Welcome to our World Handicapping pages which we have put together to try and explain to our members about the significant changes that are being implemented on how handicaps will be maintained.
The World Handicap System was introduced on the 2nd November 2020. It is designed to welcome more players, to make golf easier to understand and to give all golfers a handicap which is portable all around the globe.
It will replace the 6 different systems currently used by over 15 million golfers in more than 80 countries.
It has been developed by The R&A and The United States Golf Association (USGA), supported by the world’s handicapping authorities, including CONGU, which represents the four home countries of Great Britain and Ireland.
If you haven’t already, I encourage you to signup for your England Golf account at https://www.englandgolf.org/my-account-member/. By signing up you can receive the England Golf WHS newsletters directly to your inbox. From the 2nd November you can also track your handicap through the England Golf WHS Platform.
England Golf also provide an application for Apple Devices and Android. You can find more information here https://www.englandgolf.org/handicapping/whs-app/ and links to download the App for your mobile phone.
My summary below provides an overview of the new system covering all the main elements and how they link together.
Chair of Competition & Handicap Committee
COURSE RATING – in the late summer of 2019 the course was given a Course Rating which represents the difficulty of a course for a scratch golfer from each different tee (a bit like the old Standard Scratch rating)
SLOPE RATING – this rating represents the relative difficulty of a course for a bogey golfer as compared with a scratch golfer. In this context bogey means a 20 handicap for men and 24 for women. Slope rating has been done for each different tee.
BGGC 18-Hole Slope Ratings are :
BGGC 9-Hole Slope Ratings are:
Under the WHS you NOW have a Handicap Index (HI)
Your initial HI was computed as the average of the best 8 of your last 20 qualifying scores posted since 1st January 2018. If you had not posted 20 qualifying scores since then a method similar to allocating a new handicap was used.
General Play Scores (formally known as Supplementary Scores)
N.B. You need to pre-register your intention to submit a General Play Score.
Preferably this should be done using the HowDidIDo (HDID) App but if this is not possible you must inform the Pro Shop of your intention to submit a General Play Score BEFORE starting your round.
To register your intention via the HDID App, go to “Today’s Golf”, click on “Sign In” and click on “General Play Score”. You will then be able to choose the course tees you intend to use and specify whether 9 or 18 holes. This MUST be done BEFORE starting your round.
On completion of your round, where possible return your hole by hole scores using the App and place your signed scorecard (showing named marker) in the competition box. Ensure that the scorecard is noted “General Play Score” showing the date, tee time and the name of the marker and signed by the player. If the premises are closed, place the card in the external box near the entrance porch.
So we have Slope Rating and a Handicap Index.
Your handicap on a specific day is calculated by reference to the particular course and tee that you are playing from.
Your Handicap Index is multiplied by the Slope Rating for the course tee being played and then divided by the Neutral Slope Rating of 113.
For example, if the Slope Rating of the White tees on a course was say 127, then if your Handicap Index is :
Good News! – charts will be available at each club and in the PSI software used on the club terminals and phone Apps will be available. So you will not need to do the calculation yourself.
N.B. It is your Handicap Index that must be recorded on your scorecard.
Every player has a single Handicap Index and all calculations whether 18 or 9 holes are based on this.
When playing a 9 Hole Competition or General Play Score, the calculation to obtain your Course Handicap (CH) is slightly different from the 18 hole calculation. At the top of this page you will find the Yellow and Red FRONT 9 Conversion Charts.
Additionally we have a dedicated 9 Hole Score Card and this can be found on the Course / Slope Rating page on our website – CLICK HERE
For those interested in the difference in calculating your 9 Hole Course Handicap, the details are below:
Jane has a Handicap Index of 30.4
Front 9 Red Slope Rating: 114
Front 9 Red Course Rating: 34.9
(30.4 / 2) x (114 / 113) + (34.9 – 35) = 15
95% allowance = 14
85% allowance = 13
Kevin has a Handicap Index of 18.2
Front 9 Yellow Slope Rating: 108
Front 9 Yellow Course Rating: 33
(18.2 / 2) x (108 / 113) + (33 – 34) = 8
95% allowance = 8
85% allowance = 7
On completion of the round, as soon as possible on that day, you must post your scores electronically on the PSI of the club you played. If using phone Apps, scores must be posted before midnight. Your Handicap Index will be updated in the “Cloud” at 5 minutes past midnight. There will be sanctions for non-submission of scores.
Please also register for your England Golf account at https://www.englandgolf.org/my-account-member/. By signing up you can receive the England Golf WHS newsletters directly to your inbox. From the 2nd November you can also track your handicap through the England Golf WHS Platform.
We will no longer have a “ratcheting system” of handicap adjustment. Currently a good score results in a much bigger handicap adjustment than having a poor score. Also, a spell of poor form is rewarded by 0.1 increases in handicap. Under the WHS it will be very different up & down.
Your Handicap Index will be the average of your best 8 out of the last 20 Acceptable Scores (see 6. Below). It is recalculated when new scores are returned. There could be quite a swing.
Upward movement of Handicap Index within a defined period of time is CAPPED to limit the rate of increase during a period of poor form. (Soft and Hard cap).
For Handicap purposes, a big score at a hole is reduced to a net double bogey.
There can also be exceptional score adjustments after a very low score is returned.
There are two categories :
1. Competition Scores – scores in all singles competition rounds of Individual Strokeplay (Medal & Stableford) played over a qualifying measured course from a particular tee
2. General Play Scores (formally Supplementary Scores) – scores in non-competition and social golf can be used but pre-registration is required. You MUST register your intention to submit a score for handicap purposes PRIOR to commencement of the round. These can be played over 9 or 18 holes.
Team and Matchplay scores are currently excluded in England.
We have covered Course Handicaps and that calculation is done first by multiplying your Handicap Index by Slope rating and then dividing by 113.
You may then need to determine your Playing Handicap by restricting your Course Handicap dependent on the format of the competition. For example :
So a bit of juggling when it comes to getting the right handicap for recording scores on your scorecard. A Handicap Index, a Course Handicap and a Playing Handicap.
This adjustment is made automatically by the software to take account of abnormal course or weather conditions. It looks at all the scores submitted on the course for that day and determines if the course or weather conditions on the day differed from “Normal” expected scores. This is a bit like the current CSS adjustment.
The adjustment will however be conservative in nature. In easy conditions it may adjust the gross score for the round by 1 or increase the gross by up to 3 in difficult conditions.
A simple introduction to the WHS
1 World Handicap System –
An Introduction (1:01)
2 World Handicap System –
Basis of Calculation (1:20)
3 World Handicap System –
Course and Slope Rating (1:22)
4 World Handicap System –
Playing Handicap (1:04)
5 World Handicap System –
Maximum Handicap Index 54 (1:18)
6 World Handicap System –
Acceptable Scores (1:24)
7 World Handicap System –
Net Double Bogey (1:13)
8 World Handicap System –
Daily Revisions (1:13)
9 World Handicap System –
Playing conditions calculation (1:18)
10 WHS Player Journey (2:54)
(Images and Videos source: England Golf / R&A)