All your questions about the World Handicap System answered

Golf News

England Golf have embarked on a 38-date tour of workshops to educate clubs on the new World Handicap System. Steve Carroll was at the first

What scores will count towards the daily course conditions adjustment?

It will include all scores played at a golf course on any given day. It is not a competition calculation; it’s a calculation for all scores that are returned on that day.

The biggest benefit, and primarily for ladies, is that they have a lot of small fields and they don’t have enough scores to accurately calculate a CSS – whereas combining the two, and all players on the day, will make that a lot better.

You will still close a competition, because it is separate to handicap changes. They will be calculated at a set time, probably something past midnight, and not at the close of a competition.

Only players with a fully developed record will be included in that. A new golfer, for example, that hasn’t yet built 20 scores will not be included in that course conditions adjustment.

world handicap system

Will I be able to submit a score for handicap purposes at a club of which I am not a member?

Under the World Handicap System, it won’t have to be at a club where you are member. A few people could decide to pay a green fee at Kings Norton and go out and play. They will have the opportunity to put a card in and return that score for handicap purposes.

(As for recording that) this is where technology comes in. We are looking for a technology solution where you would register online to say you are going to play and, on your return, you would post the score at the venue you were playing at.

What is a course handicap?

This is where the slope system is built into the handicap system. A course handicap will be calculated for any given set of tees that you play on.

You could have the same handicap index (formerly exact handicap) but a different course handicap for the yellow, white or red tees. You would have a different course handicap depending on the course you play.

That is calculated by using the slope rating of the course, and tees being played, divided by 113. You times that by the handicap index and that gives you your course handicap.

Why 113?

It’s what the Americans refer to as ‘Perfect Valley’. It’s the perfect course, where there is complete unity between a scratch and bogey golfer. It’s the straight line in the sand they measure all handicaps from.

A golf course rated at 113 is the level. If you are likely to play a course higher than 113, your course handicap is likely to be higher than your handicap index.

Will handicap allowances stay as they are for various events, or could they change?

There is going to be new guidance on what the handicap allowances are for different formats of play. It may be that there is a change in the way that we play medals – and that we now have a handicap allowance for a medal competition, which might not be 100 per cent.

But they are still in discussion in terms of what those levels are going to be so, at this stage, I don’t want to brandish any numbers and say ‘this is what the handicap allowance is going to be’.

Be aware, though, that playing an 18-hole medal competition, you are likely to have some form of handicap allowance based against your course handicap.

world handicap system

How will our World Handicap System handicap be calculated and when can we expect to see it?

Players will see a change in their handicap. We haven’t yet got to the point where we can work out how that change will affect each individual player but what we are going to do is use people’s existing handicap records to get those 20 scores to be able to calculate their handicap.

We are not starting afresh from ‘go-date’. I’m not putting the go-date from January 1, 2020 – because I quite like a drink on New Year’s Eve and I don’t want to be at work the following morning!

We’re not going to go on January 1. It will be on an appropriate day after and we will use people’s existing records to formulate their new World Handicap System handicap.

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