HANDICAPS – THE BASICS
Golf, due to it’s handicapping system is one of the only sports that you can compete with another player of very different ability, and this is due to one thing, the handicap. What other sport could a 20 year old with 5 years experience and good natural ability play against a 65 year old who has never played any sport and has only just taken up the game?
The handicap system has developed over many years into what it is now, but we now have a new WORLD HANDICAP SYSTEM, which means every golfers handicap in the worls is worked out exactly the same.
The new World Handicapping Scheme (WHS) is effective from 2nd November 2020 and you probably know all about it by now, but if you haven’t heard about it, I will try to explain in basic terms what it is and how it will affect you. I will use my own handicap to give an example and if you want to know more, have a look at one of the links, or search the internet, there is loads of information out there. If you look on the WHS or England Golf site there are lots of short videos explaining different parts of the system.
The club software CLUBV1 and howdidido.com will still operate and will determine the competition results as usual and return the scores to the WHS for handicapping.
Everyone has a new handicap called your handicap index, this has been worked out for you and I will soon be informing everyone what their new handicap is. Your index is a number to 1 decimal place as per your existing exact handicap. For example, my handicap was 7.4, it is now 6.7on the new system (even though I haven’t played or handed in low cards).
Every course (and each set of tees) has a new course rating which is the score that a scratch player should shoot. The white tee course at West Mids is rated 71.9, this replaces SSS which was 72. The course now also has a slope rating, this allows for the different challenges a course has for the bogey golfer, for instance if every hole has a carry of 150 yards over water from the tee, this is going to be a challenge for the higher handicapper but not the scratch player. If that water wasn’t there the course rating would be the same but the slope would be lower. (The scratch golfer would shoot the same score, but the bogey golfer would shoot a lower score without topping a couple into the water!)
Players will look up on a table (which will be displayed at the club, or online) their handicap on the course table to find their course handicap. On the white table at West Mids, my handicap index relates to a course handicap of 8, however, If I was to play at Widney, I would be off 7, but at the Forest of Arden off the back tees I would play off 9. The competition of the day may also have a reduced allocation ie 90% or 95%, which the computer would also work out for you.
Your handicap does not go up 0.1 or down according to your category as it did before (ie 0.3 per shot in cat 3), instead your index is now calculated by taking your last 20 scores and picking out the best 8 of those, and taking the average of the 8. Therefore, the more you play the more accurate your handicap is according to your recent results and could go up or down more quickly.
Scores will be returned to the WHS system online every night, and assessed according to the scores from the other players on the day, and your handicap record will be updated ready for the next day, so you won’t have to wait for a competition to be closed to find out your new handicap.
You will now be able to return cards when you play at other courses, even on a social day out or on a society day.
There are lots of intricacies to the system and terms you will start to hear about will be course condition adjustment, anchor point, a cap, as well as a soft cap and hard cap, but that is a little insight into what it is and how it will work. For more information please have a look at the links above.
I hope this helps!
To view your own handicap and the scores entered which calculate your handicap please create a login for MyGolf