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Golf Handicaps
Examples of alternate methods

Other Handicapping and Scoring Systems

When tournaments have many participants that do not have verifiable or established handicaps there are some less precise, but fairly equitable, systems that can be used. Here are the most popular ones.

Callaway Scoring System

After all scores are returned a chart (example below) is used to adjust the score. The last 2 or 3 (at the discretion of the committee) holes are not used to make adjustments.

  • Double (2X) par is the maximum allowable score on any hole
  • Find the player's gross score under "Adjusted Gross"
  • Subtract the scores specified under "Handicap"
    Half strokes are rounded up
  • Final adjustment to score in the bottom row labeled "Handicap Adjustment"

Example: Tomás shoots a 98 and has one hole where he scores a 9 on a par 4. Therefore, Tomás's adjusted gross score is 97 (the 9 is more than double par and must be adjusted down to an 8). We find 97 in the row that specifies that the 3 worst scores shall be deducted from the score. Tomás's worst 3 scores are the 8 (mentioned above), a 7 and a 6 (which total 21). The final adjustment is to adjust the handicap allowance by the number in the bottom row that is in the same column as the gross score from above. In this case we see a -1 in the bottom row under the 97, which means we must reduce the handicap allowance by 1, which gives us 20. Subtracting 20 from the adjusted gross score of 97 we get 77. So Tomás's final score for the tournament is 77.

Adjusted GrossHandicap
6869707172no handicap
737475½ of worst hole
7677787980worst hole
81828384851½ worst holes
86878889902 worst holes
91929394952½ worst holes
969798991003 worst holes
1011021031041053½ worst holes
1061071081091104 worst holes
1111121131141154½ worst holes
1161171181191205 worst holes
1211221231241255½ worst holes
1261271281291306 worst holes
-2-10+1 +2Handicap Adjustment 
This chart is for par 72 courses (different pars use different charts). To calculate for different pars subtract the difference in the par from each score under "Adjusted Gross." For instance, if Par is 71 instead of 72 each score in the chart above would be decreased by one.

Peoria Scoring System

Prior to the tournament round the committee selects 6 "secret" holes (i.e., the competitors do not know which holes). Typically these would be 2 par 3's, 2 par 4's and 2 par 5's on a par 72 course. After all scorecards are turned in the net scores will be determined by applying the Peoria formula:

Allowance = total on the six secret holes  X  3
subtract par for the course
multiply by 80%
Net Score = Gross Score - Allowance

Example: John's gross score is 100. His total on the six secret holes is 34. Par is 72. So...

John's allowance = (((34 X 3) - 72) X 80%) = 24
100 - 24 = 76 (so 76 is John's final score)

Obviously, luck has a great deal to do with success under this scoring system.

  • Double (2X) par should be the maximum score allowed on any hole
  • Numbers should be rounded appropriately

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