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Hole-by-Hole Handicapping
The AWGA provides this service free of charge to its member clubs. Here is the procedure member clubs need to follow. Please allow a minimum of 3 weeks for the AWGA to process your request.

1. Read the detailed mathematical method below to be sure you understand how the calculations will be done.

2. Collect score cards from your golf course. Make sure that you identify each score by the handicap of the person whose score it is.

3. Send those cards to the AWGA to input into our computer program and calculate your score average differences.

4. Apply your home course knowledge to the results of this calculation and establish the final Hole-by-Hole Stroke Allocation.

Following is the mathematical method, recommended by the USGA for allocating Handicap strokes, based on the principle that a handicap stroke should be an equalizer when an average or high-handicapped player plays a low-handicapped player.

i. Collect about 200 hole-by-hole scores of a group of players (Group A) with Course Handicaps not exceeding 8 strokes for men and 14 strokes for women. A club having a limited number of low-handicapped players should use 200 scores from 25 percent of its players with the lowest Course Handicaps. These scores should not be adjusted by Equitable Stroke Control.

ii. Average the score for each hole for Group A, and average the Course Handicaps of the players in Group A.

iii. Collect about 200 hole-by-hole scores of a middle- to high-handicapped group of players (Group B). The average of the Course Handicaps of the players in Group B should be 15 to 20 strokes higher than the average for the players in Group A. It is preferable for the Course Handicaps of players in Group B to range from 20 to 28 strokes for men and from 26 to 40 strokes for women. These scores should not be adjusted by Equitable Stroke Control.

iv. Average the score for each hole for Group B and average the Course Handicaps of the players in Group B.

v. Determine the difference in the average scores for each group on each hole by subtracting the average score of Group A from the average score of Group B.

vi. List the holes in order from 1 through 18 with corresponding Group A average scores, Group B average scores and average score difference. Rank the holes with the hole having the highest average score difference first, and so on. The hole ranked number one is the hole on which the higher-handicapped player most needs a stroke. Continue the rankings through 18.

vii. Modify the rankings of the holes, as based on average-score differences in accordance with Section 17-1b on distribution of strokes, and in accordance with Notes 1 and 2 below.

Note 1: Occasionally, this method will result in one hole (Hole A) ranked ahead of another hole (Hole B) when the Committee believes that Hole B should be ranked ahead of Hole A. The Committee should first determine the average range by subtracting the average-score difference of the 18th ranked hole from the average-score difference of the 1st ranked hole and divide the result by 18. If the difference between the average-score differences of Holes A and B is no greater than the average range, it would be appropriate for the Committee to rank Hole B ahead of Hole A.

Note 2: A hole with a water hazard that presents a significant problem for high-handicapped players may be ranked as the first or second handicap-stroke hole based on its average-score difference. If the Committee believes that this ranking is not justified when players of comparable ability are competing. In this instance, the Committee should downgrade the ranking of the hole. The Committee should always use good judgment in deciding what will give fair results.

 
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