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System 36


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Definition: System 36 is a same-day handicapping system similar in function to Callaway System and Peoria System. It allows golfers who do not have a handicap index to play golf tournaments and compete for low-net titles or prizes. The "handicap" is determined following the round according to System 36 strictures.

Here's how System 36 works:

Throughout the round, the golfer accrues points based on the following formula:

  • Double bogey or worse - 0 points
  • Bogey - 1 point
  • Par or better - 2 points

At the end of the round, points earned are tallied. The total is subtracted from 36, and the resulting number is the golfer's handicap allowance. His net score can then be computed using his System 36 handicap allowance.

For example, let's say you go out and shoot 90, and along the way to that 90 you have seven pars, nine bogeys, and two double-bogeys or worse.

First, calculate your accrued points:
7 (pars) x 2 (points per par) = 14
9 (bogeys) x 1 (point per bogey) = 9
2 (doubles or worse) x 0 (points per double) = 0

So your point total is 23. Now, subtract this total from 36:
36 - 23 = 13

So 13 is your handicap allowance. Now apply this to your gross score:
90 - 13 = 77

And 77 is your net score based on System 36 handicapping.

Return to Golf Glossary index

"If you're playing the tournament on Saturday but don't have a handicap, we'll use System 36 for your score."
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