What are handicap allowances and why are they recommended for various formats of play?
A handicap allowance is the percentage of a Course Handicap recommended to create equity based on the format of play.
Since higher-handicap players typically have more variance in their scores and an increased potential to shoot lower net scores, when full Course Handicaps are used in certain formats, players with lower Course Handicaps are generally at a disadvantage. By taking a percentage of Course Handicap, the higher handicap players are impacted more, which brings the expected scores for all players or teams to a more consistent level. Handicap allowances are mainly applied in team formats, where the combination of players can produce lower scores compared to other teams.
Millions of scores and/or simulations were used to determine and validate the handicap allowances used under the WHS, and the recommendations for each format of play can be found here. (Appendix C, Rules of Handicapping)