Our club golf editor is making a pledge. Whether it’s a competition or social round, Steve Carroll will enter every shot and let the World Handicap System chips fall where they may

Every shot counts. From now, until the end of the competition season, I’ll put in a card for each and every round I play.

There will be no more ‘social golf’. The only time my scores won’t appear on my World Handicap System record is if I’m not playing an ‘acceptable’ format – think team games and match play – or I can’t get a suitable marker.

I’d like you to understand what a departure this is for me. You see, I’ve not exactly been the flagbearer for general play.

In the more than two and a half years since the World Handicap System was launched in November 2020, I’ve submitted the grand total of seven non-competition cards.

Only one of those, if my memory serves, was at my home club and that’s because my playing partner was competing in a ‘rolling Stableford’ and needed someone to mark his card.

But, at the same time, I’ve also argued that WHS can only work optimally if it has regular inputs. I’ve gone as far as to suggest that you could solve that by making it mandatory to submit all cards.

Making a claim like that brings predictable results in our comment-first social media world.

And so I’m going to put my money where my mouth is. I’m going to stick in the scores and see what happens.

I’ve no idea what this will do to my index. I’m a former single figure player and have spent the last 12 months going the wrong way. My current exact is 10.9.

If you believe the biggest advocates of WHS, and with probably as many as 30 fresh inputs to draw on over the next few months, what should emerge is a handicap that tightly reflects my current ability.

Either that, or I’m quickly going to become a bandit that’s smashing club competitions in a way I’ve never managed before.

I can guarantee you this. There will be no shirking, no mailing it in, no quitting. I’ll be playing strictly to the Rules of Golf – so no gimmes – and I’ll be putting 100 per cent in every time I tee it up.

I’ll try and remember that it’s just golf. I’ll put my ego to one side and embrace the progress – no matter whether my handicap goes up or down.

It should be quite a ride.

What do you think will happen to my handicap? Will my index decrease or increase as I submit every score? Let me know with a tweet.  

Want more on the World Handicap System?

Check out our ‘Everything you need to know guide’ as well as our expert opinion and advice all on things WHS here.

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. Steve is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth 2 3-Wood: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Hybrids: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Irons: TaylorMade Stealth 5-A Wedge Wedges: TaylorMade Hi-Toe 54 and 58 Putter: Sik Sho Ball: TaylorMade TP5

Handicap: 11.3

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