WHS 6: Definitions

WHS 6: Definitions

Acceptable Score

A score from an authorized format of play which meets all the provisions set out within the Rules of Handicapping.

Adjusted Gross Score

A player’s gross score, including any penalty strokes, adjusted for when:

  • The player exceeds their maximum hole score,
  • A hole is not played, or
  • A hole is started but the player does not hole out.

Authorized Format of Play

A format of play eligible for handicap purposes, as determined by the Authorized Association where the round is played.

Bogey Player

A player with a Handicap Index of approximately 20.0 for men and approximately 24.0 for women.


The procedure that reduces or limits the amount by which a player’s Handicap Index can increase when measured against the player’s Low Handicap Index.

Course Handicap

The number of handicap strokes a player receives, before handicap allowances, from a specific set of tees as determined by the Slope Rating.

Course Rating

An indication of the difficulty of a golf course for the scratch player under normal course and weather conditions.

Exceptional Score

A Score Differential which is at least 7.0 strokes better than the player’s Handicap Index at the time the round was played.

General Play

When an organised competition is not being contested and golfers are playing:

  • A casual round; or
  • Competitively, but not in an event organized by a Committee.

Handicap Allowance

The percentage of a Course Handicap applied to create equity for all players participating in a specific format of play.

Handicap Index

The measure of a player’s demonstrated ability calculated against the Slope Rating of a golf course of standard playing difficulty (Slope Rating 113)

Low Handicap Index

The lowest Handicap Index achieved by a player during the 365 day period preceding the day on which the most recent score in their scoring record was played.

Net Double Bogey

A score equal to the par of a hole plus two strokes and adjusted for any handicap strokes applied on that hole. A net double bogey is a player’s maximum hole score for handicap purposes.

Net Par

A score equal to the par of a hole adjusted for any handicap strokes applied on that hole.


The score that a scratch player would generally be expected to achieve on a hole under normal course and weather conditions, allowing for two strokes on the putting green.

Penalty Score

A score posted at the discretion of the Handicap Committee for a player who does not submit an acceptable score when required.

Playing Conditions Calculation (PCC)

The statistical calculation that determines if conditions on a day of play differed from normal playing conditions to the extent that they significantly impacted players’ performance.

Playing Handicap

The Course Handicap adjusted for any handicap allowances or Terms of the Competition. It represents the actual number of strokes the player gives or receives for the round being played.

Score Differential

The difference between a player’s Adjusted Gross Score and the Course Rating, reflecting the Slope Rating and the Playing Conditions Calculation. It is the numerical value attributed to a score achieved on a golf course on a specific day that is posted into the player’s scoring record.

Scoring Record

A history of a player’s acceptable scores along with:

  • The player’s current Handicap Index,
  • The player’s Low Handicap Index,
  • Other details about each round (such as, the date the round was played), and
  • Any applicable adjustments (for example, an exceptional score).

Scratch Player

A player with a Handicap Index of 0.0.

Slope Rating

An indication of the relative difficulty of a golf course for players who are not scratch players compared to players who are scratch players

Stroke Index

The value assigned to each hole on a golf course to indicate where handicap strokes are given or received.

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