As more than 30 states move from the “inactive” season to “active” between March 1 and April 15, golfers across these regions are likely to encounter wet weather, shorter days or course maintenance conditions unique to the season.
Here’s everything you need to know about spring golf and the World Handicap System™ to navigate your round:
1. Struggling to finish your round due to the sun setting earlier? As long as you play 7 holes, you can still post a 9-hole score. If you get through 14 holes, an 18-hole score can be posted. The score for any unplayed holes is par plus any handicap strokes you receive based on your Course Handicap™.
2. Playing in tough conditions? You may see the playing conditions calculation (PCC) come into play more often than you would during the summer. The PCC compares the actual scores made each day to the expected scores of the players who made them – and if the scores are significantly higher (or lower) than expected, an adjustment to each player’s Score Differential™ is automatically applied. Just remember, at least 8 scores must be posted at a particular course on the day of play for the PCC to be calculated – so encourage your friends to post their scores as soon as possible!
3. Are preferred lies in effect due to wet and soggy conditions? Don’t worry, you can still post your score. The Handicap Committee at the club should make this determination each day, so check with the golf shop before teeing it up.
4. Were the greens recently aerated? If so, unless the Handicap Committee decides to temporarily suspend score posting due to poor putting surfaces, putt it out. The use of an “automatic two-putt” is not acceptable for handicap purposes.
5. Planning to start your season with a friendly match among friends? Match-play scores are acceptable for score posting. On the holes you don’t hole out, simply record your most likely score for the hole – keeping in mind your most likely score cannot exceed your net double bogey limit.
For more information or to learn more about the World Handicap System, visit www.usga.org/whs.