Handicap Strokes in Match Play

In stroke play, the idea of handicap is rather clear. The playing handicap of the player just indicates how many handicap strokes this player gets against the field.

In match play the competitors have a bit different situation. The player with the lowest playing handicap doesn’t get any handicap strokes and plays at scratch. The other players receive the difference between their own playing handicap and that of the player with the lowest playing handicap.

Naturally, the playing handicaps of competitors (players or sides) must be calculated in advance on the basis of the handicap allowance, CR, SR and par for the course on which the match is played.

The handicap strokes are awarded per holes depending on the stroke index (abbreviation on scorecards: Index, SI, HCP or HDCP) of a particular hole.

Stroke index - hole handicap

See net score page for more information about the allocation of handicap strokes.


See also the calculators:

The Handicap Strokes in Individual Match Play

The Handicap Strokes in Team Match Play



The complete, universal match play scorecard

with calculation of Match Play current and final score.


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update: April 2024