WHS – What Handicap do I Use ?

04 Apr WHS – What Handicap do I Use ?

WHS – What Handicap do I Use ?
I hope that you have had a chance to play some golf and I trust you and your families are keeping safe and well.

We plan to present a qualifying course for Handicap purposes from 12th April. The World Handicapping System (WHS) refers to different handicaps and when to use each one. I have been asked to clarify this and I hope the information below aids your understanding.

Do not forget our dedicated WHS page https://brackenghyllgolfclub.co.uk/whs/ which has plenty of information to assist you further and the dedicated email address whs@brackenghyll.co.uk where we are happy to answer your questions.

Kind Regards

George Auterson
Chair of Competition & Handicap


Your Handicap Index (HI) is your starting point. You then need to determine your Course Handicap (CH) by using the 18 Hole Slope Rating Conversion Chart which can be found on the outside wall of the clubhouse.

The chart takes into account the Course Slope Rating and adjusts your HI dependent on the tee you are playing from. You will see that there are 4 separate tee columns, White, Yellow, Blue (Seniors) and Red. You simply focus on the Tee you will be playing from and based on your HI you determine your Course Handicap (CH).

In General Play see below your CH is the Handicap for the round you are playing.

(For 9 hole General Play and Competitions there is a different conversation chart and this will be explained and published in due course)


When playing in competitions, the R&A has set mandatory Handicap Allowances dependent on the format of the competition. These Handicap Allowances effectively reduce your CH to provide equity for players of all levels of ability in each format of play.
(The maximum Handicap is 54 and the R&A carried out numerous statistical tests to determine the appropriate degree of reduction in CH to achieve “a fair and equal game when playing with or competing against one another”.)

The main changes following the introduction of the WHS relate to Strokeplay Competitions (Medal & Stableford). In particular:

• Individual Medal & Stableford – Handicap Allowance is 95% of your CH
• Fourball Betterball – Handicap Allowance is 85% of your CH.

No Calculator Required – On the Noticeboard to the right of the touchscreen (Psi) in the foyer you will find a Conversion Chart for each tee course. Each tee chart enables you to convert your HI to your CH and then a 95% or 85% restriction when appropriate.

I have attached a copy of the BLUE tee conversion chart as an example but you will find all conversation charts on our website at the top of the following links https://brackenghyllgolfclub.co.uk/course-slope-rating/ or https://brackenghyllgolfclub.co.uk/whs/

N.B. – your Playing Handicap is ONLY used to determine the result of a competition and is NOT relevant for Handicap score recording purposes. It is your CH that is relevant for Handicapping purposes. Please remember that if your Playing Handicap is less than your CH be careful when deciding to “pick up” in Stableford competitions!


Firstly, you will see that the Seniors Course is now shown separately and is designated as our Blue Course. Secondly, you will see that there are three Handicap boxes for you to enter your Handicap Index, Course Handicap and Playing Handicap.

CONGU Guidance G2.1b/ – Handicap On The Scorecard – confirms that to AVOID DISQUALIFICATION under Rule 3.3b (4) of the Rules of Golf the player MUST put his/her Course Handicap on the scorecard. I suggest that to avoid any confusion you record on the card both your Handicap Index and your Course Handicap, along with Plating Handicap when applicable.


Scores are only acceptable for WHS handicapping purposes during the Club’s Active Season and this is planned to start on 12th April. Competition and General Play scores will then be qualifying for Handicap Index purposes.
“General Play” is defined as – When an organized competition is not being contested and golfers are playing:

• A casual round; or
• Competitively, but not in an event organized by the Committee.

Under the previous system General Play scores for Handicap purposes were referred to as Supplementary Scores and it remains a requirement that registration of an intention to submit a General Play score must be made on the day and before commencement of the round. Registration of intention to submit a General Play score can be entered using the HDID App, PSI screen in the foyer, or exceptionally by advising the Pro shop. The scorecard should be noted General Play Score, date etc. and returned on completion of the round.

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