Tournament Points System – FAQs

Q. What is this system that the club is calling Tournament Points System?
A. It is a system based on the research by Dean Knuth, former Senior Director of United States Golf Association Handicap Department.  You can visit his website at

Our Tournament Points System is based on Knuth's system which has been adopted by over 1,000 clubs:

Further, we conferred with Mr. Knuth a few times over the phone and modified our system to better match our flighted format.

Q: Why has the Board decided to adopt this system?
A: After fielding many comments from members and after significant statistical review of the winning rankings for the past two years, we believe we need to adopt an additional system to assist us in providing a more fair and equitable tournament offering for all members.

Q: Are you basically saying that the USGA handicap system does not work properly and you need a second system to make if work better?
A: There are many variables in the standard USGA 10-2 Handicap Index Formula as well as the USGA 10-3 Reduction of Handicap Index Based on Exceptional Tournament Scores.  There are many theories about the effectiveness of the USGA handicapping system, too many to count and also too many to validate.  Our view has now moved toward the system used by over 1,000 USGA clubs and many USGA Associations who have adopted this system in their belief that more needs to be done to assist clubs in creating a level playing field for tournaments.

Q: What are the calculations that may/may not reduce my tournament index?
A: The following tables are being used by the Tournament and Handicap Committees to determine if a member’s index is reduced for PCGC tournaments.  Again, we are not reducing your handicap with the NCGA.

We are simply modifying your tournament index within our club events using your NCGA index as the base.  

You will continue to use your NCGA index at your other clubs, non-PCGC tournaments and casual rounds.

That being said, we need to remind you…

The Tournament/Handicap committees retain the right to modify your NCGA index at any time we feel appropriate based upon reasonable evidence that something is not quite right with elements of your handicap record.  So, keep in mind that further or more permanent reductions could be made to your actual USGA index which would affect your USGA handicap in all clubs you belong and within all tournaments outside of our club in which you may compete, including NCGA tournaments.

There are two charts used to determine your PCGC Tournament Index:

The following chart assigns points for “in-the-money” finishes for all PCGC tournaments (T-flagged, home or away tournaments), for all flights, individual tournaments or team tournaments.

Points Assignment
1st 2
2nd 1
3rd 1
4th 0
5th 0

The following chart determines if index reductions are warranted:

Stroke Reduction Based on Points Accrued in Two-Year Rolling Schedule
# Tournaments >>> 8 or less 9-15 16-22 23-29 30-36 37+
-2 strokes 7 pts. 10 pts. 13 pts. 15 pts. 17 pts. 19 pts.
-3 strokes 9 pts. 12 pts. 15 pts. 17 pts. 19 pts. 21 pts.
-4 strokes 11 pts. 14 pts. 17 pts. 19 pts. 21 pts. 23 pts.
-5 strokes 13 pts. 16 pts. 19 pts. 21 pts. 23 pts. 25 pts.
-6 strokes 15 pts. 18 pts. 21 pts. 23 pts. 25 pts. 27 pts.
-7 strokes 17 pts. 20 pts. 23 pts. 25 pts. 27 pts. 29 pts.
-8 strokes 18 pts. 21 pts. 24 pts. 26 pts. 28 pts. 30 pts.


  • Player has played in 18 events with 10 points = no reduction
  • Player has played in 6 events with 9 points = 3 stroke reduction
  • Player has played in 32 events with 17 points =  2 stroke reduction

Q: What happens if I am reduced by this system?

A: If you are reduced by this system, you will be able to view that your tournament index has been modified on our website at within a few days after every tournament.  The reduced index will then be your tournament index for every upcoming tournament.  Your tournament index will be your reduced index and then the course handicap computation will be used to create your handicap for a given tournament.

Your tournament handicap will remain in place until some/all of the following occur:

  • You compete in additional tournaments and do not finish in the top three spots and these additional tournaments move you to a different “# of tournaments” position in the computation table where your handicap is no longer reduced.
  • Over time, using the 24-month rolling approach, certain tournaments in which you were in the top three positions are dropped from the 24-month rolling view and potentially your index may improve.
  • Some combination of these two events may improve your tournament index.
  • Consequently, if you compete and continue to place in position 1-3 in your flight your index could be reduced further.

Note: Tournament indexes will never be higher than your current USGA index.  You will play to your USGA index or reduced tournament index, whichever is lower.

Q: Have you reviewed using a pure tournament handicap index and why not adopt this?
A: We have reviewed a pure tournament index in great detail and the results are very close to the results using the Pope system.  However, the Pope system is much easier to administrate and the tournament handicap index has some other flaws which make it less ideal to use.

Q: But this system doesn't prevent a player from posting incorrect scores during their casual rounds.
A: Members should play all of their casual rounds to the best of their ability and within the rules of golf and post accurate scores with appropriate ESC adjustments.  The system will identify members who attempt to inflate their handicap.

Q: Isn’t the Board sending a message that they want us to play but we don’t want you to win?
A:  Not at all.  There is plenty of room in the system for a member to accumulate a quite a few points without being impacted.

For example, a member who plays 15 tournaments could earn 9 points which could equal 3-4 wins and other "in the money" places as well without there being any impact on their tournament index. 

Q:  How do I ask for review of my points system reduced index with the Board of PCGC?
A:  You can certainly request a review but keep in mind that the Tournament Points System is completely objective, is mathematical and is based on how many times you finish "in the money".  The more you win and place in the money then the more points you will accrue.  This system is pretty much fool-proof and is based purely on your performance.

If the Handicap Committee decides to take further steps and make adjustments to your USGA index (which will affect all rounds you play in, not just PCGC events) then you will be given an opportunity to discuss your position with the Board either in person or via email, prior to any adjustments made to your USGA index.

Q. I am being reduced by this system and/or wish to voice my opinion about this system.  How do I do this?
A: You can send an email to the Board members at our Contact page.

Q: Why not simply rely on the USGA 10-3 Exceptional Tournament Performance computation to keep tournament handicaps in check?
A: It has been easily proven by many parties that the 10-3 Exceptional Tournament Performance computation is very conservative and only works in very finite situations.  Anytime a member has more than 5-10 T-flag tournaments within a 12-month period, the 10-3 reduction completely fails to do anything except in the most extreme conditions.

If you have further questions regarding the Tournament Points System or any other topic, please visit our Contact page and send an email to the appropriate Board members.

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