Date: August 14, 2007

National Handicapping and Course Rating Forum determines way forward

Australia&aposs leading state and national handicapping and course rating officials have agreed to retain the framework of the current handicapping and course rating system for men’s and women&aposs golf. Attending the Forum at Yarra Yarra Golf Club, were representatives of each of the Member States, representatives from Golf Australia, Golf Management Australia and Golflink. The two-day review thoroughly analysed each component of a handicapping and course rating system. The aim was to identify the Forum&aposs general preferences and outcomes that would be the basis for moving forward. The Chairman of Golf Australia s Handicapping & Course Rating Committee, John Buckley, said: “What we were trying to do with the two day Forum was to give the States and the rest of the industry a chance to tell us the direction in which they wanted us to head, and we feel this was a great success. “Everyone had a genuine opportunity to put their views forward, as well as addressing the concerns of others. The Forum has given us a clear direction and provided us a clear channel of communication with our stakeholders.” A key outcome from the Forum was that the Calculated Course Rating (CCR) option is likely to be the best way forward for Australian golf. It was agreed that both the men&aposs and women&aposs CCR formulas will be refined and improved. In particular, the Forum delegates recommended a suspension of the women’s CCR process for one year. It was accepted that the current women&aposs formulas were intrinsically flawed as they were not designed by analysing women&aposs data but simply a result of adopting the men’s process. During this one-year period, research and analysis of women&aposs handicapping data will be carried out on an unprecedented scale with a view to arrive at a formula which best fits the distribution of handicaps and scores peculiar to women’s golf in Australia. The Golf Australia Member State Associations have been asked to vote on whether to suspend the CCR process for women’s golf for one year. If the States vote in favour of this option, the suspension of the CCR for women’s golf is likely to come into effect as early as October 1 this year. Other main outcomes of the Forum included: Golf Australia s existing permanent course rating systems (the AMCR and AWCR systems) should be refined. Specific change will address the current over-emphasis on length. The length rating formulas themselves will also be reviewed. The USGA Scratch Course Rating System will be investigated to assist with the review. This investigation may ultimately lead to its adoption, or it may simply provide a range of ideas to assist with amending the current Australian method. Golf Australia will introduce national course rating workshops for state officials to assist the processes of education, development, and inter-state consistency. The Slope handicap adjustment system (utilised throughout the USA and Europe) was also an element discussed with interest. The Forum was unconvinced that implementing it into the Australian system was the best way forward at this time. With the framework of our handicapping and course rating systems being settled by the Forum (in conjunction with the decision of the State Associations), it now falls to the Golf Australia Handicapping & Course Rating Committee to fine-tune and supply all of the actual regulations. The development of the Golf Australia systems will continue towards the next National Handicapping & Course Rating Forum which is scheduled for August 2009. Full notes and recommendations from the 2007 Forum can be found at