World Handicapping System

You probably already know that the World Handicapping System will come into effect late January 2020.

This will align all the 6 different handicapping systems currently in place throughout the world.  Each is well developed and successfully provides equity for play locally, but each of the different systems produces slightly differing results.  The WHS will unify the six systems into a single system that will:

  • enable golfers of different ability to play and compete on a fair and equitable basis, in any format, on any course, anywhere around the world;
  • be easier to understand and implement, without sacrificing accuracy; and
  • meet the varied needs and expectations of golfers, golf clubs and golf authorities all around the world and be adaptable to suit all golfing cultures.

The WHS will encompass both the Rules of Handicapping and the Course Rating System (formerly the USGA Course Rating and Slope System).

All good in theory I know, but this is where golf is going so get on board and enjoy the ride.  At least it will give you another discussion point in the clubhouse if you are sick and tired of listening to (insert you know who) carry on about their putting woes.

Some of the regulations have not changed, these include slope and daily scratch rating.  However, some have changed.  Below are a few of the regulations that you will notice.

Bonus reduction for exceptional nett score – if a player’s score is 7 to 10 strokes better than what their GA handicap was at the time the round was played, then GOLF Link will apply an automatic additional reduction of 1.0 strokes to their GA handicap.  If the player’s score is more than 10 strokes better than what their GA handicap was at the time the round was played, then GOLF Link will apply an automatic additional reduction of 2.0 strokes to their GA handicap.

Basically, if you have a day out, then GOLF Link will cut you, saves me doing it to you.

Hard Cap of 5 strokes, Soft Cap of 3 strokes – The hard cap has not changed.  A GA handicap will continue to increase at the current rate of 100% of the “8 of 20 scores” calculation until it reaches 3 strokes above its best point from the previous 12 months.  Once in this Soft Cap zone, a player’s GA Handicap will only increase by 50% of the calculated amount until it reaches the Hard Cap.

Currently there is a distinct advantage in the current handicap system to the inconsistent player over the consistent player, and this is one way to soften that advantage.

Changes to Daily Handicap – the daily handicap formula will include an adjustment when the Scratch Rating is different to the Par.  Your GA Handicap currently is used to calculate your Daily Handicap based on the slope of the course you are playing.  This will still continue, and now your Daily Handicap will also adjust to the scratch rating.  When the Scratch rating is 75 and Par is 72, your Daily Handicap will increase by 3.  When the Scratch rating is 69 and Par is 71, then your Daily Handicap will reduce by 2. This will make 36 stableford points the universal measure of whether a player has played to their handicap, regardless of the course or set of tees.  This will make results in multi-tee, mixed gender competitions relative to each other without having to adjust the scores at the end of the round as currently occurs.

The Brisbane Golf Club currently allows multi tee options in one competition when the competition is not an Honour Board or Major Event. This will not change. I envisage that this change will make the results equitable regardless of which set of tees you play from.

Those of you who love to play our reciprocal courses interstate or overseas, your GA Handicap will now be the same world-wide, whether it be Blainroe Golf Club, Durban Country Club, or some other part of the golfing world.

Alan Grieve, Captain

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