What is the Course Handicap in Golf?

With the World Handicapping System (WHS) now widely established, what is the definition of the term Course Handicap? 

New rules regarding Course Handicap came into effect on 1st April 2024.

Your Handicap Index may change on each and every golf course you play. And vary, depending on which coloured tee you wish to play from on the day. Therefore, you must adjust your Handicap Index before teeing off.

Handicap table

The new Course Handicap calculation is:

Handicap Index x (Slope/113) + (Course Rating – Par)

Let us explain:

As you travel from club to club, using different tees, your Handicap Index will be converted into a Course Handicap for the day.

  • An example might be, you are a 16.6 Handicapper and you decide to play Bletchingley GC. 
  • Off the Yellow Tees, your Course handicap for the round will be adjusted to 18.2

Previously, (before 1st April 2024) the calculation was Handicap Index x (Slope/113).

Taking into account your Gross scores

After you finish your round, you are required to enter your Gross scores into the TSG Handicapping System.  

Upon entering your Gross scores, the system will ‘adjust’ them to the Maximum Score allowed on each hole 

e.g. Gross Score + 2 shots + Handicap Allowance for that hole. 

This is calculated using the Stroke Index on each hole. 

In turn, your Adjusted Scores are then converted to a Score Differential by using the Slope & Rating of the course played.

N.B. For competition purposes, TSG limits the maximum Stableford allowance to a 36.0 Handicap 

Finally, we continue to update all the Slope & Ratings at each course (and tees) on a daily basis.

If your course is not listed in our database, members should click here REQUEST TSG TO UPDATE SCORECARDS AT THIS COURSE.

The TSG team will add the requested course details within 24 hours.

Happy Golfing!

By Ian Mullins

(updated 20th April 2024)