News from Handicaps Network Africa

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2 and 3 overs

Recent changes to the handicap system have been well received with few complaints.  But there is some confusion over the number of 2 or 3 overs a player may take for handicap scoring purposes.

Essentially, players with handicaps of 18 and below can enter 2-overs on every hole, while players with handicaps 19 and above can enter 3-overs on all 18 holes.  The number of  2 overs you can take is not limited to your specific handicap – for example a 5 handicap golfer could record 2-overs on all 18 holes, although that would be a very bad day on the course!

As mentioned previously, even after these changes, South Africa still has the lowest maximum score on any hole allowed for handicap purposes.  The majority of countries are on net double bogey, so if you have a shot you can take a 3 over and if you have 2 shots you can take a 4 over.

The average handicap for South African men before the changes was 16.  As expected, the change is resulting in handicaps under 12 and above 20 rising, with little or no change in the 12 to 20 handicap range.  This will continue to bring the low and high handicaps more into line with how the 12 to 20 handicappers have been scoring relative to their handicaps.

N/R and late score entry penalty

We have discovered that some people were getting around the penalty for entering a score 72 hours after the completion of a round, by entering a N/R for which there was no late penalty. From now on the penalty for entering a N/R score late will be the same as for entering a valid score after the 72 hour deadline – i.e. the penalty score entered will be the player’s lowest score of his last 20.

There are three ways to enter a score after a round:

  1. Immediately on the handicap terminal, either using your card or your manual login details. If the terminal is off-line, the score will still be recorded when the terminal comes back on-line.
  2. On the Golfer Login section on the www.handicaps.co.za website.
  3. By phoning or emailing your home club and requesting that they record the scores on your behalf.

So there is no excuse for entering a round after the 72 hour deadline.

Handicap SMS service

We are very excited to announce the launch of the HNA Handicap SMS service this month. For a monthly subscription fee of R5 players will receive a handicap update after each month-end calculation, as well as live updates of any handicap change during the month. Keep a look out for details on how to subscribe on both our website and all handicap terminals.

Cell phone score entry

We will be launching a Mobile phone website (Mobi site) and an iPhone application which will enable players to record scores hole-by-hole while on the course. Players will also be able to enter their final scores by phone after their round. As soon as this goes live we will post the news on our website.

High scores winning the competitions

There have been complaints that the winning scores in betterball competitions are increasing. We suggest that clubs host more individual stableford competitions, which will level the playing field and give everyone a chance of winning. Clubs are also encouraged to reduce players’ handicaps by 20% for all better ball competitions, as is done in the UK and Europe. Most overseas clubs print the better ball handicap reduction table on the back of their score cards.