Q: Why is the new World Handicap System being introduced? A: There is one standard set of rules in golf, so it makes sense to unify the six different handicapping systems currently in operation. This will make the game more inclusive and equitable across the world
Q: Where can I get a copy of the WHS rules? A: The Rules of Handicapping will be produced in the same format as the current Rules of Golf. Golf clubs will have printed and digital copies available. These will be available in the first half of 2020
Q: What is a Slope Rating? A: The Slope Rating indicates the difficulty of a golf course for the ‘Bogey Golfer’ relative to the Scratch Golfer. The Course Rating indicates the number of strokes the Scratch Golfer is expected to take from a set of tees under normal playing conditions. The course is also rated for a ‘Bogey Golfer’ and it is the relationship between the two ratings which indicates the slope rating
Q: What is the range of the Slope Rating values? A: Slope Rating values range from 55 through to 155
Q: I’m new to golf: How do I obtain a Handicap Index? A: Score cards totalling 54 holes need to be returned to the Handicap Committee (3x18 holes, 6x9 holes or a combination of both) before an initial Handicap Index can be awarded.
Q: How do I calculate my Course Handicap? A: Golf Clubs will either provide a relevant calculation table, or golfers can use a free online calculator or app. Alternatively, golfers can calculate this manually using the equation formula below: Handicap Index X (slope rating ÷ 113) = Course Handicap
Q: Can I use my Handicap Index abroad? A: Yes – you will be able to convert your handicap index to a course handicap for the tees you play from overseas. If pre-registered, these scores can be returned to your home club for handicap purposes
Q: If my Handicap Index is calculated to one decimal point, what will be my exact Handicap? A: A player’s Handicap Index is calculated to one decimal place. When the Course Handicap is calculated it will be rounded to the nearest integer.
Q: My current handicap is 11.6. What will be my new Handicap Index? A: Your transition Handicap will be dependent on your ‘best eight from last 20’ scores returned from the previous two years. During the late summer of 2020, golfers will be able to see their Handicap Index displayed alongside their current handicap and see how it varies with each score entry. A transition calculation is available for those with less than 20 scores in their handicap record.
Q: What is the maximum Course Handicap if the maximum Handicap Index is 54? A: The Course Handicap will likely exceed 54.0 if playing a course with a slope rating of 114 or higher. There is no maximum Course Handicap.
Q: If I think my Handicap Index is wrong what should I do? A: First of all, speak with your club as they have the option to complete a handicap review if an index is not representative of playing ability.
Q: Do I enter competitions using my Handicap Index or my Course Handicap? A: Competition entry should be based on your handicap index. This will be clarified in the terms of competition.
Q: As a golfer who plays a very small number of competitions, I suspect I will not have 20 scores recorded over the last two years. Can I still have a Handicap Index? A: Those players who do not have the full 20 scores at transition will have a Handicap Index allocated by the same process as an initial Handicap Index would be allocated and developed. Moving forward you will be able to submit both social and competitive scores to build up a fully developed handicap record. Players are encouraged to return sufficient scores during 2020, either in competitions or by supplementary scores, to reach the magic 20 scores. This will create a Handicap Index indicative of current playing ability.
Q: For how long are my last 20 scores valid? And what happens if I have a break in membership? A: Scores will not expire. Your Handicap Index will only be valid if you are a member of an affiliated golf club.
Q: What will happen to my Handicap Index if I have a good round? A: The score will very probably become part of the ‘best eight calculation and you will likely see a reduction in your Handicap Index. An additional ‘exceptional score’ reduction maybe applied depending on how good your score was compared to your current Handicap Index.
Q: What do I need to do when I arrive to play golf? A: Register/sign in as normal. Utilise the resources available to determine your Course Handicap for the set of tees being used. Check the Handicap allowance according to the terms of competition or format of play (i.e. full handicap, percentage of handicap) and calculate your Playing Handicap for that event. Once play is complete, return your score for processing in the system.
Q: Do I have to record all scores? A: Players should submit all singles competition scores and have the ability to pre-register and submit scores from social games played in accordance with the rules of golf. Accuracy of a player’s Handicap Index will be improved the greater the number of scorecards submitted.
Q: What happens if I do not complete my round? A: If you are playing a nine-hole round – then all 9 holes must be played for the score to be included in your record. If playing an 18-hole round you must complete at least 10 holes for the score to be returned. Any holes not played will be allocated a net par or net par plus one, before the score is processed.
Q: Will buffer zones still exist? A: No - buffer zones will not be part of the World Handicap System.
Q: Can players still N/R and gain a 0 .1 increase? A: There are no 0.1 increases under WHS. A hole that is started but not completed will be recorded as a net double bogey. Any holes not played will be allocated as a net par. The adjusted score is added to the player’s record.