Hua Hin and Cha – Am Today was asked what is a ‘System 36’ Handicapin golfand how is it applied.

System 36 is a same-day/one-daygolf handicapping system similar to a Callaway System or a Peoria System. It allows golfers who do not have an official handicap to play in golf tournaments and compete. This handicapping method is popular in the Asia Pacific Region and finds use in corporate outings and charity tournamentswhen many players do not have an official handicap.  It has some limitations but helps resolve the problem of players or organisers ‘guessing’ what a handicap might be and provides an ‘even playing field’. No one can be accused of being a ‘bandit’!

System 36 rewards players who make birdies and penalises players who make triple-bogeys or worse.Everyone’s “handicap” is determined after the Round according to System 36 requirements.Playerswho have an official handicap donot use it that for the day’s competition.

Here’s how System 36 works:

Throughout the round, the golfer accrues points based on the following formula:

  • Double bogey or worse – 0 points
  • Bogey – 1 point
  • Par or better – 2 points

At the end of the round, points earned are tallied. The total is subtracted from 36, and the resulting number is the golfer’s handicap. The Net score or Stableford score can then be calculated using this System 36 handicap.

For example, let’s say you play90 strokes during the 18Hole Round.  Along the way to that 90 you have one birdie, seven pars, eight bogeys, and two double-bogeys or worse.

First, calculate your accrued points:
8 (pars and birdie) x 2 (points per par or better) = 16
8 (bogeys) x 1 (point per bogey) = 8
2 (doubles or worse) x 0 (points per double) = 0

So your points total is 24. Now subtract this total from 36:36 – 24 = 12.  For the day’s competition 12 is your allotted handicap. Now apply this to your gross score:90 – 12 = 78.  In this example 78 is your net score.  Alternatively calculate the Stableford points as you normally would for a 12 handicap player.

If you are considering using this system for anEvent consider the time needed to calculate the results.  It’s never a good idea to keep players waiting too long after completion.

But also make sure you are clear about how the system works!