Assignment of Handicap Strokes. RoG Rule 33-4 and EGA Handicap Rules 2012-2015 Appendix E. Conditions of Competition. Revised 2012-11-21.
IN DEPTH From Rule 33-4: "The Committee must publish a table indicating the order of holes
at which handicap strokes are to be given or received

The stroke index is used to distribute strokes to be given or received evenly over 18 holes in matchplay and although the degree of difficulties on a certain hole effects its handicap index its not uncommon that the hole with index 1 is not the "most difficult hole on the course" according to statistics.
The regulations for the handicap stroke index allocation are revised and shall be used from 2012-01-01 and although the basic principles are the same it means that some courses may have an incorrect handicap stroke allocation. Furthermore many older courses have handicap stroke indexes applied many years ago by the Committee for the first competition on the course which means that its handicap stroke index might have to be revised. Therefore it might be a good idea, e.g. after the reconstruction of a hole or holes when teesigns and scorecards need to be changed, to revise the handicap indexes. 

Questions about the handicap stroke index allocation may be directed to Göran Hermes SGF - or to Håkan Herne (National referee) - 

Rule of Golf 33-4 requires Committees to “Publish a table indicating the order of holes
at which handicap strokes are to be given or received”.
To provide consistency at affiliated clubs it is recommended that the allocation is
made with the following considerations:
–– It is an established fact that the stroke index allocation has virtually no influence
on the Stableford result and therefore on handicap adjustments.
–– It is of paramount importance for match play that the strokes to be received at all
handicap differences are evenly spread over the 18 holes.
–– This is best achieved by allocating the odd numbered strokes to the more difficult of the two nine
holes, usually the longest nine, and the even numbers to the other nine.
–– The degree of difficulty of a hole related to Par is a factor for the sequence of allocation.
–– The degree of difficulty can be derived from the bogey rating or by comparing the average score
of a group of club members to Par.
–– Try to achieve one stroke index table for all tees, men and women.
–– The player who is to receive strokes will generally need his equalizer starting on the most difficult
Par 5 and subsequently on the most difficult Par 4 followed by the other Par 5s. Next in order are
the Par 4’s and finally the Par 3’s.
A very difficult Par 3 may take priority over a Par 4. Difficult holes are generally a Par 5 not
reachable in 3 or a Par 4 not reachable in 2 for the average player

Allocating the stroke index numbers to the holes could be done in the following way:
–– Split the 18 holes in 6 groups of 3; 1,2,3 then 4.5.6 etc
–– Stroke index 1 to 4 not on holes 1,2,3 or 16,17,18
–– The aggregate of the 6 groups of holes should be between 27 and 30
–– If index 1 is allocated to the first of the two nine holes, index 2 should be placed in the second.
–– All odd indices on the first and all even on the second, or the other way round, is to be preferred,
also in view of nine-hole rounds.
–– Avoid index 1 to 6 on adjacent holes.
Assign index 1 to the most difficult of 7,8,9. For 9 holes 4,5,6.
Assign index 2 to the most difficult of 13,14,15.
Assign index 3 to the most difficult of 4,5,6. For 9 holes 7,8,9.
Assign index 4 to the most difficult of 10,11,12.
Assign index 5 to the most difficult of 1,2,3.
Assign index 6 to the most difficult of 16,17,18.
Allocate indices 7 to 12 to the six groups evenly, 7 does not have to fit in group 7, 8, 9
Allocate indices 13 to 18 in the same way.
Holes 1,2,3 Index 5,7,15. Sum 27
Holes 4,5,6 Index 3,11,13. Sum 27
Holes 7,8,9 Index 1,9,17. Sum 27
Holes 10,11,12 Index 4,12,14. Sum 30
Holes 13,14,15 Index 2,10,18. Sum 30
Holes 16,17,18 Index 6,8,16. Sum 30
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2012-11-21 10:48