Playing Conditions Calculation (PCC)

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USGA Handicap System (pre-2020):  There is no calculation or adjustment to account for abnormal course or weather conditions.

Rule Change for 2020:  When abnormal course or weather conditions cause scores to be unusually high or low on a given day, a Playing Conditions Calculation, or PCC, will adjust Score Differentials™ to better reflect a player’s actual performance. The PCC is:

  • An automatic procedure by the computation service that compares the scores submitted on the day against expected scoring patterns,
  • Conservative in nature and applied in integer values, and
  • Applied in the Score Differential calculation of all players – even those who submit their score(s) on a later date.

Reasons for Change:

  • To provide a mechanism that allows a better assessment of the difficulty of a course on a particular day.
  • Golf is an outdoor sport with many factors that can impact scoring (weather, rough height, hole locations, etc.).»   A score of 90 made under challenging conditions could be a more impressive performance than an 88 under normal conditions – and incorporating a Playing Conditions Calculation allows this to be represented.
  • This is one of the more modern features of the system, but a similar calculation has been used successfully in other parts of the world.
  • The Playing Conditions Calculation will also be used to identify if the Course Rating™ of a golf course needs to be reviewed by the local Authorized Golf Association.
  • The PCC is designed to be conservative, so if an adjustment is taking place 4-5 days a week, then the Course Rating may not be accurately represent the difficulty of the golf course.
  • The ability to identify such courses will provide enhanced integrity to the system.