Under the current USGA Handicap System, scores are designated as regular rounds, either Home or Away or as Tournament, or T-Scores, whether played at home or away. To understand the significance of T-Scores, Handicap Chairs and Handicap Committee members should be familiar with the relationship of T Scores to Section 10-3 (Reduction of Handicap Index Based on Exceptional Tournament Scores) and its existence as part of the handicap formula. Too many T-scores in a player’s 12 –month tournament score file and the chart value in the Handicap Reduction Table will be diluted, minimizing the Reduction that the player otherwise earned by their exceptional tournament play.
What follows is a simple checklist that your club can use to determine if a club event’s score(s)should be posted as a Tournament score(s).
- Is there a group (Committee) attached to the event that organizes and conducts the competition?
- Does the competition identify winner(s) (i.e., low gross score) based on a stipulated round(s) (i.e., 36 holes)?
- Is the format played under the Rules of Golf? (stroke or match play). And is it an acceptable format for posting? (not Alternate shot, Shamble or Scramble)
If “yes” is the answer to each question, then event scores should be posted as T-scores. The Committee must announce or publish in advance of the event that the scores will be posted by the Committee as Tournament Scores.
Obvious examples of events that should be posted as Tournament Scores are club championships, whether stroke or match play. Annual club events that award a perpetual trophy should be designated as Tournament rounds.
The USGA/SCGA cautions clubs not to over-designate club events as T-scores. The recommended range at the club level is 4 to 8 events understanding that many members play in other Member-Guest annual tournaments, association championships and USGA qualifiers which are posted as Tournament rounds.