World Handicap System

9 things you need to know about the new World Handicap System

  1. Your handicap will travel better
    Former system: There were six different handicapping systems globally
    New system: All countries will use a uniform system governed by the USGA and R&A

  2. It’ll be easier to establish a handicap
    Former system: 90 holes (or five 18-hole rounds)
    New system: 54 holes (any combination of 18-hole and 9-hole rounds)

  3. Your handicap may go down a tick or two
    Former system: Your handicap is an average-based calculation that takes the 10 best of your last 20 scores
    New system: Will compute the best eight of your last 20 scores. (The system will also be slightly more responsive to downward movement and slightly less responsive to upward movement.  This is to safeguard against a bad run of scores that is not representative of your proven ability.) 

  4. New golfers will feel more emboldened to keep a handicap
     Former system: Max handicap is 40.4 for women and 36.4 for men
     New system: Max handicap is 54.0 - regardless of gender

  5. You can expect less volatility in your handicap
    Former system: No limits on sudden surges in your handicap 
    New system: A mechanism will prevent extreme upward movement in your handicap

  6. Course and weather conditions will be taken into account
    Former system: A score in foul conditions is weighed the same as a score in fine conditions
    New system: An algorithm will account for adverse weather and course conditions

  7.  Your handicap will update more frequently
    Former system: Refreshed on the 1st and 15th of every month
    New system: Updated daily

  8. No fretting over the max score you can take on a hole
    Former system: The higher your handicap, the higher the scores permitted
    New system: You can take no more than a net double-bogey, no matter your ability

  9. ALL scores will be counted in all countries
    Former system: This change only impacts golfers in the U.K. and Ireland, where the system only recognizes scores posted during competitions
    New system: All rounds — casual and competitive — will be counted