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Sherfield Oaks GC Members Website

Competition Handicap Stroke Allowances

When playing in competitions, Handicap Allowances apply, depending on the format of play. Appendix C of the “WHS Rules of Handicapping” provides a table of these allowances, which are mandatory under England Golf rules. The main table from Appendix C is shown below on this page and can be found in the full document here:

WHS Rules of Handicapping

In most cases, calculation of the Playing Handicap is straightforward. However, players should note that, under WHS, the allowances and method of calculation are often different, in detail, from the pre-WHS CONGU approach and can result in different stroke allowances being applied.

Playing Handicaps and strokes given in Pairs matches

The calculation of PHs and strokes given in pairs matches is further complicated by the inclusion of Mixed Tees Course Ratings Adjustments. These Adjustments are applied to the nearest 10th or even 20th of a stroke, during the calculation and before rounding to the nearest whole number for Playing Handicap.

To assist members, I have created an Excel “calculator” for mixed tees, pairs matches, covering Fourball, Foursomes and Greensomes formats.

For your particular match, just enter: the players’ names, Handicap Indexes and the course/tees played by each player (in the cells shaded yellow). The correct strokes given in the match are calculated (shaded blue). The calculator covers 18-hole matches played at SOGC or at other courses, where the par values are the same across different tees, (by adding the other courses’ Slope Ratings and Course Ratings).


  1. Don’t edit the contents of any of the non-yellow cells, as these contain formulae.
  2. This version of the spreadsheet is only tested to work in recent versions of Excel and may not operate in older versions of Excel or other spreadsheet programs.  You may find that the V2 version (with less functionality) will work on older Excel or other spreadsheet programs.

Download and open the calculator from the link below.


or, for older Excel versions or other spreadsheet programs, try:


Playing Handicap Calculations

The following sets out the calculation steps, for the fourball matchplay, as an example:

There are 4 steps to calculating the matchplay handicaps.

Step 1: Course Handicaps
For each player, convert their Handicap Index into a Course Handicap

Step 2: Handicap allowances
For individual matchplay, the allowance is 100%. For pairs, it is 90%.
If you are playing pairs matchplay, adjust each handicap to 90% of the Course Handicap.

NB if mixed tees are being used, do not round until after step 3..

Step 3: Course Rating adjustment
The players who are on the tees with a higher Course Rating get an adjustment, based on the Course Rating difference, which is applied as an exact, non-rounded value.

The resulting handicaps values should now be rounded, to give the Playing Handicap for each player.

Step 4: Handicap difference
Adjust each Playing Handicap so the lowest handicap plays off zero.


White Tee: Slope Rating: 133, Course Rating: 72.3
Red Tee: Slope Rating: 125, Course Rating: 73.7

Player 1: White Tee, Handicap Index 6.8
Player 2: White Tee, Handicap Index 15.4
Player 3: Red Tee, Handicap Index 16.7
Player 4: Red Tee, Handicap Index 22.6

Step 1: Course Handicaps

Player 1: 6.8 x 133 / 113 = 8.00, rounded = 8
Player 2: 15.4 x 133 / 113 = 18.13, rounded = 18
Player 3: 16.7 x 125 / 113 = 18.47, rounded =  18
Player 4: 22.6 x 125 / 113 = 25.00, rounded = 25

Step 2: 90% Allowance

Player 1: 8 x 90% = 7.2
Player 2: 18 x 90% = 16.2
Player 3: 18 x 90% = 16.2
Player 4: 25 x 90% = 22.5

Step 3: Course Rating adjustment

The Red tee has a higher Course Rating. The difference is 1.4, so this is added on to players using the Red tees.
Player 1: 
7.2, rounded to 7
Player 2: 16.2, rounded to 16
Player 3: 16.2 + 1.4 = 17.6, rounded = 18
Player 4: 22.5 + 1.4 = 23.9, rounded = 24

Step 4: Adjusted for lowest handicap

Player 1: 7 – 7 = 0
Player 2: 16 – 7 = 9
Player 3: 18 – 7 = 11
Player 4: 24 – 7 = 17

Before the WHS came into force, all players would use the Par & SI from the forward set of tees, regardless of the tee they were playing from. This is no longer the case and each player should use the SI for the tees they are playing from.

WHS Handicap Allowances Table

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