World Handicap System
November 2020
Members Only
Diary Event


A modern handicap system for all golfers everywhere -
November 2020 will see the introduction of the new World Handicap System created by The R&A and USGA to unify the six different handicapping systems currently in operation. Courses will receive a Course Rating (similar to Standard Scratch Score) and a Slope Rating. Course rating reflects the difficulty for a Scratch golfer and is shown to one decimal place and the Slope Rating is a whole number that represents the relative difficulty of how a Bogey golfer will play the course compared to a Scratch Player. Both Course Rating and Slope Rating will appear on score cards.

The WHS is based on an average of the best 8 of the last 20 scores recorded in a player's record regardless of the age of the score. As players submit scores, the oldest disappears from the handicap calculation. Players will submit competition scores for handicap purposes as they do now, i.e. monthly medal/stableford with the opportunity to return scores from recreational or social golf, should they wish to. Players will also be able to submit an acceptable score at any club they are playing at by registering their intent before play. They do not need to be a member of that club.

Handicap Committees will be able to use scores from unofficial social competitions to adjust handicaps even if the player hadn't registered their intent to submit an acceptable score before play.

CONGU categories 1-6 will not be used but there may be a system in place to differentiate the elite player. The competition status of a handicap is abolished and, providing the player is a member of an Affiliated Club, they will have a Handicap Index.

A Playing Conditions Calculation will be made daily, similar to the current Competition Scratch Score (CSS) using all scores submitted by players with a Handicap Index of 36.0 or lower on the day and not just those in a competition. Safeguards will ensure a player's Handicap Index cannot move either up or down too drastically - known as caps. WHS will also apply Exceptional Scoring Reductions as used in CONGU.

Handicap Committees should review handicaps of all their home players annually and may initiate a review of any player who is consistently returning scores that do not reflect their demonstrated ability.

Transferring a CONGU handicap to a World Handicap needs 20 score differentials in the player's record so that the average of the best 8 can be used to determine the player's Handicap Index. For players with less than 20 scores in their record, a different score differential calculation will be made until the required number is achieved. Clubs should encourage players to submit as many scores as they can, including Supplementary Scores.

To obtain an initial Handicap Index, a player must submit acceptable scores from a minimum of 54 holes, as required by CONGU. For a player submitting their first scores to obtain an Initial Handicap Index, the maximum score for each hole played is limited to par + 5 strokes.

When playing a round of golf, players will look up their Handicap Index on the club's Slope Table to find their Course Handicap. When playing in an Organised Competition, such as a Monthly Medal, or a Four-Ball stroke play, a Handicap Allowance is applied to find the Playing Handicap.

After play, the score is submitted and processed by WHS and handicaps recalculated overnight ready for the player the next day.

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05.01.2021 07:06
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