What Is The Playing Conditions Calculation (PCC Golf)?

A golfer is seen to assess his performance by running a playing conditions calculation (PCC golf).

Learn how to calculate playing conditions for golf by using our detailed guide. Understand the factors that affect performance and make informed decisions for optimal results.

With the introduction of the new World Handicap System, PCC or Playing Conditions Calculation has become an integral part of golfers’ understanding of their handicaps. But what does this acronym mean? And how does it factor into your golf game?

What is PCC golf?

At the end of each day, golfers can assess their performance by running a playing conditions calculation. This calculation considers course conditions, weather, and course setup to determine if scores were higher or lower than expected.

Principle of including PCC in handicapping

With this feature included in the handicap calculation, we acknowledge that an average score produced under difficult playing conditions is better than a high-performing score obtained during easier conditions. When not adjusted for, such scores could be excluded from being part of the Handicap Index computation.

Requirements for PCC:

  • PCC requires no action by club/course staff or players other than posting their scores
  • It takes into account the scores of all golfers with a Handicap Index® of 36.0 or below.
  • Both 9-hole and 18-hole scores in the calculation
  • PCC only takes place if at least eight scores were posted in total on a given day.

How does PCC golf work?

If the scores recorded are significantly different, a PCC adjustment between -1 and +3 will be applied in the Score Differentials™ calculation for all players that took part in the game on that particular day.

The calculated adjustment is directly dependent upon the following:

A negative adjustment (-) indicates that the course was easier than normal, while a positive adjustment (+) indicates the course was more difficult than anticipated. 

In short, The PCC can result in an adjustment of -1.0, 0.0, +1.0, +2.0, or +3.0.

  • A 0.0 adjustment means the course played as expected.
  • A -1.0 adjustment means the course played easier than normal.
  • A +1.0, +2.0, or +3.0 adjustment means the course played more difficult than normal.

Note: The calculation is designed to be conservative and will result in no adjustment on most days.

Procedure for performing playing conditions calculation

The calculation is a hands-free process that works as follows:

  1. Calculate the expected score for each eligible player.
  2. Determine the anticipated standard deviation of Score Differentials when playing golf, considering all relevant Slope Ratings.
  3. Compare the number of players who surpassed expectations and those who underperformed on the day.
  4. By comparing the proportion of players who exceeded, met, or fell below their expected scoring range to each other, it can be determined whether an adjustment needs to be made in a Player’s Course Capability.
  5. Determine the extent of difficulty or ease the golf course provides on any given day and make changes accordingly.
  6. Utilizing these calculations, ascertain any necessary PCC adjustment required for playing that day.
  7. A PCC adjustment should be expressed in the whole numbers.
A detailed video explaining the “Playing Conditions Calculation (PCC) in golf.

For 18-hole score

An 18-hole Score Differential is calculated as follows and is then rounded to the nearest tenth, with .5 rounded upwards:

Score Differential = (113 ÷ Slope Rating) x (adjusted gross scoreCourse RatingPCC adjustment)

Note: The PCC adjustment ranges from -1.0 to +3.0 

For 9-hole score

If a golfer submitted a 9-hole score, an 18-hole Score Differential should be created by combining the two 9-hole Score Differentials.

Moreover, A 9-hole Score Differential is calculated by using 50% of the PCC adjustment for the day:

Score Differential = (113 ÷ 9-hole Slope Rating) x (9-hole adjusted gross score – 9-hole Course Rating – (0.5 x PCC adjustment)


  • If you submit a 9-hole score to the PCC, it will be counted twice. Additionally, your Course Rating and Slope Rating for that particular golf round will be doubled in the calculation.
  • All eligible scores which have been submitted, or will be taken into account later on the day they were played, must adhere to the PCC.


Playing Conditions Calculation in golf is important when determining a round’s score. It helps players evaluate their course’s difficulty and the best strategies for playing their rounds. 

Playing conditions calculations can be a great way to analyze and improve one’s game. Players can make more informed decisions and achieve better scores by understanding the basics of this calculation.

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