HANDICAP INDEX is your basic handicap and is always to one decimal point.  This is the handicap shown on the list of handicaps and is the handicap used for entry to competitions.  For example, if there is a handicap limit of 18.4 for entry to a competition, this is a limit on HANDICAP INDEX.

When you go out to play golf, you start from your HANDICAP INDEX and then work out your COURSE HANDICAP and your PLAYING HANDICAP.

To work out your COURSE HANDICAP, you need to decide which tees you are going to use.  This might be specified in the competition rules, or you may have a choice.  We have four sets of tees at Beaconsfield: Black, Blue, Gold and Green.  Men can use all four sets of tees, ladies can use Blue, Gold and Green.

Once you have decided on the tee you are going to use, then work out your COURSE HANDICAP, which may be different for each set of tees.  There are charts outside the locker rooms, so just find your Handicap Index on the chart and look across to find your Course Handicap for the tees you are using.  You can also use the IG App or the MyEG App on your phone or go to My Golf/My Rounds on the web site.

The calculation for Course Handicap is as follows:

Course Handicap = Handicap Index * Slope Rating / 113

In a competition, you MUST write your COURSE HANDICAP on the scorecard.

You then need to work out your PLAYING HANDICAP, which will be a percentage of your COURSE HANDICAP and depends on the format you are playing.  The following gives the playing handicap allowances for the most common formats, there is a table available for other formats of golf:

Format of Play Type of Round Handicap Allowance
STROKEPLAY Singles medal or stableford 95%
STROKEPLAY Fourball medal or stableford 85%
MATCHPLAY Singles 100%
MATCHPLAY Fourball 90%

Here is an example of working out handicap allowances in a friendly 4BBB match:

Archie, Bert, Colin and Dudley are playing a friendly match.  They decide to use the Blue tees and know that the Playing Handicap for 4BBB matchplay is 90%, so they each work out their Course Handicap and Playing Handicap:

Name Handicap Index Course Handicap from Blue Tees Playing Handicap for 4BBB Matchplay
Archie 12.1 14 13
Bert 17.4 20 18
Colin 8.9 10 9
Dudley 18.9 22 20

In the match, each player gets the difference between his Playing Handicap and Colin’s Playing Handicap, as he has the lowest Playing Handicap.


In England, the only scores that are acceptable for handicap are singles competition and preregistered singles general play scores.  The score must be played according to the Rules of Golf (no gimmes) and must be validated by another person (no one man and his dog).

Whenever you submit an acceptable score for handicap, then the score will be added to your WHS Handicap Record.  A list of all your acceptable scores can be seen on the IG App, the MyEG App or on the web site under My Golf/Handicap Record.

A Score Differential is calculated for each acceptable score submitted using the following calculation:

  • Score Differential = (Adjusted Gross Score – Course Rating – PCC) * 113 / Slope Rating

The new Score Differential is added to your record and your new HANDICAP INDEX is calculated.

Because WHS takes the average of your best 8 scores from the last 20, the only time your Handicap Index will change is if the new score is one of your best 8, or if one of your previous best 8 becomes the 21st score and is therefore removed from the calculation.


Course Rating the score, to one decimal place, a scratch golfer is expected to score – similar to SSS under Congu
Slope Rating the relative difficulty of the course for a handicap golfer
Adjusted Gross Score Gross score adjusted for net double bogey – already used in Congu
PCC Playing Conditions Calculation, adjustment to scores depending on the playing conditions on the day – similar to CSS under Congu


ourse Handicap Table
Handicap Allowances Table
Glossary of Terms
Why 95%
Frequently Asked Questions
WHS Manuals
No Return vs Not Started
Handicap Adjustments for Multi Tee & Mixed Competitions
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