1. How the System Works

The Hong Kong Golf Club follows the U.S.G.A. System (GHIN System) which stipulates as one of its conditions that a scorecard should be submitted on every occasion a golfer plays 7 holes or more. If a player plays 7 or more holes, he must return a score for handicap purposes by adding to the number of strokes played the total of par for the holes not played plus any handicap strokes to which he is entitled on these holes. If a player only plays 7-12 holes, a 9 hole score will be recorded. Once another 9 hole score is record, they will be combined for an 18 hole score for handicap purposes. If a player only plays 13 or more holes, 18 hole score will be recorded.

The other conditions of this system are: Handicaps are calculated from the average of the lowest ten differentials of the twenty most recent scores multiplied by 0.96 and rounded to the nearest whole number.

A differential is the difference between the player’s adjusted gross score and the Course Rating of the Course on which the score was made.

A Score Card submitted for handicap purposes must be certified clearly by a player in the same flight and if the player is a Member his/her account number should be clearly displayed under his/her signature.

Each score is adjusted by the player under a system of Equitable Stroke Control before it is submitted for handicap purposes. The Equitable Stroke Control is applied on the following basis:

Handicap Maximum Adjustment Score Per Hole
9 or less Double Bogey
10 through 19 7
20 through 29 8
30 through 39 9
40 or more 10

If a player starts but fails to complete a hole, he/she shall, for handicap purposes only, record the most likely score for a hole up to the limit indicated on the table above.
There is no limit to the number of incompleted holes in a round provided non-completion is not for the purpose of controlling the handicap.

2. How to obtain a handicap

To obtain a handicap, a player must submit five unadjusted score cards. When at least five but fewer than twenty scores are available, the formula used to determine a handicap is as follow:

Scores Available Scores To Be Used
5-6 Lowest 1
7-8 Lowest 2
9-10 Lowest 3
11-12 Lowest 4
13-14 Lowest 5
15-16 Lowest 6
17 Lowest 7
18 Lowest 8
19 Lowest 9
20 Lowest 10

3. Score Cards from other Golf Clubs

Scores from other golf clubs can be accepted provided that the length of the course is not less than 5,000 yards and the score card shows the Course Rating for the tees from which the round was played.

4. Discretionary Adjustment of Handicap

The Golf Sub-Committee may in their discretion adjust a handicap up or down if a player:

  1. does not turn in all scores or,
  2. otherwise does not observe the spirit of the Handicap System,
  3. regularly performs better in competitions than in informal play.

For the USGA handicap system to work effectively all cards must be submitted, as your current card displaces the oldest of your last 20 cards.

Handicap Allowances

Match Play

  1. Singles Match Play
    The higher-handicapped player is allowed the full difference between handicaps of the two players.
  2. Three or Four Ball Better Ball
    The lowest-handicapped player allows the other players 100% of the difference in handicaps.
  3. Foursomes
    The higher-handicapped side is allowed 50% of the difference between the combined handicaps of the members of each side.
  4. Shanghai Foursomes or Greensomes
    The higher-handicapped side is allowed 40% of the difference between the combined handicaps of the members of each side.

Stroke Play

  1. Individual Stroke Play
    Full handicap allowed.
  2. Bogey
    Full handicap allowed.
  3. Stableford
    Full handicap allowed.
  4. Four Ball Stroke Play Better Ball – Medal, Bogey or Stableford
    Each competitor is allowed 90% of handicap.
  5. Best Ball of Four Stroke Play – Medal, Bogey or Stableford
    Each competitor is allowed 80% of handicap.
  6. Foursomes Stroke Play – Medal, Bogey or Stableford
    Allow 50% of partners’ combined handicap.
  7. Shanghai Foursomes Stroke Play or Greensomes – Medal, Bogey or Stableford
    Allow 40% of partners’ combined handicaps. In all calculations a fraction of one-half or more shall count as a full stroke. Lower fractions shall be disregarded.