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Handicap System

Handicap System

1. How the system works

The Hong Kong Golf Club follows the World Handicap System (WHS) which includes the Rules of Handicapping and the Course Rating System.  

For a 9-hole score to be acceptable for handicap purposes, a player must play all 9 holes. The WHS will then automatically calculate an 18-hole score differential for the round, based on the player’s 9-hole score differential and expected score differential based on their current handicap index, allowing the 9-hole round to be considered in the player’s handicap index calculation right away. When between 10 and 17 holes are played, a score differential will be created based on the holes played, and the expected score differential for the remaining holes will be added to that value to produce an 18-hole score automatically. Please note that you must use the “Hole-by-hole” feature on the GHIN app for submission.

Handicaps are calculated based on the average of the lowest eight Score Differentials of the twenty most recent scores, and rounded to the nearest tenth.

A Score Differential is the difference between the players adjusted Gross Score, the Slope Rating and the Course Rating of the course on which the score was made.  In addition, a Playing Conditions Calculation (PCC) will be included to account for any abnormal course or weather conditions. The PCC adjustment ranges from -1.0 to +3.0.

A scorecard submitted for handicap purposes must be certified by a player in the same flight. If the player is a Member, their account number should be clearly under their signature. Alternatively, scores can be inputted via the United States Golf Association’s (USGA) Golf Handicap Information Network (GHIN) mobile app, which can be downloaded from the Apple iOS App Store and Google Play Store, or via the Kiosk located outside the Men’s Main Changing Room at Fanling.

The maximum hole score for handicap purposes is Net Double Bogey. When a player enters the score using the GHIN app, we recommend the player uses the hole-by-hole function, as this will automatically apply this for the player.

An Exceptional Score Reduction (ESR) is applied automatically in the following situations. If the Score Differential is between 7.0 and 9.9 strokes better than Handicap Index, an ESR (-1.0) will be applied to the Handicap Index. If the score is 10.0 or more strokes better than Handicap Index, an ESR (-2.0) will be applied to the Handicap Index.

Each time a players Handicap Index updates, the new value is compared to the players Low Handicap Index from the past year and if a 3.0 stroke increase takes place, a Soft Cap will slow additional upward movement by 50%. If a 5.0 stroke increase takes place (after the Soft Cap is applied), a Hard Cap will prevent any additional upward movement.

2. How to obtain a handicap

A Handicap Index will be issued to a player after three 18-hole scores are submitted and a revision takes place.

A Handicap Index is calculated from the lowest Score Differentials in the scoring record. If a scoring record contains fewer than 20 Score Differentials, the table below is used to determine the number of Score Differentials to be included in the calculation and any adjustment that may apply. Round the result of the calculation to the nearest tenth.

Number of Score Differentials in scoring record Score Differential(s) to be used in calculation of Handicap Index Adjustment
3 Lowest 1 -2.0
4 Lowest 1 -1.0
5 Lowest 1 0
6 Average of lowest 2 -1.0
7 or 8 Average of lowest 2 0
9 to 11 Average of lowest 3 0
12 to 14 Average of lowest 4 0
15 or 16 Average of lowest 5 0
17 or 18 Average of lowest 6 0
19 Average of lowest 7 0
20 Average of lowest 8 0


Handicap Index

Your index is based on a slope index of 113 which is the average stroke index of all golf courses rated by the WHS. This allows portability of a player’s Handicap Index on any golf course worldwide, and its use removes the need to indices of your home course or courses.

If the golf course is rated and sloped under the WHS system, you are able to convert your index to produce a particular handicap for the course and the tees you are playing. With this system charts are displayed on the first tee for men and ladies for each set of tees. For instance a lady playing the forward tees on the Eden Course with an index between 14.2 to 15.0 will have a handicap of 17. If a golf course is not rated and sloped under the WHS system, your handicap will be as follows: your index is calculated to one decimal point and indices of 0.4 or less should be rounded down and 0.5 above rounded up, e.g. indices of 5.9, 16.3, 23.5 give course handicaps of 6, 16, 24.

Post Score Cards

Members can post scores after finishing their round by:

(1) logging into then enter their email address or GHIN number and password
(2) through the GHIN mobile App
(3) through the Kiosk located outside the Fanling Ladies’ Main Changing Room

Please contact the Membership Office for detailed procedures.