Scoring. The maximum handicap for both men and women will be raised to 54.0 under the new system, a substantial rise from previous levels. The best score on any given hole will be a net double bogey, which will replace the previous component of equitable stroke management. This means that even though a player may have an advantage based on her/his age, this will not affect the outcome of the game.
The new system will be applied to all events, including individual tournaments, leagues, and clubs. It will also be used by gender when determining seedings in team events.
The new handicap system was developed by the R&A's Game Development Team. It is based on statistical analysis of how often players who differ by age, experience, or talent level reach different stages of competition. These stages include reaching a hole with one penalty shot; being eliminated from competition; and winning a prize. The team also considered feedback from members of the golf community about what type of handicapping system they would like to see implemented.
Under the new system, older players will have an advantage over younger ones at every stage of competition. This will help to ensure that all players have an equal opportunity to win prizes.
From October 1, the maximum score on any hole for your handicap score will be a Net Two Over Par (or Net Double Bogey), which is equal to zero Stableford points. A net score on a hole is your gross score less any course handicap strokes you have on that hole, while a bogey is a 1-over-par score. In other words, a player who shoots a 100 would earn two 0's (20 points) in their score.
The change goes into effect this season, and it applies to all 50 states and D.C. It also means that a player who shoots a 99 would now only earn one 0 (19 points).
The reason for the change is so that players of equal ability can compete on an even field. Previously, someone with a 15 handicap score could play as many as they wanted at some courses while others with a high number of strokes behind them were barred from playing. Now that limit is gone. Of course, there's no guarantee that more skilled players won't still beat up on those with lower scores, but at least they'll be competing against the same number of holes.
Netting the score this way also ensures that no one gets a huge advantage by being allowed to shoot over par on certain holes. For example, let's say there are three people in the tournament, and two of them have 15 handicaps while the third has a 20.
The USGA allows a maximum handicap of 36 for men and 40 for women. Anyone with a handicap of more than 20 is regarded to have a high golf handicap. High handicappers tend to be better players than medium ones, but they are not necessarily stronger or more durable. They usually play longer courses because they can't reach some holes in short order. Their games are more important than their ratings because their scores are so low even the lowest ratings are able to shoot under par.
High handicappers make up about 7% of the male population and 4% of the female population.
The highest rated player in history was Jack Nicklaus, who had a career average of 15.5 when he retired in 1995. He has been voted into the Hall of Fame, which requires voting by his peers. The next highest rated player today is Tiger Woods, at 14.5. There are many more low-handicapped players in the field than there are high-handicapped ones; the average rating of the field is about 3.5.
In addition to Woods, other high-profile players include David Graham, Fred Funk, Sam Snead, and Bernhard Langer.
No figures in your scores should be rounded off. According to the USGA, the default maximum number from any handicap index in a golf match played on an 18-hole course should be 40.4 for women and 36.4 for men. It should be 18.2 for men and 20.2 for women on the 9-hole course. These are the maximum numbers that can be used as a reference point when determining whether or not a player is eligible for prizes.
In conclusion, a score of 9 holes is considered a 9 handicap.