[May 2019]

On January 1, 2020, the vast majority of countries that have an organized golf institution will begin to use the world handicap system known as WHS (World Handicap System).

This system was put together from the contributions of the six world systems that have been used in recent decades.

In essence, it is based on the USGA COURSE RATING SYSTEM or USGA COURSE RATING SYSTEM that migrated to its new name WORLD HANDICAP COURSE RATING SYSTEM, a system that we have described in the post «The basis of the handicap system: USGA course rating «.

Then, the system has its main inspiration in the USGA system that Dean Knuth developed in the 1980s and that spread so successfully throughout the golf planet. Here our article on the USGA Handicap system.

For those who have used the USGA system up to now, the updates that will be made will be minor adjustments but will involve some changes.

Instead for those who were using systems like EGA, South Africa, Australia or Argentina / Uruguay, the changes can be dramatic.

The general characteristics of the new system are as follows:

  • The value that will describe the player’s reactive playing ability will be called INDEX HANDICAP and will be a value with a decimal number.
  • The index will be calculated from 8 best out of 20 last differentials posted to the handicap system;
  • The values ​​obtained from the qualification of fields take on a very daily role:
  • There is a maximum allowed score called EQUITABLE STROKE CONTROL per hole which will be NET DOUBLE BOGEY, that is, PAR + HOLE ADVANTAGE + 2 STROKE.
    EX: A player playing with a 15 handicap in a PAR 5 who has a MATCH advantage or hole handicap value of 12 (1 additional stroke for that player) will be:
    PAR 5 + ADVANTAGE 1 + 2 STROKE = 8 strokes maximum score. If you score 14 for the event you are playing or the game with other players, for handicap purposes you must reduce that value to 8.
  • The review of the indexes will be DAILY. In other words, each day the handicap system of the corresponding National Association must calculate the handicaps and give them immediate validity.
  • SCORES for TOURNAMENTS, PRACTICE, 18 HOLES and 9 HOLES are also ACCEPTABLE, but rounds cannot be played solo.
    The player’s index is transformed into an EXACT GAME HANDICAP, an integer without decimal that is used for the game round and that will be a mandatory calculation plus another optional:
    Then some Federations may add an overcalculation that may raise or lower the value obtained with the previous formula for the game handicap that implies doing:
  • The PCC or Calculation of Game Conditions. There will be a daily review of the dispersion that the scores of each round had, which will generate a possible adjustment if it is found that the universe of scores obtained, all are on average above or below what was expected based on the average noted. regarding the index and handicap of the player’s game. This could be mainly due to adverse weather conditions and a worsening of the scores is expected to trigger this value, rather than an improvement of them.
  • ANNUAL INDEX INCREASE LIMIT. A player’s index may not rise more than 5.0 strokes in a 12-month period from the last card presented.
    Likewise, when it reaches 3.0, the rise will be slowed down until reaching 5.0 points, quite unlikely situations if posted scores are not unreal.

There are other provisions and details that we will deal with in successive articles in a compendium of notes on the WORLD HANDICAP.