WHS 4: Course Handicap & Playing Handicap

Course Handicap

Course Handicap is the number of handicap strokes a player receives before Handicap Allowances, on a specific course and from a specific set of tees, as determined by the Slope Rating. 

There are Conversion Charts on display on the notice boards in the locker rooms, adjacent to the 1st tee (and below) where you can look up your Course Handicap.

  • A player's 18 hole Course Handicap is determined by multiplying their Handicap Index by the the Slope Rating of the course/tees being played, dividing by the neutral Slope Rating of 113 and rounding to the nearest whole number.

  • For example, for a man with a 20.1 Handicap Index playing from the White tees at Mapperley:

     Course Handicap  =  20.1 x [ 127 / 113 ]  =  
    22.6  (23)

  • A player's 9 hole Course Handicap factors in the difference between the 9 hole Par and 9 hole Course Rating, in much the same way as under the old CONGU system.

  • For example, from the Red tees at Mapperley (front 9): the Course Handicap of a woman with a 20.1 Handicap Index is calculated as:

     Course Handicap  =  [ 20.1 / 2 ]  x  [ 128 / 113 ]  +  [ 36.5 - 36 ]    =   11.9  (12)

  • Course Handicap is used in determining Net Double Bogey adjustments when calculating Adjusted Gross Scores and in determining Net Par scores for Unplayed Holes that go on a player's Scoring Record for handicap purposes.

Handicap Allowance

Handicap Allowance is the percentage of Course Handicap for the format of play.

The allowances for the most commonly used formats are designated as mandatory by England Golf, for example: 95% for individual stroke play and 85% for pairs and teams better-ball.

See the Terms of the Competition: Appendix F  for the allowances in other formats of play.

Playing Handicap

Playing Handicap is the Course Handicap adjusted for any Handicap Allowance. It represents the actual number of strokes the player gives or receives for the round being played.

  • Playing Handicap is used to determine Competition Results.

  • See the Terms of the Competition: Appendix G  for a look-up table of Playing Handicaps for the more commonly used formats of play.


You can view more about Course Handicaps and Playing Handicaps in the following videos:

Course and Playing Handicaps: Overview

Course and Playing Handicaps: Key Features

Course and Playing Handicaps: Gemma Hunter Q&A 


Look-Up Tables

You will never have to perform the calculations described above because there are look-up tables below, in the Lockers Rooms and adjacent to the 1st Tee.

Your Course and Playing Handicaps are also available to view in HowDidiDo and at the PSI screen in the clubhouse (or will be when we are able to use it again). 

Click below to view look-up charts of Course Handicap and Playing Handicap for some of the more commonly used Handicap Allowances; Individual (95%) & Pairs/Team (85%):

 Men's Tees

 White Tees (10th par 4)       
 White Alternate Tees (10th par 3)    White Tees (F9 & B9) 
 Yellow Tees (10th par 4)
 Yellow Alternate Tees (10th par 3)        Yellow Tees (F9 & B9)  
 Red Tees (18 hole)

  Red Tees (F9 & B9)

 Women's Tees

 Red Tees (18 hole)   Red Tees (9 hole)



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