The purpose of the New Zealand Golf Handicap System is to make the game of golf more enjoyable by enabling golfers of differing abilities to compete on an equitable basis. The System provides fair Course Handicaps for players regardless of ability, and adjusts a player's Handicap Index up or down as the player’s game changes. At the same time, it disregards high scores that bear little relation to the player's potential scoring ability and promotes continuity by making handicaps continuous from one playing season or year to the next. A New Zealand Golf Handicap Index is useful for all forms of play and is issued only to individuals who are members of golf clubs.
A basic premise underlies the New Zealand Golf Handicap System, namely that every player will try to make the best score they can at each hole in every round they play, regardless of where the round is played, and that they will post every acceptable round, in stroke and match play, for peer review. The player and the player’s handicap committee have joint responsibility for adhering to these premises.
A New Zealand Golf Handicap Index:
Issued by New Zealand Golf, indicates a golfer's skill and comes in the form of a number taken to one decimal place, e.g. 9.2. A New Zealand Golf Handicap Index is issued only to individuals who are members of a golf club.
A New Zealand Golf Handicap Index compares a player's scoring ability to the scoring ability of a scratch golfer on a course of standard difficulty. A player posts scores along with the appropriate NZG Ratings to make up the scoring record. A Handicap Index is computed from no more than 20 scores in the scoring record. It reflects the player's potential because it is based upon the best scores posted for a given number of rounds, ideally the best 10 of the last 20 rounds.
A New Zealand Golf Handicap Index is portable from course to course, as well as from one set of tees to other sets of tees on the same course. A player converts a Handicap Index to a Course Handicap based on the Slope Number of the tees being played.
A New Zealand Golf Course Rating:
Is New Zealand Golf's mark that indicates the evaluation of the playing difficulty of a course for scratch golfers under normal conditions based on yardage and other obstacles that affect scoring ability.
A New Zealand Golf Slope Number:
Is an evaluation of how much more difficult the course plays for individuals who are not scratch golfers. Each course is rated from each set of tees for both the scratch golfer and the adjusted gross scores. The Course Rating reflects the difficulty of the course for the scratch golfer. The Course Rating and Slope Number together reflect the difficulty of the course for players who are not scratch golfers. The greater the difference between the scores of the scratch and bogey golfer on a certain course, the higher the New Zealand Golf Slope Number will be and the more strokes golfers will receive. Conversely, the less the difference, the lower the New Zealand Golf Slope Number will be and the fewer strokes golfers will receive.
A player locates the New Zealand Golf Handicap Index on the appropriate Course Handicap Table and finds the corresponding Course Handicap. Course Handicap Tables are posted in the clubhouse or near the first tee. There will be a Course Handicap Table for each set of tees used by men and by women. Course Handicap is the number of strokes a player receives based upon the relative difficulty (Slope Number) of the course