APPA Course Handicaps Explained

The handicaps used for National and State-level pitch and putt competitions and for the National Ranking system are a combination of home course handicaps and special handicaps awarded and maintained by APPA.  Players who are members of the course on which the competition is being played use their current handicap for the course.  Players who are playing away from home use the APPA handicaps. These are called APPA Course Handicaps (ACH) and are designed to level out as much as possible the difference in the degree of difficulty between the various courses and the difference between the familiarity with the courses of various players.

If you are an away player,  playing in the handicap component of a National or State level Championship, and have not played three 18 hole competition games on that particular course before, you will use the handicap of your home course, whichever course that may be. If you have no home course handicap, you will be able to compete only in the Gross component of the competition.

Once you have played three games on an away course, you will be given an APPA Course Handicap for that course. Your home handicap is used in calculating the initial ACH. Whatever the scores you have recorded, your initial ACH will not be more than two strokes greater or less than your home handicap. Home handicaps will not be used otherwise in calculating ACHs.

For example, if you are playing off +2 on your home course, then your initial ACH would not be greater than +4 or less than 0 depending on your scores above or below par in the 3 initial games. If you are playing off – 6 then your ACH would not be greater than -4 or less than -8.

Your ACH will probably be different for each of the Courses you play on, but once you have an ACH for that course, then that handicap will be adjusted in the same way as your home handicap each time you play on that particular away course in a National or State level Championship.

APPA will keep the records from each event and will calculate each player’s handicap and advise clubs of the ACH of each player at their club. Club management should make these handicaps available to players.  ACHs for every player and course, will also be posted on the APPA website here, and will be updated after each relevant event.

Your ACH for each course will lapse if you have not played at that course in a National or State level Championship in the five (5) years since your last competition on that course.

The system is maintained by APPA. Further information about it may be found in the Questions and Answers here.