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Oct 1st, 2020

A rough guide to the World Handicap System

The WHS launches in the UK in a month so get your calculators out

The World Handicap System launches in the UK on 2nd November. There is a lot of information out there distributed by clubs and the likes of England Golf and it is not the easiest to follow.

We have taken a look at the latest information available and come up with what we hope is a simple guide. Most golfers should not have to worry as the computers and Apps will do the work but it always handy to have some idea of what is going on so here goes.
In summary
  • Your current handicap converts into a Handicap Index.
  • Your Handicap Index is calculated on a rolling basis on the best eight scores from your last 20 rounds.
  • Before you play a course, you will use a chart or another method to calculate your Course Handicap.

Handicap Index
Similar to the present system each player has an exact handicap to one decimal point; however this will be your 'Handicap Index' and will not necessarily be the handicap you play off.
The Handicap Index is calculated from the average of the best eight scores from your last 20 rounds. Scores as far back as the beginning of 2018 will count toward a player's Handicap Index and players with less than 20 scores in the period will still receive a Handicap Index.
There are various other rules, safeguards and caps designed to try and prevent significant shifts in a handicap for those who do not hand in many cards or have a considerable change of form.
From now on after 2nd November every time you enter a score, your 20th will drop off and no longer count.
Course Handicap
A player's Course Handicap will be dependent on both the course and tees played. Ahead of each round a player needs to convert his Handicap Index into a Course Handicap.
Charts will be provided by clubs to allow the calculation and club's software systems will deal with the handicaps for club competitions. One assumes that a lot of the Apps used by clubs will also incorporate a course handicap calculator.

A player's Course Handicap = Handicap Index x (course slope ÷ 113)
Example Course has slope and course ratings as follows :
Black tees ( men ) = 135 (slope) / 71.3 (course)
White tees (men) = 126 (slope) / 70.6(course)
Yellow tees (men) = 120 (slope) / 69.6 (course)
Red tees (women) = 136 (slope) / 72.6 (course)
Player 1
A man with a Handicap Index of 12.2 playing off the yellow tees will have a course handicap of 12.96 (12.2 x (120 ÷ 113)) and so will get 13 shots.
Player 2
A man with a Handicap Index of 4.4 playing off the black tees will have a course handicap of 5.25 (4.4 x (135 ÷ 113)) and so will get 5 shots.
Player 3
A lady with a Handicap Index of 17.5 playing off the red tees will have a course handicap of 21.06 (17.5 x (136 ÷ 113)) and so will get 21 shots.
The course rating is a similar measure to the current standard scratch system but it is the slope that determines the change in handicaps across courses.
As a basic rule of thumb, the higher the slope of the course, the more shots you will receive and visa-versa.

Playing Conditions Calculation
The  Playing Conditions Calculation (PCC ) takes into account the playing conditions and not just for competition rounds. Even when you a player submits a supplementary score, the PCC  takes effect to ensure the player's actual performance against the weather conditions is correctly represented.
A high score on a cold and rainy day could end being a good score and one of your best 8 used in calculating a player's Handicap Index.
Eligible Scores
Nothing changes here as scores to count for handicap will either be through competitions or general play where you have advised the Pro Shop before teeing off. As currently operates, you can play social golf and not hand a card in. 

TAGS: Rules Of Golf, World Handicap System, Slope Rating, 2020

And another thing...