HANDICAP
Every member is entitled to a Golf Canada Handicap Factor and is required to establish and maintain an up-to-date and accurate scoring record.

 HANDICAP SYSTEM
This section is based on information from the Golf Canada Website.  Additional information on Handicapping can be found at http://golfcanada.ca/handicapping/

Establishing a Handicap Factor
New members are strongly encouraged to attend a Rules and Etiquette Clinic scheduled early in the golf season.  This will enable them to become familiar with the Rules of Golf, golf course etiquette and how to establish and maintain a handicap factor using the Equitable Stroke Control (ESC) method.  Date and time for the clinic is included on the season schedule. 

A new player, after being set up with a golf account, must post five 18 hole round adjusted scores to be eligible for an official Golf Canada Handicap Factor.  Each member is responsible for adjusting her gross score on all acceptable rounds of golf using the ESC table noted below.

 The Handicap Coordinator is available to assist members.

Why Establish a Handicap Factor
The purpose of the Golf Canada Handicap System is twofold.  First, it makes the game of golf more enjoyable for golfers by providing a means of measuring one’s performance and progress and secondly, it enables golfers of differing abilities to compete on an equitable basis.  Therefore, the VLGC uses the system so that every member can participate equally in the planned activities over the season.  In other words, it helps level the playing field.

Handicap Factor and Course Handicap
A Handicap Factor is a decimal number assigned by Golf Canada which indicates a player’s potential (not actual) ability on a course of standard playing difficulty.  It is based ideally on the best 10 of the last 20 rounds so the factor reflects the player’s best golf. 

A Course Handicap, which is calculated using a player’s factor, is the number actually used during a round of golf.  The conversion to a Course Handicap is based on the difficulty of play and will vary from course to course and from each set of tees.    Each club has a chart that converts a factor into the Course Handicap based on its course and slope rating or can be obtained by entering the course name into the Golf Canada Score Centre. 

Equitable Stroke Control (to Adjust Scores)
Equitable Stroke Control (ESC) is the methodology Golf Canada uses for modifying scores in calculating a golf handicap.  It involves the downward adjustment of individual hole scores which makes factors more representative of a player’s potential scoring ability.  It sets a maximum number of strokes that a golfer can post on any hole depending on the player’s Course Handicap.  ESC is used only when a player’s actual hole score exceeds her maximum number shown on the table.

Equitable Stroke Control maximums for each hole
9 or less Course Handicap                    Maximum of 2 over par
10-19 Course Handicap                          Maximum score of 7
20-29 Course Handicap                        Maximum score of 8
30-39  Course Handicap                       Maximum Score of 9
40 and over Course Handicap              Maximum Score of 10

Calculating a Handicap Factor

The Handicap System is based upon the potential ability of a player rather than the average of all her scores because it is based upon the best scores posted.  As such, the average player is expected to play to her Course Handicap or better only about 25 percent of the time.

Regularly entering all scores is a method of keeping track of how a player is doing and updating her handicap factor.  Since the worst 10 scores out of the last 20 rounds are tossed out, they don’t get used in the calculation.  However, if a player selectively only enters better scores, that individual is at a disadvantage in a competition because she may then have an “artificially” low handicap which no longer represents her true game.  She will end up with higher net scores. Therefore it is very important that every player enters each score from all games so her handicap factor is a true representation of her current playing ability.

Peer Review of all scoring records and Handicap Factors is also an important component of the Handicap System.  Therefore Golf Canada makes them available for inspection by fellow members and others through the Score Centre.

 POSTING SCORES IN THE COMPUTER
Adjusted scores from all games (home and away) are to be posted by computer using member accounts on the Golf Canada Score Centre http://golfcanada.ca/members/login/.  Entry may be done on a personal computer, a smart phone, on the terminal in the pro shop, or by a trusted friend for those without computer access.  Follow the website prompts to insure correct input.  It is the responsibility of each member to post the scores, not the Club Executive.  Scores must be posted immediately following the round (within 24 hours), or as soon as practicable. 

All designated significant competitive games, including Pin Days and those for the in-house trophies, are to be entered as tournament scores (T). Tournament scores are calculated the same as regular scores, but if tournament scores are consistently much lower than regular scores the Handicap Factor may be subject to an automatic reduction by Golf Canada.

 All games played during Alberta's active season of March 1st to October 31st should be entered.  Away scores played at clubs observing an active season beyond these dates such as in southern USA states like Florida, Arizona, or California must also be posted.

