There are always a lot of questions concerning handicaps, the most common being “Is my handicap correct, as I have been playing badly lately and it only seems to be going up a little, yet when I play well, it drops quickly.”
The Handicap Index is calculated using the lowest 8 of the player’s most recent 20 Score Differentials and updated with each new round played. The Handicap Index travels worldwide with the golfer from course to course (and tee to tee) and is used to calculate a “Course Handicap”. The Course Handicap is the number of strokes a golfer receives from the specific set of tees at the course. The more difficult the golf course, the more strokes the golfer receives and vice versa.
Here is an example of one of our players and this is what you see on the Golf Canada website. This is the first page and contains the last 20 scores. If you take the lowest 8 differentials (23.5, 27.4, 29.4, 30.4, 30.4, 31.3, 31.3,31.3) and add them together and divide by 8, you will get an index of 29.4 which agrees with the handicap index on Golf Canada. As you post additional scores, the old scores move out of the last 20 and it calculates your index on the lowest 8 scores of the latest 20.
The index is then used to calculate your handicap based on the course rating and the tees you play from.