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Post Where You Play

A convenience of GHIN is being able to post where you play. GHIN associations throughout the nation share a common database that allow you to post where you play and have that score routed back to your home club.

Acceptable Scores

A score is acceptable for handicap purposes if the round has been played:

  • In an authorized format of play over at least the minimum number of holes required for either a 9-hole (7) or an 18-hole (14) score to be acceptable
  • In the company of at least one other person, who may also act as a marker
  • By the Rules of Golf
  • On a golf course with a current Course Rating and Slope Rating, where length and normal playing difficulty is maintained at a consistent level
  • On a golf course during its active season

If one or more of the requirements set out above is not met, the score is not acceptable for handicap purposes.

Authorized formats of play are listed in the table below and include both 9-hole and 18-hole scores:

Format of Play

Type of Round

Individual Stroke Play

Organized competition

General play

Stableford – organized competition

Stableford – general play

Par/Bogey – organized competition

Par/Bogey – general play

Maximum Score – organized competition

Maximum Score – general play

Four-Ball Stroke Play

Organized competition

General play

Stableford – organized competition

Stableford – general play

Par/Bogey – organized competition

Par/Bogey – general play

Maximum Score – organized competition

Maximum Score – general play

Individual Match Play

Organized competition

General play

Four-Ball Match Play

Organized competition

General play

Posting Match Play and Four-Ball Scores

  1. Holes played and completed:
    Record score for each hole played and completed.
  2. Holes played, but not completed, including when a stroke is conceded in match play:
    If you do not complete a hole, record the score you most likely would have made. Your most likely score cannot exceed net double bogey and can be determined using the following guidelines:

Position of the Ball

Strokes to be Added

If the ball lies on the putting green and is no more than 5 feet from the hole:

Add 1 additional stroke.

If the ball lies between 5 feet and 20 yards from the hole:

Add 2 or 3 additional strokes, depending on the position of the ball, the difficulty of the green and the ability of the player.

If the ball lies more than 20 yards from the hole:

Add 3 or 4 additional strokes, depending on the position of the ball, the difficulty of the green and the ability of the player.

  1. Holes not played:
    If you stop the match play round because one competitor has already won, record NET PAR on the remaining holes. You must, however, play at least 14 holes in order for the score to be posted as an 18-hole score.

Maximum Hole Score for Handicap Purposes

When posting a score for handicap purpose there is a maximum number of strokes that can be used for scoring per hole.  The max hole score for players with an established Handicap Index is net double bogey, calculated as follows:

For a player who has yet to obtain an initial Handicap Index the max hole score is “par + 5 strokes”.

This limit is in place so a players handicap is not overly influenced by one or two bad hole scores that are not reflective of a player’s ability. This procedure must be used for all rounds posted for handicap purposes. Using the hole-by-hole posting feature on GHIN will automatically apply this procedure.

WHS Handicap Calculation

Score Differential

An 18-hole Score Differential is calculated as follows and rounded to the nearest tenth, with .5 rounded upwards:

Example:

Adjusted Gross Score:

95

Slope Rating:

125

Course Rating:

71.5

PCC Adjustment:

0

Score Differential:

(113/125) x (95 – 71.5 – 0) = 21.2

Handicap Index

A Handicap Index is calculated from the lowest Score Differentials in a player’s scoring record.  If the scoring record contains at least 20 Score Differentials, the procedure for calculating a Handicap Index is:

  • Average the lowest 8 of the most recent 20 score differentials (which include any adjustments for exceptional scores and/or a Committee review) and round to the nearest tenth.
  • Compute the difference between the average of the lowest 8 Score Differentials and the Low Handicap Index.
    • If the difference is greater than 3, the soft cap calculation is applied.
    • If the difference is greater than 5 after application of the soft cap, then the hard cap is applied.

If the scoring record contains less than 20 Score Differentials, the number of Score Differentials used is based on the chart below:

Number of Score Differentials in scoring record

Score Differential(s) to be used in calculation of Handicap Index

Adjustment

3

Lowest 1

-2.0

4

Lowest 1

-1.0

5

Lowest 1

0

6

Average of lowest 2

-1.0

7 or 8

Average of lowest 2

0

9 to 11

Average of lowest 3

0

12 to 14

Average of lowest 4

0

15 or 16

Average of lowest 5

0

17 or 18

Average of lowest 6

0

19

Average of lowest 7

0

20

Average of lowest 8

0

Daily Revisions

Handicap Indexes are revised daily at midnight local time. If a score was not posted or a change to your record was not made, your handicap index will not change.

