Rules Guy: When does playing a round in extreme conditions trigger a score adjustment?

Phil Mickelson in the rain

Certain conditions must be met before your score can be adjusted by the PCC.

Getty Images

The Rules of Golf are tricky! Thankfully, we’ve got the guru. Our Rules Guy knows the book front to back. Got a question? He’s got all the answers.

This year, I’ve played in 40 mph winds, downpours and on courses nearly under water, but the new “playing conditions calculation” hasn’t applied to any score. If these situations don’t trigger a score adjustment, can you tell me what does?
—Ann Therese Palmer, Kailua, Hawaii

Rules Guy can assure you that, rumors notwithstanding, the playing conditions calculation (PCC) isn’t made by an evil consortium of tight-fisted actuaries twirling their handlebar mustaches. The process is, in fact, automated.

PCCs are made at the end of each day, comparing the players’ actual scores to their expected scores. If the scores are significantly higher or lower than expected — which can be caused by course setup as well as weather — an adjustment is automatically applied.

Golf simulator
Rules Guy: Does a round played on a simulator count toward your handicap?
By: Rules Guy

Here’s the rub: At least eight scores from golfers with a Handicap Index of 36.0 or less must be posted that day before the clock strikes midnight for a PCC adjustment even to be considered. Ergo, everyone needs to get in the habit of posting scores on the day of play. Scores that aren’t posted on the same day will still get the PCC adjustment if applicable but don’t get included in the PCC computation; as any data scientist worth his calculator will tell you, the more scores that are posted, the better the data set becomes.

That said, fewer golfers typically brave the course during extreme weather. Throw in the common misconception that we’re not expected to post our score when brutal conditions lead to uncharacteristically high scores, and it can be difficult to reach the PCC scores threshold.

Dear readers, for the dogged Ann’s sake, and all of ours, post every acceptable score, good or bad, then and there, unless the course’s Handicap Committee has temporarily suspended score posting due to the hurricane/monsoon/typhoon, etc.

Need help unriddling the greens at your home course? Pick up a custom Green Book from 8 AM Golf affiliate Golf Logix.

Got a question about the Rules? Ask the Rules Guy! Send your queries, confusions and comments to We promise he won’t throw the book at you.

generic profile image