The World Handicap System for Tracking Your Golf Handicap

The World Handicap System - Golf Handicap

World Handicap System for Golf Handicaps

In January 2020, The R&A and the USGA worked together to create the World Handicap System (WHS) designed to provide golfers with a unified and more inclusive handicap system for the first time.

 

And Mulligan+ has adopted this system for our golf handicap calculation and management approach.

 

Why Adopt the World Handicap System?

The idea behind the WHS is that as the game evolves, it is critical to engage and embrace golfers at all levels worldwide. And having a consistent measure of playing ability was important primarily as people are travelling more and golf is a truly global game.


Before the WHS, there existed several different handicap systems. Firstly, the USGA system. Secondly, the CONGU system in the UK. Thirdly, the EGA System (European Golf Association) was based more on Stableford points. With different systems, it became increasingly challenging to compare golfing ability between golfers from different handicap system. 


In the UK, the maximum golf handicap was 28 for Men and 36 for Ladies whereas, in Europe, the maximum was 54.


And it wasn’t just tricky to compare handicaps, but even the way the courses were rated were different. Some clubs were assessing the course difficulty using the USGA Course Rating; others used the SSS and others used what is called the Slope Rating.


The Benefits to the World Handicap System?

 

1) The WHS uses both the USGA Course Rating and the Slope Rating systems to evaluate the difficulty of the course based on the tee that the players use. 

 

2) The idea of a Course Handicap has also been introduced. Before each round, the golfer receives (or calculates) their handicap for that particular course and tee. 

 

3) The WHS also introduce Playing Conditions Calculations which adjusts the expected player’s scores (during course competitions) based on the course condition. The PCC has a range from -1 (when the course is playing easier) to +3 (when the circumstances make the course more difficult).

 

4) The maximum golf handicap has now been standardised at 54 – representing a three-over-par on each hole. 

 

5) The WHS has also introduced the Nett Double Bogey Adjustment which limits the maximum score on any hole to Nett double bogey ensuring that bad holes don’t impact your handicap too severely. The Stableford scoring approach works in a similar matter by the player scoring zero points for terrible holes. It hurts, but it does not ruin the entire round.

 

6) In the end, the golf handicap calculation changes are designed to ensure that your Handicap Index truly reflects your ability and that it gives you the strokes you need to do well and maximise your enjoyment. It might help reduce the “bandits.”

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