Handicap Guide for New Members
New to golf?
If you would like to play competitive golf either at New Mills or any other golf club, you will need to obtain
a Handicap Index.
What is a Handicap Index?
A Handicap Index allows you to play golf on an equal footing with everyone else who has a handicap,
regardless of your ability or the course you play on.
How to obtain a Handicap Index
To obtain a Handicap Index you need to play and record scores from a total of 54 holes. This can be from
any combination of 9 or 18-hole rounds (for example, 3 x 18 holes, 6 x 9 holes etc).
Each scorecard must say it is ‘for handicap’ and show your name, the date and the gross score for each
hole. Your card should be marked by a responsible person and both yourself and your marker should sign
The card should then be given to the Club Professional
Once you have submitted cards covering 54 holes, these scores will then be made into 3 x 18-hole scores to
allow a Handicap Index to be calculated. This will be based on your score for the lowest 18 holes, minus 2
Your Handicap Index will be calculated by computer using the WHS (World Handicap System), operated by
England Golf. You will be given a unique CDH (Central Database of Handicaps) number which will stay with
you for life.
Once you have a Handicap Index you can submit more scores for handicap, either by playing in a
competition or by playing a casual round.
How to develop your Handicap Index
Your Handicap Index will continue to develop until you have 20 scores recorded. The more cards you
submit, the quicker you will get a fully developed handicap index that is a more accurate reflection of your
ability. For fewer than 20 scores your Handicap Index will be calculated as follows:
3 scores: lowest score -2
4 scores: lowest score -1
5 scores: lowest score
6 scores: average of lowest 2 scores -1
7 or 8 scores: average of lowest 2 scores
9-11 scores: average of lowest 3 scores
12-14 scores: average of lowest 4 scores
15-16 scores: average of lowest 5 scores
17-18 scores: average of lowest 6 scores
19 scores: average of lowest 7 scores
20 scores: average of lowest 8 scoresFrom then on, your newest score will replace the oldest score on your record and your Handicap Index will
be re-calculated based on the lowest 8 scores on your current record.
Before playing a round of golf, you will need to convert your Handicap Index to a Course Handicap. This will
change from course to course, depending on the difficulty of the course. When you play on a more difficult
golf course, your Course Handicap may be 2 or 3 shots higher, or lower when you play an easier course.
Handicap Index conversion tables are available online and at all courses to enable you to calculate your
Course Handicap. At NMGC, when you sign in to play a competition or pre-register to play a casual round
for handicap purposes, your course Handicap will appear on the sign-in screen, alongside your handicap
When playing in a competition, your Course Handicap may be further adjusted depending on the type of
competition you are playing in. For example, in a singles stableford or stroke play competition your Playing
Handicap will be 95% of your Course Handicap. Your Playing Handicap will be given to you by the
competition organiser or will show on the sign-in screen or HDID when you sign in to play a competition