September 2017
October 30, 2017

Handicap Manual Changes Effective 1 April 2013

18 March 2013

Dear Golfer,

The South African Golf Association has made the following amendments to the handicap manual based on extensive research into what the golfers like and don’t like about the handicap system, as well as your feedback to clubs and club captains.

In addition over 95% of the club captains who responded to a recent survey, voted for this change to the maximum score per hole. We trust that the majority of golfers will now be happy!

Handicap Manual Changes Effective 1 April 2013


The South African Golf Association, (SAGA) will make the following changes to the South African Handicap Manual with effect from 1 April 2013 based on extensive feedback from golfers, club captains and club managers.

1. Most likely score replacing conceded putt rule

The current manual says:

5.3.3 When a putt is conceded in an event in which completion of every hole is not essential, the actual score for the hole shall be entered, counting the conceded putt as one stroke.

This section will be changed to read as follows:

5.4 Unfinished Holes, Conceded Strokes
A player who starts but does not finish a hole or is conceded a stroke must record the most likely score (see 3.15) they would have achieved. The number of strokes most likely to have been achieved should not exceed the maximum allowed on each hole as detailed in 5.3 above.

3.15 Most Likely Score
A most likely score is the score a player would most likely have achieved if he started the hole but did not complete the hole or if a player is conceded a stroke. This should be calculated as to the number of strokes already taken plus the number of strokes the player was most likely to have achieved more than 50% of the time.

2. Maximum score on a Hole

Based on recent surveys, the majority of Golfers, Club Captains and Club Managers have advised that the current maximum score per hole makes it difficult for players with handicaps over 18 to reduce their handicaps. The SAGA have therefore revised the maximum score allowed per hole and this section in the SAGA handicap manual will be revised as follows:

5.3 Maximum score on any hole
The maximum score on a hole for handicap purposes is 2 over par except where a player has two handicap strokes on a hole, in which case the maximum score allowed is 3 over par for that hole.

Players should, where possible, complete every hole regardless of their partner’s or their opposition’s score. Where a player does not complete a hole they should record their most likely score. (See 3.15- Most Likely Score)

3. Removal of the dynamic Calculated Rating (CR) calculation

The SAGA has decided to remove the CR calculation from the system. The CR calculation adjusts course ratings based on adverse weather conditions. This calculation was suspended 13 months ago. It has been removed because the SAGA handicap is based on an average of the best 10 of the last 20 scores, so adverse weather on a particular day will have a minimal influence on the player’s average handicap.

The CR calculation is mainly used in countries that use individual competition scores for handicap calculations and where every designated competition score is considered in the player’s handicap.