Beginning in early 2020, the USGA and the R&A will implement major changes to the fabric of our handicap system. This revamped World Handicap System aims to bring the game of golf under a single set of handicapping rules and provide a more consistent measure of players’ ability between different regions of the world. The WHS Hub will serve as your one-stop-shop for the key changes and what you need to know before this new system goes into place. Below you will find information on each of the major changes and links to short videos and PDF Docs. Please feel free to share this WHS Information with all of your fellow golfers!
1. Your Handicap Index may change.
But that’s okay! Finally, players around the world will have an apples-to-apples handicap. Your new Handicap Index will be more responsive to good scores by averaging your eight best scores out of your most recent 20 (currently, it’s 10 out of 20 with a .96 multiplier). In short, your Handicap Index will be determined by your demonstrated ability and consistency of scores. In most cases for golfers in the U.S., it will change less than one stroke.
2. You need to know your Course Handicap.
In the new system, your Course Handicap will be the number of strokes needed to play to par. This will result in greater variance in that number and presents a change, as historically it has represented the number of strokes needed to play to the Course Rating. This is a good thing, as par is an easy number to remember. Target score for the day? Par plus Course Handicap. The Course Rating will now be inherent within the calculation to be more intuitive and account for competing from different tees.
3. Net Double Bogey.
The maximum hole score for each player will be limited to a Net Double Bogey. This adjustment is more consistent from hole to hole than the Equitable Stroke Control procedure. Net Double Bogey is already used in many other parts of the world and the calculation is simple: Par + 2 + any handicap strokes you receive.
4. Your Handicap Index will be revised daily.
One way that handicapping is being modernized is a player’s Handicap Index will update daily (which will provide a fairer indication of a player’s ability in the moment), if the player submitted a score the day before. On days where the player does not submit a score, no update will take place.