Honesty and Integrity – World Handicapping System: What You Need to Know

Official World Number 12 Patrick Reed
Patrick Reed (Getty Images)

This month we continue our focus on the new world handicap system that is to be introduced in 2020. But firstly, Patrick Reed.

In my opinion, there is no escaping the fact that video footage revealed a deliberate action to improve his lie and area of intended swing at the recent Hero World Challenge.

This has become the latest Rules of Golf controversy but rather than the recent trend of scrutinising a particular rule and its unfairness, this is about a player breaching one of the oldest rules of the game.

We cannot improve our lie or area of intended swing yet Reed appears to deliberately do so and has been chastised for his actions by many.

Our game is about honesty and integrity and one hopes that the 2018 Masters champion learns from this experience, although it is something that is going to follow him for many years to come.

WHS Logo

World Handicapping System (WHS) – What you need to know

New Zealand Golf are looking to roll out the new world handicap system on Monday 2 March, 2020 which will be an interesting time for all those with a current handicap.

Our handicaps allow us to play with any golfer of any ability and through the new system, the accuracy will become even better.

The following is a shortlist of the changes that are the most relevant to know, but perhaps the new formula for determining a course handicap is the most significant change and will take some getting used to.

WHS to be introduced on Monday 2 March 2020

  • Handicap indices will at that time be re-calculated using the new WHS formula
  • The historic scores at this time will not include the new playing conditions calculation (PCC)

Change in Handicap Index formula calculation

  • The best 8 of your most recent 20 scores 
  • A new method of reduction for exceptional scores (an exceptional score may reduce your handicap index by one or two strokes for the next 20 rounds, after the average of your best 8 has been determined)
  • The introduction of a limit on outward movement of a Handicap Index (during a 12-month rolling period a player can only go out 5.0 strokes)
  • The new formula will review scoring records and from 2 March a WHS Handicap Index will be active for all members
  • A maximum Handicap Index of 54.0 will apply to both genders.

A recommendation for scorecards to be entered daily

  • Playing Conditions Calculation (PCC) is a daily analysis of scores and may move a course rating up or down and, if applicable, is applied in calculating the scoring differentials of all players
  • Handicaps are updated daily

9-hole scores to be scaled up to an 18-hole score for handicap purposes

  • All 9 holes must be played

A new Course Handicap formula

  • Handicap Index x Slope Number / Average Slope + Course Rating – Par

Example:  23.1 x 123 / 113 + 69.6 – 72 = Course Handicap 24

    • The result means more inclusivity and 36 stableford points representing playing to your handicap
    • New course handicap conversion charts will be available for download

A Handicap Index that can be used equitably anywhere in the world

For more detailed information go to here.

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