- It is strongly recommended that the Handicap Committee conduct a handicap review annually.
- A handicap review may be conducted at the request of the player or another player at any time.
- Before making any adjustment to a player’s Handicap Index, the Handicap Committee should carefully consider all available evidence, including:
- Whether the player’s scoring potential has been affected by a temporary or permanent injury or illness which is significant enough to impact the player’s ability to play with or against all other players on a fair and equal basis.
- Any handicap(s) previously held by the player.
- Whether the player’s ability is rapidly improving or declining.
- Whether the player is performing significantly differently in one format of play compared to another, for example between organized competitions and general play; unauthorized and authorized format of play.
- Where it has been determined that a player’s actions are for the purpose of gaining an unfair advantage.
|(i)||Conducting a Handicap Review.The Handicap Committee should conduct a review of a player’s Handicap Index using the procedures set out in Appendix D: Handicap Review.
Any adjustment to a player’s Handicap Index resulting from a handicap review must:
- Be applied only after the player has been informed and has had an opportunity to respond to the Handicap Committee or, where appropriate, the Authorized Association.
- Be a minimum of 1 stroke, upward or downward.
- Only increase a player’s Handicap Index by up to 5.0 strokes above the player’s Low Handicap Index, unless there are exceptional circumstances. Such circumstances could include a player who has a long-term illness or injury preventing them from playing golf at the level previously attained.
Rule 7.1a Interpretations:
Applying an adjustment to each of the most recent 20 Score Differentials in the player’s scoring record will ensure that the impact of the adjustment remains after the next score is submitted, gradually diluting as more scores are submitted.
As an example, a player has a Handicap Index of 10.3 and the Handicap Committee decides to adjust this to 9.3 because recent scores suggest that the player is rapidly improving.
Using this example, the Handicap Committee would apply a -1 adjustment to each of the most recent 20 Score Differentials and the impact of this adjustment on the final calculation is illustrated in the tables below:
The Handicap Committee should only consider adjusting a player’s Handicap Index for injury after one or more acceptable scores have been submitted after the injury occurred. In determining the level of any adjustment, the Handicap Committee should take into consideration the scores submitted after the injury and the nature and severity of the injury.
After a number of scores have been submitted and it becomes evident that the injury has caused a permanent change to the player’s ability, it may be appropriate to disregard the player’s scoring record and allocate a Handicap Index using only the scores submitted since the injury (see Rule 5.2a For Fewer Than 20 Scores).
In a situation where a player fails to submit a score from an authorized format of play in a timely manner, the Handicap Committee should investigate the reason and take appropriate action.
(See Diagram 7.1b.)
The Handicap Committee, or Authorized Association, should withdraw the Handicap Index of a player who deliberately or repeatedly fails to comply with the player’s responsibilities under the Rules of Handicapping (see Appendix A: Rights and Responsibilities).
- The withdrawal of a player’s Handicap Index should be applied only after the player has been informed and has had an opportunity to respond to the Handicap Committee, Authorized Association, or other disciplinary panel.
- A player must be notified of the length of time their Handicap Index will be withdrawn and any additional conditions.
Reinstatement of a player’s Handicap Index will be required after a player’s Handicap Index has been withdrawn for a period of time.
To determine the level of Handicap Index at which the player is to be reinstated, the Handicap Committee may wish to consider:
- Reinstating the Handicap Index at a level that the Handicap Committee feels is currently reflective of the player’s demonstrated ability,
- Allocating a Handicap Index as if the player were new to the sport, or
- Reinstating the last recorded Handicap Index.
It is strongly recommended that, after a player’s Handicap Index has been reinstated, the Handicap Committee should monitor the player's Handicap Index closely over subsequent rounds and, where required, make appropriate adjustments.