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  • SAGA Handicapping Manual - Download

    22 December 2011

    Handicap Calculation Changes Effective 1st February 2012


    The South Africa Golf Association (SAGA) compared the South African handicap calculation to those in use by the other major golfing countries, especially those countries that play similar handicap competitions to South Africa. This investigation resulted in the decision to align South Africa more closely with the USGA and other international Handicap System.
    The SAGA also compared the percentage of time that a golfer recorded a score equal to or near net par in each of five handicap divisions. The percentages for the lower handicap divisions are lower than for the other handicap divisions, and also out of line when compared to international statistics.   As a result of these investigations the SAGA wished to make certain changes to the handicap calculation to bring all handicap divisions into line. These proposed changes were then circulated, and golfers and clubs were asked to vote on their acceptance. An average of 73% of golfers voted in favour of the changes.
    These changes will be the last major changes made to the calculation for the foreseeable future as the South African system will, after these changes have been implemented, be closely aligned to the USGA handicap system, except for the use of standard ratings for tees in South Africa, and the use of slope ratings for tees in America.

    The following changes will be implemented with effect from the 1st February 2012

    1. Maximum score on any hole and adjusted gross
    The maximum score allowed to be entered for handicap purposes on any hole will be revised with effect from 1st February to a maximum of 2 over par on any hole for handicaps below 18, and 3 over par for handicaps 19 to 36.
    This compares with the following countries:

    USGA Handicap
    9 handicap or less – a maximum of 2 over on any hole.
    Handicaps 10 to 19 – a maximum of 7 shots on any hole.
    Handicaps 20 to 29 – a maximum of 8 shots on any hole.
    Handicaps 30 to 39 – a maximum of 9 shots on any hole.

    United Kingdom and Ireland
    Maximum of a net double bogey (i.e. a maximum of 3 over if you have a shot and 4 over if you have two shots.)

    European Golf
    Stableford Scores for handicapping – effectively a net double bogey.

    Net double bogey.

    NB: It should be noted that limiting the number of 2 overs to the same number as the players handicap is effectively the same as having no limit, because if a player has the same number of 2 over’s as his handicap it is unlikely the score will be one of his ten best.

    Section 5.2 of the handicap manual will with effect from the 1st February 2012 read as follows:
    “5.2 Adjusted Gross
    For handicap purposes only an Adjusted Gross may be submitted to the SAGA Handicap System. An Adjusted Gross is obtained by applying the following rules to the maximum score achieved on each hole:

    Handicap       Limitation on hole scores
    +6 to 18         Limit of 2 over par on any hole
    19 and over    Limit of three over par on any hole.

    Where a player is unsure of how to adjust the gross on each hole, the player may enter the scores achieved on each hole using the SAGA Handicap Terminal function “Hole by Hole” score, which will perform the Adjusted Gross for the player.”
    2. Handicap adjustments

    With effect from 1 January 2012, there will be no limit on how many strokes a golfers handicap may move up or down, provided the club handicapper reviews and approves changes where handicaps increase by more than two shots at the month end recalculation. This follows the USGA system, where they also use an average of the 10 best scores of the last 20. The fact that the handicap is already an average of the best scores means it is unnecessary to further restrict the monthly movements. The system cannot control those players who wish to manipulate their handicaps – that is the job of the club handicapper and fellow players.
    The relevant section of the handicap manual will read as follows:

    “9.3 Handicap Increases and Decreases
    9.3.1 Standard System Applies
    Subject to Section 9.2.4 and 9.2.5 below, a handicap shall be changed only as warranted by the standard computation system in this booklet. There is no limit on the number of strokes a handicap can increase or decrease, although handicaps may only increase after month end. The club handicapper must approve changes where handicaps increase by more than two shots after the month end calculation.

    Temporary suspension of the Calculated Rating (CR)
    The above changes to the maximum score allowed on a hole, which will be implemented from the 1st February 2012, will have the effect of bringing the scoring records of all handicap divisions into line. This will however also affect the scoring statistics of each handicap division, with a larger effect on the lower handicap divisions. The CR algorithms used for competition score adjustments internationally, are based on a variance, due to weather or course set up, outside a buffer zone, from the normal scoring patterns of each handicap division. The CR calculation will therefore be
    suspended until the scores in each handicap division have stabilised to provide a statistically accurate average level.

    General Information

    Handicap calculations
    Handicaps will be recalculated according to the following events:
    1. On the last day of every month.
    2. Each time a score is either entered or deleted for a round that was played prior to the last handicap calculation date in a player’s profile.
    3. Every time a player records a second exceptional score in his last 20 rounds, and for each additional exceptional score thereafter.
    4. Every time a 72 hour late score entry penalty is received.

    Removal of the 72 hour delay in recording valid scores
    With effect from 1st February 2012 scores for inclusion in the month end handicap calculation will be taken from the 1st of the month to the last day of the month both days inclusive.
    The scores recorded on the day will therefore be valid as of the next day and not after 72 hours as is currently the practice.

    Revised Handicap Manual
    The revised handicap manual, effective as at the 1st February 2012, will be available for review at your club on the 15th of January and will also be available for review on the website.

    On behalf of the South African Golf Association

    Handicaps Network Africa Pty Ltd

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