Clause 19.8 and handicap adjustments.


Members’ attention is drawn to this ‘clause’ which RPGC operates following direction by the English Golf Union (EGU) to which the club is affiliated. Whilst affecting male players of all handicap categories, it is used for handicapping purposes only and does not affect the outcome of a competition.


Brief explanation.


To mitigate the effect of high scores at individual holes in stroke play qualifying competitions, these will be reduced to ‘nett double bogey’ before normal handicapping adjustments are made.

This brings stroke play qualifying competitions into line with Stableford competitions for handicapping purposes  - where 0 points are scored if one scored 8 or 12 on a particular hole.




Player (h’cap 23) scores 11 on 17th Princes which is stroke index 7. The player receives just 1 shot on this hole and so the 11 is reduced to 7. 7 is nett double bogey for this player on the hole - it may be easier to think of the lowest score on a hole where no points would be scored if it were a Stableford competition.




Will prevent player’s handicap rising .1 [and hence possibly rise in playing handicap] on some occasions where previously it would have risen. Conceivably, you may come relatively low in a competition result and yet not be raised or even be cut because your scoring has been superb except for 1 or 2 absolutely disastrous holes.


The clause is not (thankfully) to be applied to scores recorded away from RPGC [assuming RPGC to be your home club]. You should continue reporting away scores promptly to the Handicap Secretary in the normal way.


Further reading:


The full text of clause 19.8 and the associated appendix J from the CONGU  handicapping book are given  below.

Clause 19.8



19.8  Unions shall direct Clubs within their jurisdiction that scores returned in stroke play Qualifying Competitions at a Home Club, whether or not all 18 holes have been completed, shall be adjusted to the Nett Differential which would have applied if the competition had been a Stableford Qualifying Competition.  No points shall be recorded on a hole where there is no score.  This adjustment is for handicap purposes only, and notwithstanding the provisions of sub clause 19. 1, reductions of less than 1 stroke shall be made under this sub clause.  Unions shall direct clubs upon the application of this procedure to scores away from Home Club.


Appendix J sets out a short alternative procedure and supplementary recommendations for calculating Stableford Point Score reductions authorised by this sub clause.








(Clause 19.8)



1 .      The purpose of applying a Stableford Point calculation under clause 19.8 handicap reductions is to reduce the impact of extremely bad scores on a hole in stroke play Qualifying Competitions which are not truly representative of a player's golf ability.


2.       If a player applies the course stroke index relevant to his handicap and scores a nett par on each hole in a Stableford Qualifying Competition he will have a medal score equal to the par of the course.  If the par is less than the SSS he will have recorded a nett medal score below his handicap by the difference between par and SSS.  If par is more than SSS the reverse applies.  It is by applying this principle that point scores in a Stableford Qualifying Competition are converted into Nett Differentials.


3 .      Any hole in a Stableford Qualifying Competition upon which a player records no score and accordingly is not awarded any points indicates that the player would, if the hole had been completed, have scored not less than a nett double bogey.  A nett double bogey on a par 3 hole = 5 strokes, on a par 4 hole = 6 strokes and on a par 5 hole = 7 strokes.  E.g. on a par 4 hole a player who obtains no Stableford points would, if he had completed the hole, have taken 6 or more strokes if the index did not provide a stroke on that hole or 7 strokes or more if he had received a stroke.


4.       By applying these principles it is possible to convert a stroke play medal score into the Nett Differential which would have applied if the same scores had been recorded in a Stableford competition without calculating the points on each hole.  Further it is not necessary to make an adjustment when the par and SSS are not the same.  It is also possible to calculate a Nett Differential in a stroke play event when one or more holes have not been completed.


          These adjustments are achieved as follows:


(a)     All  holes completed.


The player's Nett Differential is reduced by the number of strokes he has scored on any hole in excess of nett double bogey.  Other than for plus handicap players only scores of 6 or more can be reduced on par 3 holes, 7 or more on par 4s and 8 or more on par 5s.  An examination of the scores on the par 3 holes will usually identify no adjustment on those holes and thereafter only scores of  7 or more require examination (8 or more if the player's handicap is greater than 18).  This process will usually show that no scores are to be reduced.  If a reduction is appropriate that reduction is entered in column 8 of the Handicap Record Sheet and other numbers appropriately adjusted.


(b)     Holes with no score recorded.

The assessment is made as in (a) above by reducing all scores to nett double bogey.  A score of nett double bogey is entered at holes where no score is recorded.  The scores are totalled and the player's handicap applied.  Scores are then entered in the Handicap Record Sheet commencing at column 9.


5.       By applying the process of "nett double bogey" it has been found that it takes less than one fifth of the time to achieve the same result as calculating the number of Stableford points.  Further it is not unreasonable to ask competitors to mark all holes on their cards which are to be considered for Stableford adjustment.


6.       Clubs are reminded that Stableford adjustments under clause 19.8 are made for handicap adjustment and record purposes only.