Calculate your Golf Handicap

A golf handicap is a way of measuring a golfer's playing ability, and is used to allow player's of different skill levels to compete fairly against each other. The only way to establish an official handicap is through one of golf's governing bodies (the USGA in the United States & Mexico, and the R&A in other parts of the world). Golf Frontier provides you with an alternative way of calculating a handicap, which can then be used in friendly competitions. Golf Frontier currently supports the following handicapping systems:

This walkthrough describes how to configure your account to use a specific calculation, as well as providing a detailed explanation of each handicap calculation. You must sign up with Golf Frontier in order to take advantage of our handicap tracking functionality, fortunately there is never a fee!

Part 1: Choosing a Handicap System

When you first register with Golf Frontier, by default you are assigned the Handicap System that is in general use for the country you are located in. This option can be changed by editing your profile information (from the Home Menu, choose View Profile and click the Edit Profile option at the top of the page).

Part 2: United States Handicap Calculation

Unfortunately, The US Handicap Calculation functionality is no longer available on Golf Frontier. For additional explanation, please refer to the following post.

Part 3: United Kingdom Handicap Calculation

Golf Frontier will automatically calculate your current handicap based on the following process:

A minimum of three 18 hole scores must be posted before an initial handicap can be assigned. By default new users are assigned a default handicap of 18.4

For each 18 hole stroke play score posted on a course with a valid Standard Scratch Score (SSS), a Gross Score is calculated using the following formula:

Gross Score = (No Of Strokes - Standard Scratch Score for Tee)

The first three gross scores are then summed and the average is the golfer's intial handicap.

The golfer is then placed into one of 4 golfing categories using their initial handicap:

Category Handicap Range Buffer Zone Reduction Per Shot Increase Per Round
10.1 - 5.4+1-0.1-0.1
25.5 - 12.4+2-0.2-0.1
312.5 - 20.4+3-0.3-0.1
420.5 - 28.4+4-0.4-0.1

The following occurs for each additional score that is posted:

  1. Determine the Gross Score for That Round.
  2. Determine the category the golfer falls into based on current handicap
  • If Gross Score is greater than Golfers Category Buffer Zone then simply add 0.1 to Golfers Handicap
  • If Gross Score is between 0 and the Buffer Zone, then the handicap is unchanged.
  • If Gross score is negative then for each shot less than 0, the Golfers Handicap is reduced by the amount specified in the Reduction Per Shot column for the Golfer's current category.

Handicap is automatically recalculated every time a score is added/updated. Once you have posted scores, you can then check your handicap online, using the Handicap menu option from the My Game Menu.

New!  Golf Frontier can be configured to start a new handicap calculation at the start of each season. This functionality is available by Editing your profile and making sure that the "Restart Handicap Each Year" box is checked.

Part 4: Australian Handicap Calculation

In April of 2010, the Golf Australia Handicap system changed dramatically from the traditional CONGU style rolling average, to a policy that is in line with the USGA Handicap Calculation. The new rules are described in detail here.

Curiously, the Australian Golf handicap calculation does not take into account Equitable Stroke Control, so there is no concept of an adjusted score.

For each posted stroke play score on a course with a valid Course Rating and Slope (or the last 20 scores if there are more than 20 posted scores) a Handicap Differential is calculated using the following formula:

((Total Score - Australia Course Rating)

A Sample Size is then established based on the number of scores posted (A minimum of 3 scores are needed to obtain a vaild handicap):

  • 3-6 scores posted: 1
  • 7-8 scores posted: 2
  • 9-10 scores posted: 3
  • 11-12 scores posted: 4
  • 13-14 scores posted: 5
  • 15-16 scores posted: 6
  • 17-18 scores posted: 7
  • 19-20 scores posted: 8

The Lowest Handicap Differential(s) for all scores in the Sample Size are then summed and divided by the Sample Size. The result is multiplied by a factor of 0.93 (Bonus for Excellence!) and rounded to 1 decimal place.

Handicap is automatically recalculated every time a score is added/updated. Once you have posted scores, you can then check your handicap online, using the Handicap menu option from the My Game Menu.

Part 5: European Handicap Calculation

The European Golf Association (EGA) Handicap Calculation attempts to combine the best parts of both the CONGU and USGA calculations, as well as using the Stableford system for purposes of determining a player's handicap.

Similar to the Congu Calculation, the EGA calculation incorporates uses a rolling average to adjust the players handicap after each qualifying round. For each hole played, a specifc number of Stableford points are awarded, based on the score that player made on the particular hole, as well as the number of handicap strokes that pertain to that hole based on it's stroke index, and the overall difficulty of the course, which is calculated using the USGA's system for course rating and slope.

Based on the total number of Stableford points that are received for a given round, an adjustment to the players handicap is calculated using the following table:

Category Current Hdcp Buffer Zone - Adjustment + Adjustment (per point)
1plus – 4.435-36+0.1-0.1
24.5 - 11.434-36+0.1-0.2
311.5 - 18.433-36+0.1-0.3
418.5 - 26.432-36+0.1-0.4
526.5 - 36.031-36+0.2-0.5

Based on the players current handicap, they will be put into a specific handicap category. If the number of Stableford points accumulated for a given round falls outside the buffer zone for that category (either above or below), than their handicap will be reduced (if above the buffer) or increased (if below the buffer) by the specified amount of adjustment. A score above the buffer zone will aggregate the total adjustment together for every point above the zone, however scores below the zone will only increase the handciap by the amount specified in the - adjustment column.