Rule 3.2 has been restructured as follows:
Rule 3.2a provides more clarity on what might constitute a valid or invalid reason for not playing one or more holes.
Rule 3.2b sets out a new method for calculating an 18-hole Score Differential when one or more holes have not been played for a valid reason. This new method replaces the net par procedure with an expected score (see new Definition).
Two new Clarifications set out:
- A summary of the procedure for calculating a Score Differential using an expected score, and
- Allowing for the use of net par in limited circumstances.
Rule 5.1b Calculation of a Score Differential – For a 9-hole Score
The previous method of combining two 9-hole scores has been replaced with use of an expected score where the 9-hole Score Differential is combined with the expected score of a player with a given Handicap Index to produce an 18- hole Score Differential.
Rule 5.2c For Plus Handicap Index
This Rule has been updated to include the Clarification issued in July 2022 providing guidance on the designation of a plus (+) Handicap Index.
Rule 6.2a Playing Handicap Calculation – Standard Calculation
This Rule has been updated to include the Clarification issued in September 2021 giving some discretion on when rounding occurs.
Rule 7.1b Posting a Missing Score or Penalty Score
This Rule has been restructured for clarity and to provide more guidance on what penalty score to apply, in different circumstances.
Rule 7.2a Committee in Charge of the Competition - Terms of the Competition
Rule 7.2a has been updated to incorporate the Clarification issued in January 2023, providing additional guidance for Committees in charge of elite level competitions regarding entry/eligibility requirements.
Appendix C Handicap Allowances
Appendix C has been amended to clarify that the recommended allowances are based on a ‘normal’ field size and make-up, and that a Committee can consider adjusting the allowances for other field sizes or different field make-ups.
A recommended allowance for a 3-player scramble format has been added to the table.
The application of allowances in team match play events has also been changed so that the % is applied to the difference, rather than to the individual.
Appendix D Handicap Review
Appendix D has been updated to incorporate additional guidance, which will enhance the tools available to Handicap Committees to assist them with the handicap review process.
Appendix F Establishing Par
Rule 6.2a has been amended to recommend the standardization of par across tee sets, where appropriate.
Appendix G The Golf Course, Course Rating and Slope Rating
Appendix G has been updated to include the new minimum length of a golf course to be eligible for a Course Rating and Slope Rating. This will allow scores to be acceptable for handicap purposes over a golf course of 1500 yards [1370 metres] for 18 holes and 750 yards [685 metres] for 9 holes.