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Golf Canada Handicap System

Golf Canada is the authoritative body for the purposes of establishing and maintaining a uniform handicap system for golf clubs in Canada in co-operation with the provincial golf associations. The purpose of the RCGA Handicap System is to make the game of golf more enjoyable for golfers by providing a means of measuring one's performance and progress and to enable golfers of differing abilities to compete on an equitable basis.

With this system, each golfer establishes an "RCGA Handicap Index" which is a numerical measurement of a player's potential (not actual) scoring ability on a course of standard difficulty. The Handicap Index is calculated using the average of the best 8 of the player's last 20 rounds and updated with each new round played. The Handicap index travels with the golfer from course to course and is adjusted up or down depending on the length and difficulty of the course played, resulting in a "Course Handicap". The Course Handicap is the number of strokes a golfer receives from a specific set of tees at the course played and represents the number of strokes he would require to play equitably against a "scratch" golfer (a golfer with a Handicap Index of "0.0'). The more difficult the golf course, the more strokes the golfer receives and vice versa.

The relative difficulty of a golf course is determined jointly by the RCGA and the provincial golf association using the RCGA Course and Slope Rating System. Specially trained Course Rating Teams evaluate the difficulty of a golf course based on such variables as length and a number of obstacle factors (e.g. topography, bunkers, water hazards, severity of rough, etc…).

The WHS World Handicapping System has instituted some further changes for 2024.

ACTUAL SCORE POSTING has not changed (still hole by hole).  Post online by going to the Golf Canada website, or by using the Golf Canada app on a smartphone, or by using the kiosk at the club (once up and running).

To submit a 9 hole score a player must now play all 9 holes. The Score Centre will automatically adjust each hole score.  For new players who don't have an index yet, MAXIMUM hole score is par plus 5 strokes.

NEW - when players post only a 9 hole score, a differential will be calculated for that score, as well as an EXPECTED differential for a second 9 holes(even though not played) and an 18 hole differential will appear in the Score Centre.

NEW - Players will be able to input any number of holes from 10 to 17 and receive an 18 hole differential.  When you do not play 18 holes (play 10 to 17) put in a ZERO for your score on the holes not played.  

When a hole is started but NOT completed, record the "MOST LIKELY" score or NET DOUBLE BOGEY, whichever is lower.

For more information click here.

Questions - contact Karen S.

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