Want a social game to count towards your handicap? Steve Carroll explains how

You’ll have heard a lot about ‘general play’ and ‘social scores’ as we’ve moved into the World Handicap System era.

It’s the idea of putting a score in for handicap purposes from a round that’s not necessarily a club competition.

Say you turn up at the course, it’s a lovely day, and you just feel like taking on your handicap in a social game – rather than the rest of the field.

Well, you’re now encouraged to do so under WHS. With handicap records focusing on your last 20 scores, and the best eight differentials being averaged out for your WHS index, it’s clear that the more scores you can submit the more accurate your handicap will be.

But how do we go about conducting a general play round? Can we just turn up and play or is there more to think about? We explain all right here…

World Handicap System explained: How do I submit a WHS score in a non-competition round

First of all, just as you might have done with a Supplementary Score under the old CONGU system, you’ll have to pre-register.

That means you’ll either have to sign in, if your club is using software to manage WHS, or tell your pro or club manager that you’re going to turn in a score that counts for your handicap.

There are acceptable formats of play, so individual Stroke Play, Stableford, Par/Bogey and Maximum Score can all be used to submit a score.

Fourball stroke play, individual match play and fourball match play rounds can’t be used.

Once you’ve signalled your intent, and worked out your Course Handicap for the tees you are playing from, go out and play but remember, for your course to be verified and to count towards your WHS record, it must be played:

  • In accordance with the Rules of Golf
  • Over a minimum of 10 holes for an 18 hole round
  • With at least one other person
  • On a course with a current Course and Slope Rating

Once you’ve finished, submit your score in the usual way and try to do it quickly and, ideally, at the venue where you’ve played.

Then wait for the score to be processed, with the WHS system adding overnight any adjustment required for the Playing Conditions Calculation for that day’s play, and check the following morning to see how the score affected your WHS index.

Need more information on the World Handicap System?

Visit our dedicated WHS page where you will find everything you need to know and details of how to contact us if you have any more questions.

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Steve Carroll

A journalist for 23 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former captain and committee member, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the national Tournament Administrators and Referee's Seminar. He has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying and the PGA Fourball Championship. A member of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap.

Handicap: 10.9

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