Starting on January 1st, all golf federations (USGA, RCGA, R&A, etc) will change to the new World Handicap System (WHS). The following is a summary of the major changes.
- The one change you need to make: The maximum score you can take on any hole will be net double bogey. So that’s a double bogey on a non-stroke hole, triple bogey on a hole where you get one stroke, quadruple bogey on a hole where you get two strokes, etc.
- A major change that won’t require any action on your part, but a change you will definitely see—is the way in which your course handicaps are calculated. The new system will adjust your course handicap by the difference between par and course rating on each tee. Since our blue tees have a course rating of 71.7 (only 0.3 less than par), you won’t see much if any change. But the other tees have course ratings significantly above or below par, so they will change accordingly. Black tee handicaps will go up by 2-3 strokes, while white tee handicaps will go down by about 2 strokes, and gold by about 4 strokes. These WHS handicaps will allow you to play against players on different tees without further adjustment. On our website, you will no longer see two sets of handicaps (course and league)—just the new already-adjusted course handicaps.
- Another change, which will tend to make your handicap index slightly lower, is that your index will be based on the best 8 of your last 20 scores, rather than the 10 best we used in the past.
- Your WHS handicap index will be updated immediately whenever a new score is posted. Our system was already doing that, but Americans with GHIN handicaps will see this change back home.
- Maximum handicap index for all players, men and women, is now 54.0.
- WHS will institute a couple new measures, called “soft caps” and “hard caps,” intended to keep your handicap index from climbing too rapidly. This will only affect you if your index climbs more than 3 strokes in a 365-day period, so you’re unlikely to see any effect from this one.
- There will no longer be “tournament scores.” They are being replaced by “exceptional score reduction.” Every time you post a score, the system will compare that score with your handicap index, and, if the score is deemed exceptionally low for your index, it will lower your index slightly.
- Penalty scores for failure to post your score after a round. The Handicap Committee will consider procedures for implementing this at El Tigre.
For further details, you can read the actual new WHS rules in this document. If you have any questions on these changes, post a comment here.