Before too long it’s hoped you will see another number alongside your handicap when you enter competition scores into the clubhouse touchscreen. For many of you, this will be the first sign the new golf handicap system is really on its way.
That number will be your ‘transitional’ handicap – the figure you would play off as it stands – ahead of the new arrangements coming into effect in GB&I in late 2020.
The figure might come as a shock. You may think it’s too high, or low, as the computer works out the average of your best eight scores from your last 20.
But you may see it, perhaps more than six months out from the implementation of the new global system, to help you get used to the number.
As you progress through the 2020 season, you will see that mark moving up and down. That will be as competition scores go in and the new averaging system does its stuff.
For those of you who don’t have what they call a “fully developed record” – or 20 scores to look back on to put it in English – the inevitability of what is coming is designed to give you a shove to put more cards in.
So how might the World Handicap System affect what you play off?
Earlier in the year, England Golf held workshops around the country to bring clubs up to speed on the latest developments.
Although it’s still very difficult to predict how a player’s handicap might change under the new golf handicap system without looking in detail at their performances, handicap chiefs have revealed some general details…
How the new golf handicap system will affect you
- If your handicap is 6 and below it is likely to go down by one or stay the same
- If your handicap is between 6 and 12 it is likely to go up or down by one but could stay the same
- If your handicap is between 12 and 18 it is likely to stay the same or go up by one
- If your handicap is between 18 and 24 it is likely to go up by one or two strokes
- If your handicap is 24 or higher, it is likely to go up by two or three strokes
So the lower you are, and therefore the more consistent, the more likely it is you’ll trim some more fat off your handicap when the new golf handicap system starts.
And the higher your handicap, the more likely it is you’ll have some extra shots with which to play.
Remember, these are only general opinions. Your handicap will ultimately depend on your performance over your last 20 scores, your consistency, and how many of those scores you’ve actually got entered.
One thing is for sure, though. We’ll all be glued to that touchscreen when those figures finally appear.