…………..coming into play on 2nd November 2020
The new World Handicap System has been designed to make golf more modern, fun and inclusive. The R&A and the USGA have created nine videos that capture this and break down each key change in a simple to understand manner.
You may already know that the WHS has been developed by The R&A and USGA in coordination with existing Handicap authorities, and is designed to:
- Attract more players to the game
- Make handicapping easier to understand
- Allow golfers to use their Handicap Index on any course around the world
The WHS has also been created with consideration given to club golfers who play both sporadically and more regularly, creating a more inclusive and equitable system for golfers worldwide.
The most important factor of the new system is Handicap Index, as the WHS is centred around calculating a player’s Handicap Index, which provides golfers with an accurate measurement of their golfing ability.
For golfers that play regularly, their Handicap Index will be generated by calculating an average of their best eight scores from their previous 20 rounds. For new, and more sporadic golfers, their Handicap Index will be calculated once scorecards of 54 holes (3x 18 holes, 6x 9 holes or any combination of 9 and 18 holes) have been submitted to their golf club’s Handicap Committee. After a player has achieved 20 scores, a ‘fully developed’ Handicap Index can be calculated to provide the most accurate representation of their ability.
To ensure a player has only one Handicap Index, the golfer will nominate a home club. The home club is determined by the player, but for practicality it is recommended this is where the player typically submits the most of their scores.
The Course Rating, will be used to measure the playing difficulty of a golf course. It measures how many strokes a Scratch Golfer (a player with a handicap index of 0.0) should take on any given course. It does this by assessing two main types of challenges which, when combined, result in a common base from which to compare players’ abilities:
- The playing length of the course
- The obstacles that a player will encounter (e.g. size of green and hazards)
All Course Ratings have been determined by highly trained teams, with all findings checked and verified prior to being published to ensure consistency and equity across England.
The Arscott Course Ratings are:
|Tee||Length||Gender||Course rating / Slope rating||Front 9||Back 9|
Another important factor to establish in the rating system is Bogey Rating, which is the measure of playing difficulty from a set of tees when played by a Bogey Golfer (a player with a handicap index of approximately 20 for a male and 24 for a female).
Knowing the Course Rating & Bogey Rating established by the Course Rating teams allows the WHS to assess and rationalise the relationship between the two. From this, the difficulty of the course for all other levels of ability can be deduced.
|Following the explanation of Course & Bogey Rating, we are moving straight into another important area for the WHS, which is Slope Rating. Many golfers have heard of Slope Rating before, but aren’t entirely sure what is it. Slope Rating is the number which indicates the relative playing difficulty of a course for Bogey Golfers, compared to Scratch Golfers, and is the difficulty comparison between these golfers from the same set of tees. In simple terms, it is the combination of the Course Rating and the Bogey Rating, which allows us to calculate the Slope Rating of a set of tees.|
|The use of Slope allows a player’s Handicap Index to be portable from course to course and country to country. It also enables acceptable scores from any rated golf course in the world to be submitted for a player’s handicap purposes. Each set of tees will have a Slope Rating value between 55 and 155. Essentially, the higher the Slope Rating, the more additional strokes a Bogey Golfer will need to be able to play it. The lower the Slope Rating, the less strokes a Bogey Golfer will require.|
Your Handicap Committee are Mark Lewis, Jacqui Mullineaux and Brian Ince who will be happy to answer any queries you have.
Further information at englandgolf.org/whs