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Handicaps Calculation Options

You have several options on how to calculate your player's handicaps.  Now with the advent of the "World Handicap System" in 2020, Golf League Tracker gives even more options.

What is a "Handicap Index"?

A handicap index is the calculated player's handicap.  However, depending on your settings, the Handicap Index for the player may not be the actual handicap used when the player plays their round.  Other adjustments may be done depending on the course rating, slope, and tee box used.

 

Calculating Based on Par

The most simple way to calculate a player's handicap index is relative to PAR for the tee box they are assigned to (e.g. Score - Par).  When it's set to PAR, no other adjustments are made to the player's handicap when they play a round.

However, this method has draw backs if you have players playing different tee boxes, or if you play different courses, or if the difficulty of your front and back sides on your course are significantly different. Golf League Tracker recommends that you use the new World Handicap System in calculation of your handicaps.

 

Calculating Based on Course Rating and Slope (Pre 2020)

A "differential" of each score is calculated for each score for a player using the USGA formula:

Differential = (Score - Course Rating) * 113 / Course Slope

The number of differentials used are then averaged according to your league settings, and a "Handicap Index" is generated for a player. (note: if you click on a player's handicap in the player list you can see a detailed calculation of the player's index).

Converting to a Course Handicap

Once a player has a handicap index, that index is used to calculate a "Course Handicap" for the player. The Course Handicap is the handicap used for the player when (s)he plays a round. To calculate the Course Handicap, the steps are essentially reversed, using the slope for the tee box the player is assigned to:

Course Handicap = Round to Nearest Whole Number (Handicap Index * Course Slope / 113)

Adjusting Course Handicap With Multiple Tee Boxes

If you play from more than one tee box, that's not the end of the calculation. You must adjust the course handicap for a player using the differences in the course rating between the tee boxes.

This is where the "default tee box" comes into play.

Golf League Tracker needs to know which tee box is the "baseline" for the calculation. It is suggested you set the Default Teebox to the tees which most of the players play from, but this is not required. Players who are assigned to the Default Teebox will not have their Course Handicaps adjusted, but all other players will be adjusted from that Default Teebox

Example 1

You have 3 tee boxes in use, Red, White, and Blue, and you're playing the front 9 of your course. The default tee box is the White tees

Tee Box Name Gender Rating Slope Default
Red F 33.5 130  
White M 34.6 128 Y
Blue M 36.4 145  

Now we will calculate each player's Course Handicap based on the tee box they're assigned to. You must make sure each player is assigned to their correct tee box in order for the course handicap to be displayed correctly on the schedule, scorecards, and when entering scores.

Player Name Tee Box Handicap Index Slope Course Handicap=
Index * Slope / 113
(Before Rating Adjustment)
Diane Red 11.2 130 13
Chris White 8.5 128 10
Jim White 16.7 128 19
Bob Blue 2.9 145 4

Once we have the Course Handicap calculated, we then have to adjust the Course Handicap based on the difference in the ratings for each tee box, using the Default Teebox rating for a baseline. In this example, the White tees (34.6) is the baseline. The difference in the tees in this case are:

  • Red Tees are -0.9 (lower) than white (33.5-34.6)
  • Blue Tees are +1.8 (higher) than the white (36.4-34.6)

After the adjustment is made, the handicap is rounded to the nearest whole number a second time.

Player Name Tee Box Handicap Index Course Handicap
Index * Slope / 113
(Before Rating Adjustment)
Rating
Difference
Course Handicap
(After Rating Adjustment)
Diane Red 11.2 13 -0.9 12
Chris White 8.5 10 0 10
Jim White 16.7 19 0 19
Bob Blue 2.9 4 +1.8 6

Example 2

You have 3 tee boxes in use, Red, White, and Blue, and you're playing the front 9 of your course. Most players are playing the blue tees, so that is your Default Tee Box.

Tee Box Name Gender Rating Slope Default
Red F 33.5 130  
White M 34.6 128  
Blue M 36.4 145 Y

Now we will calculate each player's course handicap based on the tee box they're assigned to. You must make sure each player is assigned to their correct tee box in order for the course handicap to be displayed correctly on the schedule, scorecards, and when entering scores.

Player Name Tee Box Handicap Index Slope Course Handicap=
Index * Slope / 113
(Before Teebox Adjustment)
Diane Red 11.2 130 13
Chris White 8.5 128 10
Jim White 16.7 128 19
Bob Blue 2.9 145 4

Now we calculate the difference of tee box ratings, this time using the Blue tee box as our baseline.

Red Tees are -2.9 (lower) than blue (33.5-36.4)
White Tees are -1.8 (lower) than the blue (34.6-36.4)

After the adjustment is made, the handicap is again rounded to the nearest whole number

Player Name Tee Box Handicap Index Course Handicap=
Index * Slope / 113
(Before Teebox Adjustment)
Rating
Difference
Course Handicap=
(After Teebox Adjustment)
Diane Red 11.2 13 -2.7 10
Chris White 8.5 10 -1.8 8
Jim White 16.7 19 -1.8 17
Bob M 2.9 4 0 4

One thing you will notice is that the relative difference between the players is the same number of strokes regardless of which tee box is used as a baseline. If your league is match play, then it doesn't matter which baseline is used, however if you play Net Skins, or your league is a format such as Stableford, then it matters in your results what a player's full handicap is.

 

Calculating Based on Course Rating and Slope (World Handicap System)

With the advent of the World Handiap System, the USGA has simplied the calculation in regards to multiple tee boxes.  First, the score differential is calculated as it was using the Pre-2020 system:

Differential = (Score - Course Rating) * 113 / Course Slope 

The number of differentials used are then averaged according to your league settings, and a "Handicap Index" is generated for a player. (note: if you click on a player's handicap in the player list you can see a detailed calculation of the player's index).

Converting to a Course Handicap

Once a player has a handicap index, a course handicap (now called "playing handicap") is calculated for the round using the following formula:

Course Handicap = Round to Nearest Whole Number(Handicap Index * Course Slope / 113 + Course Rating - Course Par)

You'll notice that the Course Rating and Par are now applied in the calculation.  This automatically adjusts for the tee box the player is playing and simplifies the calculcation.  Also, this change removes a separate rounding step which the original calculation had.

 

Other Handicap Settings

Golf League Tracker includes several other settings which you can configure for your handicap calculation, such as limiting the number of strokes a player may count on a hole, handicap percentage, any many more.  See the Settings List for details on what's available.  You also have options on calculating handicaps for new players.

 

Other Resources