Blog, News

Author: Keri Schmit

Important Information Golfers Need to Know

WHS Implementation Starts Soon

“The World Handicap System is the latest example of our work to make the game of golf more welcoming for golfers around the world.”

Mike Davis, CEO of USGA

The World Handicap System is a major new initiative for the sport which will establish a clearer and more consistent handicapping process for golfers throughout the world.

USGA’s, Chris McEniry, refers to the system has a pathway into the game for players around the world that is sure to benefit everyone.

“We are working closely with national associations to ensure everyone is fully prepared for the introduction of the new system as soon as possible after it becomes available for implementation.”

Chris McEniry, USGA

Earlier this year, the USGA and The R&A launched a social media video campaign to remind gofers of the eight key features of the new Rules of Handicapping.

8 Key Features of the New Rules of Handicapping

  • Minimum number of scores to establish a Handicap Index and maximum Handicap Index of 54.0
  • Basis of calculation of Handicap Index
  • Acceptability of scores for handicap purposes
  • Course Rating and Slope Rating
  • Calculation of a Playing Handicap
  • Maximum hole score for handicap purposes
  • Adjustments for abnormal playing conditions
  • Frequency of updating a Handicap Index

Preparation of the WHS

A lot of work has gone into the preparation for the roll out of the new system including:

  • Building a library of resources and educational materials
  • Release of the technical specifications
  • Finalizing the new Rules of Handicapping
  • Continuation testing

Many national associations around the world are working to ensure that their golf courses are rated in accordance with the Course Rating System updating their platform software.

3 Key Goals in Developing the WHS

  • Encourage as many golfers as possible to obtain and maintain a Handicap Index;
  • Enable golfers of differing abilities, genders and nationalities to transport their Handicap Index to any course around the world;
  • Indicate with sufficient accuracy the score a golfer is reasonably capable of achieving on any course around the world
Are you ready?

An international survey of 52,000 golfers revealed widespread support for the WHY with 76% in favor of the new system Rolex has also expressed their support to implementing the new system next year.

The World Handicap System will be governed by the USGA and The R&A, with support from the following six handicap authorities:

Golf Handicap Authorities

  • Golf Austraillia
  • CONGU Council of National Golf Unions
  • EGA European Golf Association
  • SAGA South African Golf Association
  • AAG Argentine Golf Association
  • USGA United States Golf Association

5 Important Changes to the WHS that Golfers Should Know

There are currently 6 handicapping systems worldwide and with the WHS going into effect soon, you can expect to see some changes to other platforms including GHIN, USGA’s current platform system.

Here are the most important changes you need to know:

  1. Stay up to date daily
    The Handicap Index will be updated the day after posting a score. The current platform only updates twice a month.
  2. Establish your Handicap Index sooner.
    It’ll take fewer rounds to establish an Index. Nor will you have to wait till the next revision date to get an updated Handicap Index.
  3. Keep your scores lower
    The WHS will have a maximum hole score of net double bogey (your hole score plus any handicap strokes you receive on that hole) in order to keep your score closer to your true playing potential.
  4. Blame it on the weather
    The new WHS will consider the impact of daily course or weather conditions on each golfer’s performance and adjust their handicap accordingly.
  5. A Handicap Index for everyone
    Introduce more golfers to the concept of utilizing a Handicap Index. As such, the maximum Handicap Index will rise from 36.4 for men and 40.4 for women to 54 for both men and women

It’s easy to get started with the new WHS. All you need to do is post 54 holes (three 18-hole rounds, six 9-hole rounds, or any combination of those that equals 54 holes), down from the current 90 holes.

The World Handicap System will also count the 8 best scores of your most recent 20 rounds (or an equivalent if you have less than 20 scores) instead of the 10 best scores.

Don’t wait to start establishing your Handicap Index. Start today!