A Handicap Index is displayed with an “R” (e.g. 10.4R) because two or more tournament scores have been posted within the past year that are at least three strokes better than the current Handicap Index based on the most recent twenty scores.
Tournament Scores (T-Scores) are kept for a minimum of one calendar year from when they are posted or longer if they are still within a player’s current 20-score history.
At each handicap revision the most recent twenty (20) scores as calculated are weighed against the average of the two best T-Score differentials, and if the difference of both T-Score differentials is at least three strokes lower than the Handicap Index (as calculated from the most recent 20 scores), the player is eligible for a reduction. A reduction (if necessary) is an automatic calculation of the handicap vendor or local computation software provider.
The club Handicap Committee has the authority to increase, decrease, or even remove the “R” if it feels the reduced Handicap Index does not accurately reflect the player’s potential ability.
A Handicap Index intends to reflect potential ability, and this procedure enhances that likelihood. See the probability of shooting exceptional T-Scores here:
Please visit Section 10-3 of the USGA Handicap System manual for further reference.