“T” Scores – What are they and Who Decides?

The USGA Handicap Department recently issued this FAQ which your club can use as a guideline in determining whether a club event or tournament should be designated as a “T” (Tournament) score. Although the USGA sites team matches as an example of a “T” score, WSCGA Team Rules for Division II designate only semi-final and final matches as Tournament scores. Division I team play scores are not to be posted as Tournament scores. In any event, you should review the definition of Tournament score on page 12 of the “USGA Handicap System Manual.”

Tournament Score (T) Designation and Reduction
Q: Our golf club holds weekly events for our members. There is discussion whether these events meet the definition of a Tournament Score (T-Score). Should they be posted as T-Scores?

A: Weekly events are not recommended to be designated as T-Scores because they are not significant events. A reasonable analogy is the PGA Tour conducts a tournament nearly every week. These weekly tournaments are similar to the competitions conducted at golf clubs and are not significant in the traditions, etc. of the golf club. The four “major” tournaments conducted throughout the year on the PGA Tour do meet the definition of a T-Score and should be posted accordingly. On the golf club level, the Committee should also limit the designation of T-Scores to the major events conducted by the club (e.g., member-guest competition, club championship, team matches). When too many scores are posted as T-Scores, especially those that don’t necessarily meet the definition of a T-Score, the automatic reduction built into the USGA Handicap System loses its effectiveness in identifying those who perform exceptionally well in tournaments.

The T-Score reduction, outlined in Section 10-3 of “The USGA Handicap System” manual, identifies any player who has demonstrated a certain level of performance in tournaments that is not representative of the player’s normal playing potential. A player’s Handicap Index® may be reduced if the average Handicap Differential™ produced from the two best T-Scores is at least 3.0 below the player’s Handicap Index as calculated under Section 10-2. An automatic reduction of Handicap Index is conducted at each handicap revision date.

“The USGA Handicap System” manual is available online to view via: http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Handicap-System-Manual/Handicap-Manual.

Deb Long, WSCGA Handicap Administrator

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