New Terminology


WHS is introducing a number of new terms to describe the way the handicap system will work. Whilst many are closely related to those used currently the differences in the way they are calculated can be significant.

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  • Handicap Index (HI) replaces Exact Handicap 

    Behind this is a major change in the way that a players handicap is calculated. In future it will be by averaging a number of scores  rather than an incremental system. Both are expressed to 1 decimal point.

  • Course Handicap replaces Playing Handicap

    At present a Playing Handicap is simply the rounded value of an Exact Handicap and is the same whichever Course or tee is played. The new Course Handicap varies according to the tee and Course played and is determined from a look-up table of Course Handicap vs. Handicap Index to be displayed at the Clubhouse/Locker Room. A Playing Handicap can then be calculated from the Course Handicap and this depends on the golf format being played.

  • Course Index replaces Standard Scratch Score (SSS)

    Both terms represent the expected performance of a Scratch Golfer but the Course Index is expressed to 1 decimal point. At Portal the 2 values, when rounded are the same for almost all Tees.

  • Playing Conditions Calculation (PCC) replaces Competition Scratch Score (CSS)

    Currently a  CSS is calculated when Qualifying Competitions are played, based on the weighted scores of  players in the Competition, as an adjusted SSS to account for easy or more usually difficult playing conditions e.g. wind, rain. This adjustment is specific to the Competition it relates to.

    In future ALL scores posted in any one day, subject to certain handicap constraints on players submitting a score, whether in a Competition or in Pre-registered (i.e. casual) play will be used to assess the Playing Conditions on the day. The PCC will be used in calculating the new Handicap Index for all scores submitted on that day.

  • Naming tees and their colour

    Whilst our tees are still colour coded White/Yellow/Red it is recommended that tees are referred to as Back, Middle and Forward (Front) tees  rather than Mens and Ladies. Many of our Competitions  in future will  be able to offer a choice of tee for Men, including Red, to suit their playing ability. The use of separate Course and Slope ratings for each tee will provide an equitable Competition.

    At Portal all White and Yellow courses are longer than the length  recommended by England Golf for Ladies of 6,100 yds and have therefore not been Slope rated for Ladies.

    On Score cards the Red Courses will be designated Red (M) and Red (L) for Men and Ladies respectively to clarify the Slope and Course Index to be used by each.

  • Slope Rating

    This is a measure of the difficulty of a course  e.g. Red tees, for the Bogey player (20 HI  men or 24 Lady) as compared to the Scratch Player. Under CONGU courses were not rated for Slope.

    All Courses, meeting the distance constraints, have been Slope rated at Portal in 2019 by a team of assessors from Cheshire County Golf Union.
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