USGA Handicap System (pre-2020): There is no calculation or adjustment to account for abnormal course or weather conditions.
Rule Change for 2020: When abnormal course or weather conditions cause scores to be unusually high or low on a given day, a “Playing Conditions Calculation” will adjust Score Differentials to better reflect a player’s actual performance. The “PCC” is:
- An automatic procedure by the computation service that compares the scores submitted on the day against expected scoring patterns,
- Conservative in nature and applied in integer values, and
- Applied in the Score Differential calculation of all players – even those who submit their score(s) on a later date.
Reasons for Change:
- To provide a mechanism that allows a better assessment of the difficulty of a course on a particular day.
- Golf is an outdoor sport with many factors that can impact scoring (weather, rough height, hole locations, etc.).
» A score of 90 made under challenging conditions could be a more impressive performance than an 88 under normal conditions – and incorporating a Playing Conditions Calculation allows this to be represented.
- This is one of the more modern features of the system, but a similar calculation has been used successfully in other parts of the world.
- The Playing Conditions Calculation will also be used to identify if the Course Rating of a golf course needs to be reviewed by the local Authorized Golf Association.
- The PCC is designed to be conservative, so if an adjustment is taking place 4-5 days a week, then the Course Rating may not be accurately representing the difficulty of the golf course.
- The ability to identify such courses will provide enhanced integrity to the system.