The Playing Conditions Calculation has been the source of plenty of World Handicap System debate. But how many times has it sprung into action? We have some numbers for you…
It’s been one of the more contentious aspects of the World Handicap System.
The Playing Conditions Calculation, designed to look at whether playing conditions on a day differ from expected scoring patterns, has long been accused of being “too conservative” and “never moving”.
In the summer of 2022, the USGA and R&A implemented a change to the controversial algorithm – which involved altering the rounding method – and expected to see an increase in the number of times an adjustment was made by an average of five per cent.
Now, we’ve got some figures which show how frequently the PCC has been called into action since.
In a recent members’ newsletter, England Golf revealed that 8.51 million rounds had been posted into the World Handicap System platform in 2023 up to the end of October.
And, of those, more than 1.26 million (1,268,758 to be exact) had been affected by a PCC change because of abnormal course weather and conditions. That works out at around 15 per cent.
WHS Changes 2024: What will happen to the Playing Conditions Calculation moving forward?
In the recently publicised changes announced to the World Handicap System, the R&A and USGA confirmed the PCC had been modified to increase the likelihood of an adjustment for those abnormal playing conditions.
They added that national associations had to bring in this revision within their computation platforms by April 1 next year.
It was introduced in Great Britain & Ireland in August 2022 and, asked by NCG about the impact there had been so far, Claire Bates, The R&A’s director of handicapping, said: “The early signs are it’s less conservative, the needle is moving, and the incidence of a zero PCC adjustment is less prevalent.
“That’s the initial feedback but we need much more time and data to see globally what the impact of this change has been. Every January, we send a request to national associations worldwide to ask for their scoring data for the previous year.
“When we do that next January, we should get a much better picture of what the impact of the change has been on adjustment levels. Then we can start discussing whether we think that’s enough, or whether we feel we’re now in the right place.”
Now have your say
What do you think of the Playing Conditions Calculation? Have you noticed any difference since the adjustments came into effect in Great Britain & Ireland? Why not let me know on X.
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