The Callaway Scoring System
This is a sort of ‘oneoff’ handicapping system for events which require formal and fair stroke play scoring, but where not all the participants may have official handicaps. Company, charity or society days, for example.
Although it appears complicated it is in practice quite easy to use, and through long use has proved itself to be a very fair means of handicapping a diverse group of golfers.
The Callaway Scoring System
All you need to do is play normally and keep your gross score for each hole. A maximum score of ‘twice the par’ is applied to every hole, so if you’ve already taken 8 on a par 4 and are still in the bushes, you can simply pick up and write down 8.
After the round, add up the score and then refer to the chart below. Find your score and look in the right hand ‘Handicap Deduction’ column. If you shot 96, you can deduct your three worst scoring holes (NB: you cannot deduct scores made on the 17th or 18th holes, even if one or both of them is among your worst scores). So if you have a 7 and two 8s on your card, that’s a deduction of 23.
Now look down the chart from 96 to the ‘Handicap Adjustment’ row, where 96 corresponds to an adjustment of 2. Take 2 from 23 to get 21, and that’s your handicap, so you have a net score for the day of 73.
Sony Open in Hawaii R2
Gross score (applying doublepar maximum)  Handicap Deduction  
68 
69 
70 
71 
72* 
Scratch 
73 
74 
75 


1/2 of Worst Hole 
76 
77 
78 
79 
80 
Worst Hole 
81 
82 
83 
84 
85 
1 1/2 Worst Holes 
86 
87 
88 
89 
90 
2 Worst Holes 
91 
92 
93 
94 
95 
2 1/2 Worst Holes 
96 
97 
98 
99 
100 
3 Worst Holes 
101 
102 
103 
104 
105 
3 1/2 Worst Holes 
106 
107 
108 
109 
110 
4 Worst Holes 
111 
112 
113 
114 
115 
4 1/2 Worst Holes 
116 
117 
118 
119 
120 
5 Worst Holes 
121 
122 
123 
124 
125 
5 1/2 Worst Holes 
126 
127 
128 
129 
130 
6 Worst Holes 
2 
1 
0 
1 
2 
Handicap Adjustment 
* Note 1: The chart above applies to par of 72. If par is higher or lower, add or subtract the number of strokes corresponding to the difference in par from 72 from the Gross Scores in the chart. For example, if par is 70, subtract 2 from each of the Gross Scores listed above for the purposes of calculation. If 73, add 1.  
Note 2: No counting gross score can be more than double the par for the hole, eg 8 on a par 4. Therefore a 7 on a par 3 will be reduced to a 6 for the purposes of the Callaway calculations. This can be done either immediately during the round (much simpler for everyone), or after the cards are handed in, in which case the returned Gross Score on the card will be checked and reduced where necessary to become the ‘Adjusted Gross Score’. This should be announced by the organisers before the start of the event.  
Note 3: Scores for the 17th and 18th holes cannot be deducted.  
Note 4: Half scores are rounded up. When deducting half of 7, 3.5 rounds up to 4.  
Note 5: The maximum strokes that can be deducted under the System is 50. 
The Callaway Scoring System
The Callaway Scoring System
In case you’re wondering, the system has nothing to do with Callaway Golf, the manufacturer, nor its founder Eli Callaway.
It was invented by Englishman Lionel Callaway, born on the Isle of Wight into a family of golf professionals and course architects. The family emigrated to North Carolina where Lionel was professional at Pinehurst and Penrose Park Country Clubs. He specialised in teaching beginners and bringing people into golf, and his scoring system was a means of enabling competition among his many students who did not yet have a formal handicap.