ENTERING SCORES AND CONSEQUENCES FOR FAILING TO DO SO
In accordance with Golf Canada and the Handicap System, every player will post all scores played by the Rules of Golf for peer review.  Each player and the Handicap Committee have a joint responsibility for adhering to this premise.  The steps outlined below are the process the VLGC Handicap Committee will be following to ensure that the handicaps reflect the current playing ability of each member.  They have been established in fairness to those members who do maintain their golf accounts by entering all of their golf scores promptly.  However, extenuating circumstances shall be taken into consideration (surgery, disability, bereavement).

 The golf game is not over until the score has been entered”.

 Member Responsibility:

  1.      Play, either 9 or 18 holes, in accordance with the Rules of Golf.
  2.      Enter the adjusted score promptly, based on Equitable Stroke Control (ESC).
  3.      Contact the Handicap Coordinator if your name was on the Sunday tee sheet and you cancelled at the last minute therefore did not play on Tuesday.
  4.       Contact the Handicap Coordinator if there are computer or Golf Canada account problems.

 Handicap Committee Responsibility:

  1.     Review Golf Canada member accounts using the Tuesday tee sheet.
  2.     Send a brief email reminder to members who have not entered their scores by noon on Wednesday.
  3.     Send a second formal email request to those who have not entered their Tuesday score by noon on Thursday.
  4.     Maintain a record of all members who have been sent the formal request.
  5.      Review the list on a regular basis to see if there are members regularly not entering scores.
  6.      Send a notice to any member who has received three such formal requests in a season, requesting that she meets with the Handicap Committee.  The letter would come from the President, or in her absence another Handicap Committee Member.
  7.     Meet with the negligent member to discuss the possibility of applying a consequence.

Consequences for Not Entering Scores:
The Handicap committee will consider imposing one of the following consequences if the circumstances of the player’s behaviour warrants such an application.
     1.      Exclusion from playing in the next Tuesday league play game (tournament or fun day).
     2.      Issuance of a penalty score.
     3.      Removal of Handicap for the next tournament which means possibly playing to zero.
     4.      Removal from the weekly Tuesday roster for a period of one month.
     5.      Withdrawal of membership

ACCEPTABLE and NOT ACCEPTABLE SCORES
Almost all scores are acceptable because the basic premise of the Golf Canada Handicap System is that every player will try her best on every hole, in every round regardless of where the round was played.  Some examples of acceptable and unacceptable scores are noted below.

 Acceptable Scores
     ·         9 and 18 hole rounds, played under the Rules of Golf
     ·         13 or more holes which must be posted as an 18-hole score*
     ·         7-12 holes played which must be posted as a 9-hole score*
     ·         Adjusted scores on all courses with a valid Course and Slope Rating, whether at home course, away course,    or out of country during an active season
     ·         Scores in all forms of competition: match play, stroke play, team competitions
     ·         Scores played with Preferred Lies local rule.

 *NOTE: A player who does not play a hole, must record the most likely score which may not exceed her ESC.  Scores for un-played holes must be recorded as par plus any “handicap strokes” that the player is entitled to receive on those holes according to the course difficulty designation for each of the holes.

Example – stopping after 16 holes due to darkness while playing at Victoria
Hole 17 is a par 3, designated as the number 12 handicap stroke hole
Hole 18 is a par 5, designated as the number 2 handicap stroke hole

Player A, with a handicap of 21, is allowed one stroke on 15 holes and two on the three most difficult ones.  For her playing ability, she could take a 4 on the 17th and a 7 on the 18th.

Player B has a handicap of 35, which entitles her to two strokes on all holes, except the easiest where she would get only one stroke.  Therefore, based on her handicap, she can add two strokes to par for both holes 17 and 18, which would be scores of 5 and 7 respectively.

 Not Acceptable Scores
     ·         Scores of fewer than 7 holes
     ·         Scores made on a golf course in an area during its inactive season.
     ·         Score made when playing alone
     ·         Scores from courses under 3,000 yards for 18 holes, or 1500 yards for 9 holes
     ·         Scores made in competitions stipulating the use of less than 14 clubs or types of clubs are limited (e.g. only select irons are allowed).
    ·         Scores made on golf courses without valid Course or Slope Ratings.

Note: Games such as a Texas Scramble or playing in pairs and hitting alternate shots (Podersky) are considered NOT under the Rules of Golf, therefore are not entered into the computer.