5.6 Playing Conditions Calculation

Principle of the Rule:

Course Ratings are based on normal playing conditions, but the difficulty of a golf course can vary substantially from day to day, due to:

  • Course conditions,
  • Weather conditions, and/or
  • Course set-up.

The playing conditions calculation (PCC) determines whether playing conditions on the day differed from normal conditions to the extent that an adjustment is needed to compensate. It is a daily statistical procedure that compares the scores submitted by players on the day against expected scoring patterns.

The purpose of this feature within the handicap calculation is to recognize that an average score submitted in harder playing conditions may be better than a good score submitted in easier playing conditions. Unadjusted, such a score may be omitted from the Handicap Index calculation.

If the PCC determines that acceptable scores submitted are in line with expected scoring patterns, then no adjustment is made.

The calculated adjustment is dependent upon:

  • Whether significantly fewer players than anticipated attained their expected score and, consequently, conditions are determined to be harder than normal.
  • Whether significantly more players than anticipated attained their expected score and, consequently, conditions are determined to be easier than normal.

The playing conditions calculation (PCC):

  • Is generally performed only once for a day.
  • Considers acceptable scores submitted on a golf course each day and requires at least eight acceptable scores to determine if an adjustment is required.
  • Includes only acceptable scores submitted by players with a Handicap Index of 36.0 or below.
  • Equals zero if fewer than eight acceptable scores are submitted.
  • Where applicable, does not include scores that are scaled up to 9-hole or 18-hole scores.
  • Can determine an adjustment of -1.0, 0.0, +1.0, +2.0 or +3.0 and is applied in the calculation of Score Differentials for all players.

Rule 5.6 Interpretations:

5.6/1 – Procedure for Performing Playing Conditions Calculation

The playing conditions calculation (PCC) will be an automatic calculation and can be summarized as follows:

  1. Calculate the expected score for each eligible player.
  2. Calculate the expected standard deviation of Score Differentials at the golf course, incorporating all applicable Slope Ratings.
  3. Establish how many players scored better or worse than expected on the day.
  4. The proportion of players submitting a score equal to, better than or worse than their expected scoring range determines whether a PCC adjustment is required.
  5. If an adjustment is required, determine how much harder or easier the golf course played that day.
  6. Based on these calculations, determine any final PCC adjustment required for play on that day.
  7. A PCC adjustment is applied as a whole number.

Notes:

  • For the application of a PCC adjustment in the calculation of a Score Differential, see Rule 5.1a For an 18-hole Score (for an 18-hole score) and 5.1b For a 9-hole Score (for a 9-hole score).
  • 9-hole acceptable scores are doubled for inclusion in the PCC along with a doubled 9-hole Course Rating and the 9-hole Slope Rating.
  • The PCC is applied to all acceptable scores that are submitted on a day of play and retrospectively for scores played on that day but submitted at a later date.

5.6/2 – Circumstances That May Warrant More Than One Playing Conditions Calculation on a Single Day

Rule 5.6 recommends that only one playing conditions calculation (PCC) is performed for the day.

However, there may be circumstances that warrant a separate PCC to be performed for part of the day or for a certain competition. For example, when:

  • There is extreme variation in weather on the day.
  • The make-up of the field in a competition being played on the day is significantly different from the make-up of the players participating in general play rounds on the same day.

5.6/3 – How to Perform a Separate Playing Conditions Calculation for a Certain Competition and What Adjustment to Apply to General Play Rounds Played on the Same Day

In circumstances when a separate playing conditions calculation (PCC) is performed for a certain competition:

  • Only scores from those players who have participated in the competition are considered in the separate PCC.
  • Any calculated adjustment from the separate PCC will be applied only to the calculation of the Score Differentials of players who have participated in the competition.
  • For all other players who have played at the same golf course on the day, the PCC for the day is applied, which uses all eligible scores for the day (including the scores of the players who have participated in the competition).

5.6/4 – Player Plays Multiple Rounds on the Same Course on the Same Day and a Separate Playing Conditions Calculation is Performed

When playing two or more rounds on the same golf course on the same day and a separate PCC is performed for one or more of the rounds, a different PCC adjustment may be applied to each of a player’s calculated Score Differentials.

5.6/5 – Round Played Away and Score Returned to Home Club

When a player returns a score back to their home club after playing a round at an away golf course, the playing conditions calculation (PCC) for that golf course on the day the round was played should be retrieved and used to calculate the player’s Score Differential before their Handicap Index is revised.

5.6/6 – Performing the Playing Conditions Calculation at a Golf Club With 27 Holes

A golf club has three 9-hole golf courses known as the South, East and West courses. The design and layout of the three courses allows golfers to play (a) only 9 holes on any golf course, or (b) 18 holes in any combination of 9 holes (South/South, South/East, South/West, East/East, East/West and West/West).

The playing conditions calculation (PCC) is performed for any 18-hole golf course that has been issued a Course Rating and Slope Rating.

Provided all of the criteria set out in Rule 5.6 are satisfied, a PCC is performed every day, for each 18-hole combination.

5.6/7 – Application of Playing Conditions Calculation When Playing only 9 Holes at a Golf Club with 27 Holes

A golf club has three 9-hole golf courses known as the South, East and West courses. The design and layout of the three courses allows golfers to play (a) only 9 holes on any golf course, or (b) 18 holes in any combination of 9 holes (South/South, South/East, South/West, East/East, East/West and West/West).

For a player who plays only 9 holes on the South golf course:

  • Their score will be entered into the playing conditions calculation (PCC) for each of the South/South, South/East and South/West 18-hole combinations.
  • Their score will be doubled, using the same 9-hole Course Rating and Slope Rating as the 9 holes played.
  • Provided all of the criteria set out in Rule 5.6 are satisfied, a PCC will be performed for each 18-hole combination.
  • 50% of the PCC adjustment for the South/South golf course is applied to the calculation of the player’s Score Differential.
  • If no PCC is performed for the South/South golf course, no PCC adjustment will be applied to the calculation of the player’s Score Differential. This is even if a PCC adjustment is performed for other 18-hole combinations involving the South golf course.