A player’s Low Handicap Index is remembered within the handicap formula – this is the lowest Handicap Index they have held within the last 12 months.
The Low Handicap Index provides a reference point against which the current Handicap Index can be compared.
This is to help ensure that the player’s current Handicap Index cannot stray too far away from their demonstrated ability, in too short a space of time
If the new Index is more than a certain number of strokes above the Low Handicap Index, the cap is triggered.
The soft cap suppresses upward movement when the difference between the new calculated Index and the Low Index is greater than 3.
The increase is suppressed by 50% of any value over 3.
The hard cap prevents further upward movement by placing a hard ceiling at 5 above the Low Index.
The soft cap and hard cap procedures only start to take effect once a player has at least 20 acceptable scores in their scoring record