Rules of Handicapping FAQs

Handicap Index Safeguards

Q. Is there a limit on how much my Handicap Index can increase?

A. To prevent extreme upward movement of a Handicap Index, every time it is updated, the new value is compared to your Low Handicap Index and:

  • If the result is more than 3.0 strokes higher, a soft cap will be applied to slow additional upward movement by 50%.
  • If the result is more than 5.0 strokes higher (after the application of the soft cap), a hard cap will be applied to restrict any additional upward movement beyond 5.0 strokes.

For example: Player A has a Low Handicap Index of 10.0 and a current 8 of 20 calculation of 13.4. Since any upward movement beyond 3.0 strokes is reduced by 50%, the player’s Handicap Index calculates at 13.2.

The Handicap Committee at the player’s club can override the soft cap or hard cap if circumstances such as injury or illness exist. (Rule 5.8, Rules of Handicapping)