The rules for Course Rating are changing, and that’s going to open up some opportunities for shorter courses
Shorter length courses will soon be able to apply for a Course Rating under changes to the World Handicap System.
The measures would mean golfers who play on a Par 3 golf course and academy layouts could submit scores for handicap.
Currently, the minimum length of an 18-hole course that can receive a Course Rating is 3,000 yards, and 1,500 for 9-holes.
This has been because the rating system was previously unable to calculate accurate numbers for courses with a lot of short holes. That has now changed.
WHS Changes 2024: What are the new rules for a Par 3 golf course?
From January 1 worldwide, those minimums will be cut in half – to 1,500 yards for 18-hole courses and 750 yards for 9-holes.
That will open the door to many courses potentially becoming WHS rated and available for acceptable scores – both competition and general play.
With short courses often providing a first step into the game for many new players, it is believed reducing the minimum yardages will encourage more junior, beginner, and golfers with disabilities to gain a handicap and bridge the gap between starter golf and club membership.
It may also allow those clubs with additional shorter courses to provide more attractive membership options as golfers would be able to gain an official handicap there before needing to graduate to the full 18-hole layout.
In the future, it could also encourage golf facilities not currently affiliated with governing bodies across the home nations to join the fold.
Now have your say
What do you think? Would you put in a score for handicap from a Par 3 course? Should handicaps only apply to full layouts? Let me know by leaving a comment on X.
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