Golf Australia is the governing body for handicapping and course rating in Australia. Golf Australia executes its role in co-operation with the state golf associations. The purpose of the Australian Handicap and Course Rating Systems is to make the game of golf more enjoyable for golfers by providing a means of measuring a golfer’s performance and progress and to enable golfers of differing abilities to compete on as equitable a basis as possible.

Handicapping Systems
If you would like to know more about Handicapping in Australia, Golf Australia's website is a great place to start.

How to Obtain a Handicap
An official Australian (Golf Australia) handicap can only be issued by golf clubs that are affiliated with a State Association that is a member of Golf Australia, which in the Northern Territory is Golf NT. For a list of golf clubs in the Northern Territory please go to the "Clubs” section of the Golf NT website.

Handicapping Regulations for USGA Rated Courses
Once a course has been rated under the USGA system and has been provided with its new Scratch Course Rating, the following regulations must be adhered to:

Scores must not be handicapped when the length of the course played varies from the actual measured length of the rated course by more than 100 metres for an 18-hole round.

Note – For a round of less than 18 holes, a pro rata length must be calculated; e.g. for a 9-hole round, the distance is 50 metres.

In order to maintain the playing characteristics of the course, and subject to the provisions of clause above, the movable tee markers used to designate the Teeing Ground should not be placed more than 20 metres in front or 20 metres behind the relevant set of Permanent Plates.

Note – Handicap Conditions do not prevail when the tee markers, under normal circumstances, are placed outside the above area on more than three holes for rounds of 14-18 holes, or on more than two holes for rounds of 9-13 holes.

Handicapping When Bunkers are Out of Play
View the Golf Australia guidance in regard to bunkers filled with water out of play.

Download a Temporary Rating Application Form associated with Bunkers out of Play.

For further information on any of the above please contact Golf NT's Rules, Handicapping and Course Rating representative Tricia Clarke at