SPECIAL NOTE: New Members must make their own arrangements to play in a group with other PHGA members during the Permanent Reserved Starting Time (PRST) period. The PHGA will have reserved tee times for our “Special Events”, which includes the Thursday Week Day Game, Holiday Potlucks, The Takahashi Classic and Weekend Pot Games during April and October. Contact the chairman of the Special Event or another member for details on sign-up procedures.

PHGA Handicap
Until you have recorded 5 official scores, you will be assigned a temporary handicap equal to 75% of the lowest differential recorded in your first 4 rounds. After 5 rounds your handicap will be calculated normally per the USGA formula. Handicaps are calculated every 2 weeks and posted on the PHGA Website. For information on how handicaps are calculated go to the USGA website at

Only scores recorded in an official PHGA Event are used for handicaps. A minimum of 12 PHGA members must participate in an event in order for the scores to be considered official and count towards your handicap and rounds requirement.

All games played within the PHGA use net scores (gross score minus handicap). Gross scores are never used to determine results.

For scheduled weekend events (PRST players), YOU MUST enter and pay for the event through the golf course when paying greens fees in order for your score to count.

Scoring Policy for Unpaid Members
Pay your dues promptly at the start of the season. Members who have not paid their membership dues and pay $10 to enter into a weekend PRST PHGA event will have their entry fee refunded. Your score will not be entered into the PHGA scoring program for your day’s play. Members can pay their dues by placing their payment in the black box in the clubhouse. The scorekeeper will check the black box to pick up scorecards at the end of the day of weekend play and check to find member due payments. Members MUST have their current dues paid in order for the weekend score to count as a PHGA round during the PRST season.

Takahashi Classic
In order to qualify to play in our season ending tournament, The Takahashi Classic, members must record 10 official scores in one year or 20 official scores in two years. The Officers and Board of Directors will determine if an exception to the requirement needs to be made due to environmental or personal circumstances.

Flight Assignment
All PRST individual games played are flighted using A-B or A-B-C flights. Each flight is dynamically created based on the number of players entered and the mix of players based on their USGA index. Our system always attempts to create flights with an equal number of players in each flight. Because of this, if your index puts you on the borderline of A-B or B-C, you may find yourself assigned to different flight from week to week. Skins are also flighted unless the event format specifically says “giant skins”.

Weekend PRST team games are not flighted. The only team games that are flighted are the Holiday Events and Travel Events. These events require advanced signup and 4-man teams are created using an A-B-C-D player formula based on index.

Tees Played
The default is to use the BLUE tees at Palatine Hills except as follows:
Female members – White Tees
G.E.M. Members – Must play the tee color qualified for in the GEM Program.
Low handicap players can petition the G.E.M. committee to use the Black tee.

Weekly Event for Permanent Reserved Starting Times
Each weekend during the PRST season, a rotating schedule of both team and individual games are played (sometimes referred to as the “black box” game). A complete schedule of the games played each weekend can be found on the Scoring Calendar. The same game is played both Saturday and Sunday.

For team games all teams consist of 2 players. You are automatically paired (wheeled) with every other PHGA player in your foursome. In a full foursome you are a member of 3 different teams and have 3 chances to win.

An individual event is also played each weekend in addition to one of the above games. Sometimes referred to as the “pot game” this game pays the lowest front 9, back 9 and total 18 net scores along with skins. This game pays 2 flights, A and B.

Our association relies on the integrity of it’s members to make their best effort shoot the lowest score possible on each hole. We do not believe we have any members that would intentionally pad their score when they have lost a hole or are having a bad round. However, to maintain fairness to PHGA members that have established an official PHGA handicap, please continue to compete throughout the round.

New member questions on handicap penalties to new members.

The USGA handicap rules do not permit handicaps to be calculated until a golfer has recorded 5 scores. Since a handicap reflects the “potential” of a golfer and not his average score, the USGA says 5 rounds are needed to determine his potential. Instead of new members playing with a zero handicap for the first 5 rounds the PHGA decided to calculate an “interim” handicap that allows new members to potentially win some money during this interim period. The interim handicap is calculated using the lowest score out of the first 5 rounds with the result being reduced by 25%. Also, using a reduced interim handicap protects the remainder of the PHGA membership from any “handicap management” by a new member.

While it may seem unfair to new members, every PHGA member has had to go through this establishment period.

PLEASE NOTE: There is an exception to the 25% reduction penalty. If a new member plays in a holiday or travel event before they have recorded 5 rounds, their lowest score will be used (not including the holiday or travel score) to calculate their handicap without the 25% reduction. This decision was made so that the new member’s team would not be penalized too much. However, new members are not normally allowed to play in a holiday or travel event until after 5 rounds.

