When can you become a professional golfer

New handicap system in Germany from 2021!

What is the Low Handicap Index?

The Low Handicap Index is the lowest handicap index that a player has had within the last 365 days before his last and thus most current result in the master sheet.


How is the Low Handicap Index calculated?

The condition: The player must have achieved at least 20 "handicap-relevant" results in the last 365 days, which are entered in his master sheet. Otherwise his current Hcp index counts.

Players who do not have 20 results (from the last 365 days) on the master sheet will not be assigned a low handicap index. Due to the smaller amount of data, greater fluctuations are expected, which should not be cushioned by the cap process.

What is the Low Handicap Index needed for?

Even professional golfers have a bad form from time to time or do not play according to their playing potential. The low handicap index, in conjunction with two other procedures, "soft cap" and "hard cap", is intended to prevent the handicap index from rising too quickly. You can also say that they act as a “brake”.


Soft cap simply explained!

If the handicap index of a player increases by more than 3 strokes compared to the low handicap index over the course of a year, every further increase is reduced by half (50%). This process is known as a soft cap.


The player Max has a low handicap index of -20. In the course of the season Max worsened his handicap index to -23.6. Since Max has now deteriorated by more than 3 strokes, the soft cap takes effect. His handicap index is calculated as follows: 20 + 3 + (50% of 0.6) = 23,3


Hard cap simply explained!

The hard cap prevents the World Handicap Index from increasing by more than five beats within the last 365 days. If a player has a long-lasting form crisis, the World Handicap System provides an upper limit, the so-called "hard cap".

If we look at our previous example the player Max can deteriorate to a maximum handicap index of -25.

Important: Of course, new results will be achieved over time. Thus old results fall out of the master sheet. This also changes the low handicap index. The consequence: There is a new soft and hard cap.


What happens to the World Handicap Index if the results are exceptionally good?

There are days when everything just works! The World Handicap System has also thought about this. Players who play 7 strokes better than their handicap will have their handicap index reduced by an additional stroke. With 10 or more hits, the bonus is even increased to two hits. This “reward” is taken into account for the next 20 results.


Can 9-hole rounds still be scored?

Direct answer: YES! The popular “handicap-relevant” 9-hole rounds can be scored as before. The calculation is basically the same as for 18-hole rounds. For the nine not played, a net par is calculated as before at each hole. New - an additional beat is added. This gives the evaluated gross result. With this result, the “Score Differential = Difference Score” can be calculated. See above for details.


useful information

Within the “golf game season”, which was defined from May to September 2021, all single stroke play tournaments will always be handicap-relevant. The game management can therefore, during this period, no longer advertise a tournament as “not effective”.


additional Information

For further information, we recommend that you use the DGV service portal to stay up to date. We have put together a few helpful links on this topic for you: