World Handicap System

As of November 2nd, 2020, the governing bodies of amateur golf in Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales will introduce the new World Handicap System (WHS).

The current golf handicapping system maintained by CONGU will be replaced by WHS which will unify the six different structures currently in operation throughout the world of golf.

With one single, global system in place for the first time, golfers will be able to obtain and maintain a handicap index and use this on any course around the world.

In addition, they will be able to compete or simply play a casual round with fellow golfers anywhere on a fair and equal basis.

As well as encouraging players new to the sport to obtain a handicap with ease, the WHS will also modernise the game for those who have been playing for longer.

Under the new system, a player’s handicap will be based on the average of eight best scores from their last 20 rounds.

WHS will also take into account factors currently not fully represented in the existing handicapping procedure through a course and slope rating system.

Features of WHS

- Flexibility in formats of play, allowing both competitive and recreational rounds to count for handicap purposes and ensuring that a golfer’s handicap is more reflective of potential ability.

- A minimal number of scores needed to obtain a new handicap; a recommendation that the number of scores needed to obtain a new handicap be 54 holes from any combination of 18-hole and 9-hole rounds, but with some discretion available for national or regional associations to set a different minimum within their own jurisdiction.

- A consistent handicap that is portable from course to course and country to country through worldwide use of the USGA Course and Slope Rating System, already successfully used in more than 80 countries.

- An average-based calculation of a handicap, taken from the best eight out of the last 20 scores and factoring in memory of demonstrated ability for better responsiveness and control.

- A calculation that considers the impact that abnormal course and weather conditions might have on a player’s performance each day
- Daily handicap revisions, taking account of the course and weather conditions calculation.

- A limit of Net Double Bogey on the maximum hole score (for handicapping purposes only).

- A maximum handicap limit of 54.0, regardless of gender, to encourage more golfers to measure and track their performance to increase their enjoyment of the game.

Scottish Golf have provided a form for individual members of all clubs to send their WHS handicapping queries to.

Please use this link to address your questions in the first instance and review the answers BEFORE contacting the Pro Shop or Committee.

It may take 5 days to receive a reply but they will reply. They are not responding to phone calls.

We appreciate your help on going this route first. We emphasise there is ample time to address the issues before our counting competitions begin next season.

You can find the form here.

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