Course Handicap vs. Playing Handicap

A Course Handicap is a calculation that converts a player’s Handicap Index to a number of strokes that a player receives (or gives) on any golf course with a Course Rating and Slope Rating. The formula for Course Handicap is below.

A Playing Handicap is a player’s Course Handicap adjusted for the appropriate event/tournament handicap allowances.  For event/tournaments where a handicap allowance is 100%, a player’s Playing Handicap will be the same as their Course Handicap. The formula for Playing Handicap and the recommended playing allowances for different formats are below.

Format of Play

Type of Round

Recommended Handicap Allowance

Stroke Play

Individual

95%

Individual Stableford

95%

Individual Par/Bogey

95%

Individual Maximum Score

95%

Four-Ball

85%

Four-Ball Stableford

85%

Four-Ball Par/Bogey

90%

Match Play

Individual

100%

Four-Ball

90%

Other

Foursomes

50% of combined team handicap

Greensomes

60% low handicap + 40% high handicap

Pinehurst/Chapman

60% low handicap + 40% high handicap

Best 1 of 4 stroke play

75%

Best 2 of 4 stroke play

85%

Best 3 of 4 stroke play

100%

All 4 of 4 stroke play

100%

Scramble (4 players)

25% / 20% / 15% / 10% from lowest to highest handicap

Scramble (2 players)

35% low / 15% high

Total score of 2 match play

100%

Best 1 of 4 Par/Bogey

75%

Best 2 of 4 Par/Bogey

80%

Best 3 of 4 Par/Bogey

90%

4 of 4 Par/Bogey

100%

Temporary Greens

The guidelines for posting scores when temporary greens and/or tees are in use are as follows: If the use of temporary greens and/or tees is due to course reconstruction and will last for an extended period of time, the golf club should obtain a new course rating from the WA Golf Office.

If, however, the use of temporary greens and/or tees is due to seasonal turf conditions which change from day-to-day, scores should be posted for handicap purposes to the normal course rating and Slope rating if the following criteria are met: (1) the Rules of Golf can be followed during this time period (i.e., no automatic two putts, no oversized holes); (2) the effective playing length of the course remains intact (i.e., loss of yardage from temporary tees and greens offset by less than normal roll).

If the Rules of Golf cannot be followed, the score to be posted for that hole is NET PAR, which is in accordance with Rule 3.2 of the Rules of Handicapping. If a majority of holes on the course cannot be played in accordance with the Rules of Golf, scores shall not be posted. If the Rules of Golf can be followed but the effective playing length is altered, please notify the WA Golf Office at 206-526-8605 or 800-643-6410.

The pitfalls of "Winter Rules"

Specific guidelines regarding preferred lies policies, more commonly referred to as “winter rules,” can be found under the Committee Procedures section of the Official Guide to the Rules of Golf. This is done in an effort to provide consistency during the inactive, or non score-posting, season. WA Golf encourages clubs to consider the following when deciding whether or not to implement “winter rules”:

  • Such a Local Rule conflicts with The Rules of Golf and the fundamental principle of playing the ball as it lies.
  • “Winter rules” are sometimes adopted under the guise of protecting the course when, in fact, the practical effect is just the opposite — they permit moving the ball to the best turf, from which divots are then taken to injure the course further.
  • “Winter rules” tend generally to lower scores and Handicap Indexes, thus penalizing players in competition with players whose scores are made without preferred lies.
  • Extended or indiscriminate use of “winter rules” will place players at a disadvantage when competing at a course where the ball must be played as it lies.

In addition, WA Golf rates all golf courses in accordance with The Rules of Golf. “Winter rules”, or any other Local Rules, are not taken into consideration.

WA Golf strongly discourages the use of “winter rules” or “preferred lies”, except under extreme circumstances.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE WA GOLF PERFERRED LIES RECOMMENDATION

Score Posting & Handicap FAQs