The World Am tournament creators called on Dean Knuth, the lead developer of the USGA's Course and Slope ratings systems, to collaborate on scoring standards and fair handicap expectations for their increasing popular amateur golf tournament.

Knuth, a.k.a, the Pope of Slope, lent his considerable expertise to the development of a reliable and fair computerized retroactive adjustment system for monitoring and regulating equitable strokes during each World Amateur golf tournament round.

During the first four rounds of the event, any player who shoots unusually low scores may be subject to a golf handicap retroactive adjustment. The adjustment system is based on a cumulative net score threshold compared to courses played and slope ratings. Handicap stroke adjustments may be made for any or all remaining or previously played rounds.

When a competitor reaches a specific threshold of exceptional play, a “Report Card” is developed for him/her. This Report Card includes the player's current gross score compared to (1) the course played that day and its course rating; (2) contact information for the player's home handicap chairman; (3) net differentials compared directly to the USGA Net Score Probability Table; and (5) if he/she is a past World Am participant, his/her past year's scores, courses and slope ratings, and past indexes.

If a player's handicap strokes are adjusted, but that player continues to shoot exceptional scores, the accuracy of his/her handicap will be thoroughly researched. The following steps may be taken to determine the accuracy of a player's handicap:


  • Reviewing past/other tournament results/rankings
  • Utilizing the Internet to research
  • - Tournament scores/results not posted on handicap
    - Other handicaps established but not reported
    - Updated handicaps not reported prior to tournament
  • Implementing USGA Probability Table for exceptional score(s)
  • Calling home golf courses/interviewing person(s) that attested to handicap in question


The Tournament Handicap Committee

The World Am tournament handicap committee meets each day of the competition to review participants and evaluate handicaps as scores come in. Prior to releasing flight score sheets, the committee reviews the results of the handicap research for each player in question and reaches one of three verdicts:

  • Let the player continue to play in the competition.
  • Bring the player in to meet with the committee and to discuss his/her low net scores.
  • Disqualify the player from competition.

The handicap committee reserves the right to change a player's handicap index or disqualify him/her from participation, if deemed necessary. An adjustment is not required prior to disqualification.  All decisions of the tournament committee are final.

The Championship Round Handicap

Each player who makes it into the championship round competes for the World Am crown using a handicap based solely on a calculation using his or her four-day World Am scores. All players will be subject to the required standard course rating adjustment formula due to participants playing on various tee boxes.  More information regarding course rating adjustments can be found here.

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