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playing conditions calculation

Finally! The controversial Playing Conditions Calculation has been changed

One of the most maligned parts of the World Handicap System has been altered. Steve Carroll has the details

 

The controversial Playing Conditions Calculation has been altered – after months of players and governing bodies complaining it was “too conservative”.

The algorithm used to drive the calculation has been changed and the new measures should come into force imminently – perhaps as early as Monday.

The R&A and USGA have told national handicapping associations that detailed analysis of scoring data submitted by countries indicates that a change to the rounding method currently used to work out the PCC would increase the number of times an adjustment is made for abnormal conditions by an average of 5%.

They have said this means that, for example, in countries where a PCC adjustment happens about 10% of the time, it would increase the average to about 15% on eligible days.

In April, NCG reported the PCC was under review following concerns since the launch of the World Handicap System that it was too rigid.

playing conditions calculation

England Golf had shared around 12 million anonymised scores from across England, Ireland, and Wales with R&A and USGA researchers and had concluded it was “far too conservative”.

The PCC is designed to consider whether “playing conditions on the day differed from normal conditions to the extent that an adjustment is needed to compensate” by comparing scores submitted on any given day against “expected scoring patterns”.

Clubs in England have been informed of the PCC changes, which will not be made retrospectively.

While the PCC will remain a “black box calculation”, which clubs won’t be able to see, chiefs believe its impact – even though it may seem a small change on the surface – could still be significant.

If so, it would finally conclude one of the most talked about criticisms of the new global system since it came into force in GB&I in November 2020.

What do you think of the changes to the WHS Playing Conditions Calculation? Will World Handicap System playing conditions make a significant difference to what you’re experiencing at your clubs? Why not tweet me and let me know…

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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