Stroke Index Recommendation

Rule of Golf 33-4 requires Committees to “publish a table indicating the order of holes at which handicap strokes are to be given or received”.  To provide consistency at Affiliated Clubs it is strongly  recommended that Appendix G of the CONGU UHS is followed. 

Clubs and members alike should be aware that Stroke Index is not determined on hole difficulty but on ensuring an equal distribution of strokes is given/received in a match play competition.  

Below is an outline of Appendix G.

  • Of paramount importance for match play competition is the even spread of the strokes to be received at all handicap differences over the 18 holes.
  • This is best achieved by allocating the odd numbered strokes to the more difficult of the two nines, usually the longer nine, and the even numbers to the other nine.
  • The first and second stroke index holes should be placed close to the centre of each nine and the first six strokes should not be allocated to adjacent holes. The 7th to the 10th indices should be allocated so that a player receiving 10 strokes does not receive strokes on three consecutive holes.
  • None of the first eight strokes should be allocated to the first or the last hole, and at clubs where competitive matches may be started at the 10th hole, at the 9th or 10th holes. This avoids a player receiving an undue advantage on the 19th hole should a match continue to sudden death. Unless there are compelling reasons to the contrary, stroke indices 9, 10, 11 and 12 should be allocated to holes 1, 9, 10 and 18 in such order as shall be considered appropriate.
  • Subject to the foregoing recommendations, when selecting each stroke index in turn holes of varying length should be selected. Index 1 could be a Par 5, index 2 a long Par 4, index 3 a shorter Par 4 and index 4 a Par 3. There is no recommended order for this selection, the objective being to select in index sequence holes of varying playing difficulty. Such a selection provides more equal opportunity for all handicaps in match play and Stableford and Par competitions than an order based upon hole length or difficulty to obtain Par.
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