USGA Announces Changes to Handicap System for 2016

November 23, 2015

The USGA announced Monday six major changes to the handicapping system, in tandem with the 2016 release of the Rules of Golf, effective Jan. 1, 2016.

Of note is the inadmissibility of posting solo scores for the purpose of determining a handicap. As of the new year, golfers will not be allowed to count rounds played alone toward their handicap. According to the USGA under Section 5-1: Acceptability of Scores, “this change underscores the importance of providing full and accurate information regarding a player’s potential scoring ability, and the ability of other players to form a reasonable basis for supporting or disputing a posted score.”

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Further changes include adjustments to the definition of a tournament score, adjusting a hole score, posting scores of a disqualified player, anchoring and posting, and responsibilities of Handicap Committees.

The changes are said to impact more than 10 million golfers who hold a Handicap Index from the USGA.

A more detailed explanation of the changes will be available at the end of the year, and the complete USGA Handicap System Manual will be posted and available for purchase after Jan. 1, 2016.