Handicapping FAQs

Section 8

Handicap Adjustment for Injury or Disability

Q.  Can the Handicap Committee adjust a Handicap Index® for player injury or disability?

A.  Yes. Under Section 8-4b(iii) of the USGA Handicap System manual, a Handicap Committee can grant an increase in handicap for temporary and permanent disabilities (as determined by the Handicap Committee). The increased handicap must be identified by the letter “L” to indicate that it is for local club use only.

For example, a player having recent wrist surgery may be given a higher handicap while recovering. Whether it is a temporary or permanent adjustment, and the amount of adjustment, is to be determined at the club level by the player’s Handicap Committee.

Temporary Treatment: Assign a local Handicap Index reflecting current ability—until posting five scores to the player’s Handicap Index—and then go back to observing player’s Handicap Index as calculated.

Permanent Treatment: Disregard the players’ previous scoring records and assign a temporary local Handicap Index for use until posting five scores to establish a new Handicap Index.

Please visit Section 8-4b and Decisions 8-4b/1 and 8-4b/2 of the USGA Handicap System manual for further reference.