A new clause is being added to World Handicap System rules allowing competitions over a “non-standard number of holes” to be used for handicapping purposes
A competition over 14 holes that counts towards your handicap? It will soon be possible under changes to the World Handicap System.
Alterations to the Rules of Handicapping – specifically a new clause added to Rule 3.2 – will allow events to be held over a “non-standard number of holes”.
We all know 9-hole rounds can count, but if your committee wants to hold a competition over 10 holes, 12, 14, or any number up to the standard 18-holes, they will be able do it and your score can still be added to your WHS record.
To do that, those rounds would be scaled up to 18 using the new Expected Score method. These changes come into effect in Great Britain & Ireland in April 2024.
WHS Changes 2024: Why might clubs hold competitions over a non-standard number of holes?
Why would committees do this? A Wales Golf guidance document for clubs, explaining the 2024 World Handicap System changes, says they are being “implemented to enhance the accuracy, fairness, and overall experience of the handicap system”.
For those clubs with courses with fewer than 18 holes, it will allow them to stage counting competitions over their layout without always necessarily having to route in a standard number of holes.
It could also allow clubs flexibility to play events over the winter months, when darkness becomes an issue and when course conditions permit, that are still meaningful from a handicap perspective.
This clause will be added to Rule 3.2 in addition to the acceptable reasons for not playing a hole.
Have your say
WHS Changes 2024: What do you think? Should rounds like this be allowed to count for the World Handicap System? Would you want to play a WHS qualifying competition round over 13 holes, for example, that could alter your WHS index? Let me know your thoughts with a comment on X.
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