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WHS 2024 changes World Handicap System

What’s happening to my Course Handicap?

The number of shots you receive for the tees you’re going to play could be displayed in a different way under changes to the Rules of Handicapping

 

One of the biggest things to learn when the World Handicap System was introduced was the Course Handicap.

We’ve been studying boards at clubs, and looking up numbers on our apps, ever since it came into effect in Great Britain & Ireland in November 2020.

But changes are coming to the way your Course Handicap could be displayed on your club software and apps.

And, if your course has holes with different pars – depending on which tees you play from – new rules will allow your club to standardise those on the scorecard.

Let’s look at what’s in store…

WHS Changes 2024: Unrounded Course Handicaps

What are unrounded course handicaps?

Your Course Handicap is the number of shots you receive to play the golf course from a particular tee set. You’ll see it on the MyEG app, on the boards at your club, and on clubhouse software.

If you play in England, Ireland, or Wales, that course handicap is currently calculated to decimal places. It is then is rounded up to a whole number.

But if your club can carry out what are known as “machine precision” calculations – in other words by using software or through the MyEG app, the calculation will be unrounded from April 2024.

For golfers playing in competitions, it is those figures which will be carried forward to calculate the Playing Handicap. And it’s that those digits which will then be rounded into a whole number.

The point is it’s exact values – rather than rounded up or down numbers – that will be used to create a Playing Handicap in competitions.

It should make your handicap index even more accurate and reliable.

But won’t this affect how I work out my handicap for general play rounds?

No. You will just enter your hole scores as normal and your club’s software, or the MyEG app, will do the rest.

And if your club doesn’t have the “machine precision” needed, then you’d continue to use the Course Handicap tables.

course handicap golf tee markers

WHS Changes 2024: Standardising par

This is a Course Rating change that will allow clubs to use the same par for each gender across all tee sets rated for that gender. The yardages of each hole, and from each tee, will no longer matter.

You all know a course with a hole that might be a par 4 from the back tees but a par 3 from forward.

While some of you might embrace this quirk, it can be confusing for players and look awkward on scorecards.

The Rules of Handicapping give guidance on how to set pars on holes depending on their length. But the rating of different tee sets for genders, and in particular forward tees for men, means a hole that, for example, plays as a par 5 from the back tees could fall short of the minimum par length for that same par from the forward tees.

Currently, the latter would be advised to be set as a par 4. But under these new changes, the hole could stay as a par 5.

For those clubs wishing to standardise par – and they will have the choice – it will allow them to make their scorecards easier to follow. It also means players will no longer need to think about different pars on certain holes.

Now have your say

What do you think of these WHS changes 2024 around unrounded handicaps and standardisation of par? Will they make any difference to the way you play your golf? Let me know by leaving a comment on X.

WHS Changes 2024

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