This answer here mentions this rule:

"Lower score than you actually shot will disqualify you".

I have friends who boost by their 20, 30 and 40 handicaps but their performance with me is far poorer such as in the range of 50 -- so 10-30 shots poorer than they are supposed to be. I cannot understand this: it is not motivational particularly when they become angry to unrelated things such as other golfers.

  1. When a golfer gets a far worse result than their handicap, what should happen to their handicap?

  2. Does it get lower and what does the disqualification mean?

2 Answers 2


When a golfer gets a far worse result than their handicap, what should happen to their handicap?

His handicap should increase.

The handicap is calculated by taking a golfer's score for the past ten rounds, calculate an average score, and depending on what par is, subtract the average score by par and there's your handicap. The term "scratch golfer" is given to those who average par or better over ten rounds.

For example, here are the last ten example rounds for an example golfer:

92-92-92-92-92-92-92-92-92-92 = 920. 920/10 = 92.

If par is 72, then 92-72 = 20. This golfer would have a 20 handicap.

Now, assume this golfer's next round was a 112 (ie, "When a golfer gets a far worse result than their handicap"), then:

92-92-92-92-92-92-92-92-92-112 = 940. 940/10 = 94.

If par is 72, then 94-72 = 22. This golfer would now have a 22 handicap.

Does it get lower?

As shown above, no.

What does the disqualification mean?

I believe your interpretation of the statement in context is misconstrued.

For example, if you shot a 90 but write down that you shot an 89, then you would be disqualified (given you're playing in a sanctioned tournament) for submitting a scorecard with a lower score than actually shot. If you write down that you shot a 91, the 91 would stand as signed.

Rule 6.6d of the USGA Rules of Golf and the R&A Rules of Golf addresses this (verbiage from the USGA Rules of Golf):

d. Wrong Score for Hole

The competitor is responsible for the correctness of the score recorded for each hole on his score card. If he returns a score for any hole lower than actually taken, he is disqualified. If he returns a score for any hole higher than actually taken, the score as returned stands.


The phrase means that if you record a "lower" (better) score than you actually shot, that will disqualify you from the tournament, because it is really a form of cheating.

Maybe there are some tournaments that will disqualify people for recording "higher" (worse) scores, because of "inaccuracy," and its implication for future handicapping, but in general, a wrong record one way is viewed much more dimly than a wrong record the other way.


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