Handicap Guidelines

**World Handicap System Details**
River Strand Golf and Country Club



The purpose of the USGA Handicap System is to make the game of golf more enjoyable for golfers by providing a means of measuring performance and progress by establishing a Handicap Index. This allows golfers of differing abilities to compete on an equitable basis.


As recommended by the USGA, the Handicap Committee at River Strand Golf and Country Club will monitor these rules and regulations. To play competitive golf events at River Strand, it is essential that each player conform to the responsibilities outlined below and must maintain an active handicap from Florida State Golf Association through the River Strand Pro Shop.


1. To maintain an index, each golfer must attempt to make the best score on every hole and post scores from every round at both River Strand and away courses. All scores (both 9 and 18holes) must be posted to reflect your current playing ability. If a golfer plays a round alone, that score cannot be posted.


2. A player should submit their score as soon as possible on the day of play, after completion of their round, and before midnight (local time).

If a player does not submit their score on the day of play:

  • Their Handicap Index will not be updated in time for the next day (see Rule 5.4 Frequency of Revision of a Handicap Index Update), and

  • Their score will not be included in the daily playing conditions calculation (PCC) (see Rule 5.6 Playing Conditions Calculation).


3. For a player with an established Handicap Index, the maximum score for each hole played is limited to a net double bogey, calculated as follows:

Par of the hole + 2 strokes + Any handicap stroke(s) that the player receives on that hole

To be acceptable for handicap purposes, a 9 or 18 hole score must meet the following requirements: scores for unplayed holes must be recorded as par plus any handicap strokes that the player is entitled to receive on those holes.


Revised and approved April, 2019

Procedures for Penalty Scores and Adjustments to Handicap Index


Handicap Index is earned. No player has an inherent right to a handicap index without providing full evidence of ability to the club’s Director of Golf, Pro, or handicap committee.

Penalty Score:

If a player fails to post an acceptable score in a timely manner, the handicap committee has 3 options:

1. Post the actual score made by player.

2. Post a penalty score equal to the lowest handicap differential in players scoring record.

3. Post actual score and a penalty score.

Handicap Index Adjustments

The handicap committee has the responsibility of making certain that each player has a handicap index that reflects potential ability. Below is a list of some circumstances that would make it necessary to adjust the payers index:

1. Player improves faster than system can react

Example: A player new to golf may being taking lessons, practices diligently and rapidly improves. The player’s scoring record may not exhibit potential ability.

2. Numerous “away” scores change index

If a player’s index increases by 3.0 or more due to posting “away” scores and the

subsequent scores indicate that the player’s increased index is too high, the

Committee must adjust the player’s index downward.


3. Temporary disability

An increased handicap may be given for a temporary disability. The modified

index must be identified by the letter “M” to indicate the modification by the



4. Player manipulation of round

Committee must adjust the handicap index of a player who manipulates scores.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

• Posting erroneous scores.

• Stopping play prior to 7 holes to avoid posting.

• Deliberately taking extra strokes to inflate score.

• Not adjusting scores under Equitable Stroke Control formula.


  1. A letter will be submitted to the player notifying him/her of the handicap index adjustment.(Sample USGA letter attached).

  2. Before an adjustment becomes effective, the Handicap Committee must give the player an opportunity to explain the surrounding circumstances, either by appearing before the Committee or in writing.

  3. The Handicap Committee must determine how long a player’s index is to remain modified. At each revision date, the committee should compare the modified index to the “normal computation”.