Reston, Virgina, with regular visits to Southern Pines, NC

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  • rogolfrogolf  4266WRX Points: 530Members Posts: 4,266 Titanium Tees
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    I was referring to this post by antip, where it seems Golf Australia has just moved the 0.93 to a uniform allowance:

    Here it is all done for you, in the whole country through a single website and database, for every competition player whenever/wherever they are playing in a club or open (not social) competition. At many clubs, the cards are issued by the club with the course handicap already on them, with the card print function linked to the database, which adjusts for the course slope, CR-Par, and the adjustment factor which in this country is universal at 93 per cent. If the competition doesn't print complete cards, the player just takes their handicap index and looks it up on a look up sheet in every proshop and on every notice board with that sheet turning the HI into the Course Handicap. Another alternative is to log in to the database and tell it which course you are playing and it will also spit out the answer. No-one does manual adjustments here ever.

    RO asked why adjustment? In this country we started at 96 per cent and a few years back it got adjusted to 93 per cent and has stayed there through this WHS adjustment. The motivation was statistically based on trying to deliver what was perceived as more equitable outcomes in competition results across the handicap range. That was code for high handicappers carting off too much of the silverware.

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