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Stableford/Net Double Bogey Adjustment

Stableford/Net Double Bogey Adjustment

“I had a very high score at a hole but still managed to get my handicap cut, how did that happen?”

Did you know?

The weekend has finally arrived and you are all set to tee it up in your weekly medal, you managed a midweek practice session, the game is in good shape and you are hopeful of returning a pretty respectable score and that coveted reduction in your handicap.

But then on the third hole, danger strikes! After reloading from the tee, your second drive also sails out of bounds on tight the par 4! It’s all over. That’s an automatic 0.1 increase to your handicap, right? You might as well go home and wait another week or so to redeem yourself.

Wrong… did you know that even though you failed to complete a hole, you will have been saved by the ‘net double bogey adjustment’, and with a solid finish to your round, you could not only make the buffer zone, but still have the potential to have your handicap cut?

How is this so?

Even though you didn’t complete a hole, the highest possible score that will be recorded on a hole for handicap adjustment purposes is a ‘net double bogey.’

If this happens, whilst you will be unable to win the prizes or the trophy on the day because you have not completed a hole(s), your round can still have a purpose and allow you to still return a score for handicap purposes.

In simple terms, what is a Stableford/Net Double Bogey adjustment?

  • Its purpose is to place a limit on the maximum score that can be recorded at any hole in order to make handicaps more representative of a player’s potential ability by reducing the impact of the occasional bad hole.
  • It reduces a player’s ‘high’ score on any hole to the equivalent of the lowest score that would achieve 0 points in a Stableford competition.
  • All high scores within a round are reduced to a double bogey for the hole plus any handicap strokes that the player receives on that hole i.e. Par of the hole + 2 (double bogey) + handicap allowance on that hole in accordance with the Stroke Index.

How does this work?

Example 1

A player with a handicap of 10, competing in a stroke-play competition, scores a 9 at the 8th hole, a par 4 with stroke index 15. They are 5-over par for that hole.

To mitigate against the high score on this hole affecting an otherwise fairly solid round, the score here is reduced to a double bogey 6 for handicapping purposes.

Example 2

A player with a handicap of 11 scored an 8 on the 14th hole, a par 4. They are 4-over par for that hole.

The hole has a stroke index of 2 (note the stroke index is less that the players handicap, this means that they receive a stroke at this hole). Because they receive a stroke at this hole, their score is therefore reduced to net double bogey 7 for handicapping purposes (4+2+1).

What does this mean? If the player returned a net 70 in a strokeplay competition where the CSS was also 70, the result for handicapping purposes would be a net score of 69 and a handicap reduction of 0.2


  • The adjustment places a limit (net double bogey) on the maximum score a player can return on any single hole.
  • The adjustment is applied to scores on any holes that the player does not finish for any reason and holes in which a player records a score that is above the net double bogey value.
  • Great news, in a stroke-play competition, even if you fail to finish a hole or if you score highly at a particular hole you still have something to play for, all thanks to Stableford/Net Double Bogey adjustment!