Question: Are new members eligible to participate in winnings for the first event they play in. If so, is the 75% rule applied after the round for their net score for that day?

Answer: Yes, they are eligible for winnings in their first round. However, except for skins, they are unlikely to win anything unless all the players in their flight play very poorly.

When a new member is entered during scoring and there are no previous rounds played, the scorer is given a warning that an “interim” handicap will be calculated after the score is entered. The formula for an interim handicap is explained below.

Question: For a new members second round, is that same handicap used as was determined from the first round or is the better of the first two differentials at 75% used and applied after the second round.

Answer: For their 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th rounds the lowest differential of the 5 is used to calculate the interim handicap. The scorer is given a warning that the handicap may change after the new score is entered. If the round being scored is the member’s 5th round, the “interim” handicap calculated (not including the 25% reduction) will remain the same until the next normal handicap revision.

Question: Does the regular handicapping approach kick in for the sixth round and thereafter or for the fifth?  This is very unclear in the description provided on the web site.

Answer: The “75%” rule is in place inclusive of the 5th round. The “75%” penalty is dropped for the 6th round forward. Normal USGA handicap calculation kicks in after the 5th round has been recorded. In the following example assume a handicap revision was made on 6/5 and the next scheduled handicap revision is 6/19.
1. A player has 4 recorded scores as of 6/5, with the lowest differential of the 4 rounds being 15.4.
2. He plays his 5th round on Sat 6/6. The differential of his 5th round computes to 14.2. Since 14.2 is now the lowest differential, it will be used to calculate the handicap for the 5th round: ((14.2 / 113) * 125) *.75 = 12 handicap.
3. He plays his 6th round on Sunday 6/7. His lowest differential from the first 5 rounds is still 14.2, but his handicap is now calculated without the 75% rule.
(14.2 / 113) * 125 = 16 handicap. This handicap will be used, regardless of the number of new rounds played, until the next regular handicap revision.

Question: During those first five rounds, how are equitable strokes applied if at all. Since equitable strokes must be applied before a handicap is determined, this is not possible for the first round and of questionable value during the first five.

Answer: During the first 5 rounds, the maximum score permitted for interim handicap calculation is a double bogey. After the interim handicap is calculated, normal ESC score reductions are then calculated (using the calculated interim handicap) against the true gross score for each hole before being posted into the handicap score history.

Score Card Rules
For each player, legibly write your PHGA Code # and LAST NAME in the name block. The top of the card must be dated and signed by the scorer AND attested by another PHGA member in your group. In those little ¼” boxes where your score for each hole is to be written, PLEASE ENTER ONLY YOUR GROSS SCORE FOR THAT HOLE. Do not write # of putts or any other number there. If you’re keeping track of side games please use a different scorecard.

Deposit the completed, signed and attested scorecard in the Black Box. The Black Box will be located in the clubhouse restaurant. Results will be posted on the Website by midweek.

Money won in all PRST events will be accumulated and paid at the end of the season. The amount you’ve won to date is updated each week and listed on our website.

How We Play The Game
Rules of Play are posted on the website under Rules of Play

All putts must be holed out, no “gimmes”.
Unless otherwise notified, WE PLAY THE BALL AS IT LIES under USGA rules. Always assume we are playing the ball “as it lies” unless notified.

Event Signup – General
Spring and Fall Weekend Pot Games
From course opening up until PRST begins and after PRST ends until course closing, a Pot Game is played every Saturday and Sunday (except when pre-empted by a special event). To play, show up no later that 30 minutes before the first scheduled tee-time and sign up. Entry fee is $10. Contact the Pot Game Chairman for more details.

Thursday Weekday Event
Pot Game as above. Same sign-up procedure.

Holiday Events
A 36 & 54 hole event is held on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day combining your holiday score with your Saturday score, Sunday score or both. Signup forms are available in the pro-shop 2 to 3 weeks before the event. Contact the Chairman of each event for more information. The holiday events always fill up, so sign up early.

Travel Events
Once per month in May, June, July and August, an event is held at an away course. These may be 18 or 36 hole events. They are typically held on the 3rd Thursday of the month. Signup sheets and details for the events are available on the website and at the golf course 2 to 3 weeks before the event.

The Takahashi Classic
This is our year-end 2-day event and our biggest event of the year. The event is named in honor of our founder, Jim Takahashi. This is a 2-man 36-hole low net partner event. This event also includes a 2-man best ball “supplemental” game. For more details on this event, ask any PHGA member.

Most official PHGA rounds are played during the PRST weekend events. There’s almost always an opportunity to substitute for an absent player on Saturday or Sunday, and PHGA members almost always prefer to play with another member. Ask around or use the PHGA e-mail to find a spot to play.