The World Handicap System - coming 2nd November 2020

Golf already has a single set of playing Rules, a single set of equipment Rules and a single set of Rules of Amateur Status governed by the USGA and The R&A.  Yet, today there are six different handicap systems used around the world.  Each is well developed and successfully provides equity for play locally, but each of the different systems produces slightly differing results when calculating players’ handicaps.  The WHS will unify these six existing systems into a single system that will:

  • enable golfers of different abilities to play and compete on a fair and equal basis, in any format, on any course, anywhere around the world;
  • be easy to understand and implement, without sacrificing accuracy; and
  • meet the varied needs and expectations of golfers, golf clubs and golf authorities all around the world and be adaptable to suit all golfing cultures.

An Overview Of The WHS

What is the new World Handicap System (WHS)?

The WHS has been developed by The R&A and USGA in coordination with existing Handicap authorities, and is designed to:

  • Attract more players to the game
  • Make handicapping easier to understand
  • Allow golfers to use their Handicap Index on any course around the world

The WHS has also been created with consideration given to club golfers who play both sporadically and more regularly, creating a more inclusive and equitable system for golfers worldwide. The benefit of the WHS over the current system is it combines the Rules of Handicapping and the Course Rating System.

Why has the WHS been created?

To allow as many golfers as possible the opportunity to:

  • Obtain and maintain a Handicap Index and reduce barriers of entry
  • Use their Handicap Index on any golf course around the world
  • Compete, or play recreationally, fairly regardless of where they play

With golf being centred around one standard set of rules governed by The R&A and USGA, it makes sense to unify the previous six different Handicapping systems, making for a more inclusive and equitable sport.

With all golfers only initially required to submit scorecards for 54 holes to acquire a Handicap Index, the new WHS is less formidable for new players.

How does the WHS work?

For golfers in England, calculating a new Handicap Index will be front of mind when adopting the WHS. The process will begin in the same way throughout the world – by accurately measuring a player’s golfing ability. For regular golfers, this will be done by:

  • The WHS Software calculating the average of the eight best scores from the previous 20 rounds

For new golfers, they will have to:

  • Submit scorecards of 54 holes (3x 18 holes, 6x 9 holes or any combination of 9 and 18 holes) to their golf club’s Handicap Committee

From this they will be provided an initial Handicap Index. After a player has achieved 20 scores, a ‘fully developed’ Handicap Index can be calculated to provide the most accurate representation of a player’s ability. To ensure a player has only one Handicap Index, the golfer will nominate a home club. The home club is determined by the player, but for practicality it is recommended this is where the player typically submits the most of their scores.

Golf club’s will manage the WHS through a Handicap Committee. The main roles and responsibilities of each club are to conduct and manage handicap reviews and communicate to the club’s members. There is further detail on roles and responsibilities later in this toolkit for complete clarity.

Our club’s committee consists of:

John Reid (member) / Bryan Stockwell (member) / Rosie Nutland (General Manager) / Ian Bolt (PGA Professional)

To find out more about the key features that will be included in WHS, please click on one of the icons below


COURSE RATING



SLOPE RATING



HANDICAP INDEX



COURSE HANDICAP



PLAYING HANDICAP




GENERAL PLAY & COMPETITION ROUNDS

 

Course Weather

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