Australian golf handicap overhaul to include a daily course rating system

GOLF AUSTRALIA’S latest advice on the Australian handicap system overhaul includes the welcome addition of a new daily course rating system.

The new Daily Scratch Rating (DSR) will replace the already defunct CCR system with a complex formula Golf Australia says will be much better at adjusting for the daily course conditions golfers actually experience.

That means if you play on a course in very wet or windy (or both) conditions and basically all scores are low the computerised DSR system will automatically make adjustments to scores.

A replacement for the old CCR system (where courses were given a daily rating depending on a percentage of the top scores) has been a major component lacking from the generally well received new best 8 of 20 scores system.

The system made no differentiation whether you were playing mid-summer in fine conditions on a rock hard course with plenty of run or playing mid-winter on a gale lashed sodden nightmare. In future it will.

John Hopkins, Chairman of Golf Australia, wrote to all club captains at the end of last week announcing the major comments of the complete new system.

He said the full new GA Handicap System was expected to be implemented by 2013.

The process started in late 2010 with an extensive process of design, development and testing and had looked at handicapping systems around the world including the British, European and American systems.

“Along with some unique regulations of our own, we have identified those concepts we believe to be most consistent with the Australian golf culture and preferences. Our development process has also

incorporated an ongoing program of extensive statistical analysis, as well as live trialling of the new Daily Scratch Rating system within a diverse sample of clubs across Australia,” Hopkins said.

The complete new system will include:

Already in Effect

Best 8 of 20, multiplied by 0.93

Anchor (to stop handicaps blowing out due to temporary loss of form)

Immediate updating of handicaps (Processed immediately when competitions are uploaded)

No lapsed handicaps (You don’t have to play a certain number of times a year to keep handicap)

Yet to be Implemented

DSR (Daily Scratch Rating). DSR will provide golfers with a rating that is a reflection of the conditions they played under. The complex formulas will determine whether the difficulty presented at the time by the playing conditions was normal or different to normal.

Slope (will improve “portability” of handicap to different courses). Slope adjusts a player’s handicap to the course they are playing by using that course’s Slope Rating.

SHA (Stableford Handicapping Adjustment) For handicapping purposes only, all Stroke scores are processed as Stableford scores to ensure a more equitable system.

Handicapping of Conforming Social Scores. Will permit a social score to be used for handicapping under strict provisions.

Handicapping of Four-ball scores (will be similar to current regulations)

Changed 9-hole regulations (9-hole score to be automatically held in Golf Link for combination with next 9-hole score) [Strict guidelines with this]

For a full explanation of each of the new components follow this link to this new GA poster.

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Brian is an award winning golf writer and is the founder and editor of Australian Senior Golfer. A former Sydney journalist, he launched ASG in April 2008 and has since covered every Australian Open, Presidents Cups, World Cups and numerous other big men’s and women’s tournaments, spending days inside the ropes with the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, Jordan Spieth, Tom Watson, Fred Couples and Karrie Webb. He has also reported on numerous amateur tournaments, particularly national senior and veteran events. Brian is a member of the Australian Golf Media Association and won the award for Best Golf News Report 2016 - 2017.


  1. After the first 3 rounds of golf at our club (Gailes,Queensland), the new DSR formula appears to be way off the mark, rating the course 2 to 3 strokes easier than it actually was (less than the ACR), meaning that all handicaps will blow out 2 to 3 strokes over time. From the descriptive put out by GA, it seemed that if the course played more difficult than the ACR, then the DSR would be higher than the ACR. This is patently not the case at our club.


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