NCG's Golf Glossary: What is a nett score?

Don’t know your dormies from your doglegs? NCG’s Golf Glossary is here to help

Here at NCG we pride ourselves on being the publication for the everyday player, so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to delve into the wonderful world of the golfing lexicon.

Sometimes the most obvious terms have the most interesting story, so you might find yourself an interesting conversation starter…

What is a nett score?

Nett score refers to a golfer’s score once their handicap has been subtracted from their gross score. For example if someone shot a gross score of 75 and played off 8 then their nett score is 67.

How would I use it in a sentence?

“The nine handicaper shot a nett score of 68”

What are the origins?

The handicap system that is used to work out nett scores originated in Scotland. The early version of how to work out a nett score was called “assigning the odds”.

This was done by the precursor of the Handicap Committee Chairman who was referred to as the “adjustor of the odds”.

Just before the 1900’s when golf was being played in England, the handicap system started taking shape.

By 1881, many clubs started working out the averages of each player’s best three scores minus the scratch score of the course in order to find out their handicap.

Any other business?

The purpose of a nett score and the handicapping system is to even the playing field in golf clubs.

This allows golfers of all abilities to compete in the same competitions (unless there is restrictions) because it is rare that a golfer who averages 86 will beat a golfer who averages 73 with their gross scores.

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