World Handicap System is LIVE!
On January 1, 2020, the World Handicap System will officially launch in the United States, delivering the first universal Rules of Handicapping for all golfers. For the first time in the U.S., every Handicap Index will now be computed through a centralized database to ensure consistency and integrity in every number. In anticipation of this significant change, golfers in the U.S. will not be able to post scores or access their Handicap Index between January 1-5, 2020 as we migrate to the new technology.
Starting on January 6, golfers will be able to post any scores they missed during this temporary down time, and any rounds played between January 1 – 5 will be used for handicapping purposes under the new World Handicap System.
The Handicap Index calculation is changing
Your number will be based off your 8 best scores out of the past 20. For most U.S. golfers, the change will be minor, but you may see that your Handicap Index is different in January, despite not having played!
Your Course Handicap will change
Slope Rating and now Course Rating and Par will be used to determine your Course Handicap, allowing you to play from different sets of tees without any adjustment.
Net Double Bogey will replace ESC
The maximum hole score for handicap purposes will be limited to Net Double Bogey (Par + 2 + any handicap strokes you receive.)
You’ll have more responsive Handicap Index updates
Your Handicap Index will update the day after you post a score. On days you don’t submit a score, no update will take place.
Safeguards have been added to protect your Handicap Index
The system will account for abnormal playing conditions, limit extreme upward movement of a Handicap Index, and reduce a Handicap Index when an exceptional score is posted.
Why a World Handicap System?
The World Handicap System (WHS) aims to bring six different handicap systems together into a single set of Rules for Handicapping, enabling golfers of different abilities to play and compete on a fair and equal basis, no matter how or where they play.
While the six existing handicap systems have generally worked very well locally, on a global basis, their different characteristics have sometimes resulted in inconsistency, with players of the same ability ending up with slightly different handicaps. This has sometimes resulted in unnecessary difficulties and challenges for golfers competing in handicap events or for tournament administrators. A single WHS will pave the way to consistency and portability.