The new World Handicap System will start in November 2020

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir September 25, 2019 07:12

The new World Handicap System (WHS) will come into operation on November 2, 2020.

This is because the governing bodies of amateur golf in in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland have now all signed the licence for the WHS.

On that date the current golf handicapping system maintained by CONGU will be replaced with the new system that will unify the six different structures presently in operation throughout the world of golf.

With one single, global system in place for the first time, golfers will be able to obtain and maintain a handicap index and use this on any course around the world.

In addition they will be able to compete or simply play a casual round with fellow golfers anywhere on an equal basis.

As well as encouraging players new to the sport to obtain a handicap with ease, it’s thought that the WHS will modernise the game for those already well versed in the game of golf.

Under the new system a player’s handicap will be based on the average of eight best scores from their last 20 rounds.

WHS will also take into account factors currently not fully represented in the existing handicapping procedure through a course and slope rating system.

“We believe the introduction of the new WHS will have a hugely positive impact for golf around the globe,” said England Golf CEO Nick Pink.

“Our team are working hard to deliver the transition from the current system to WHS and will continue to confer with the clubs, counties and our technology partners to ensure that everything runs to plan ahead of the start date.”

Andrew McKinlay, chief executive of Scottish Golf, commented: “Following recent education seminars across the country, Scottish Golf is pleased to confirm that the new World Handicap System will be implemented on time on November 2, 2020. We believe that moving to a more unified handicap system will be beneficial to all golfers.

“The team at Scottish Golf will continue to liaise with, and support clubs across the country to ensure the transition between now and next year is as seamless as possible for everyone involved.”

The CEO of Wales Golf, Richard Dixon, is also delighted to mark another step on the road to WHS.

He said: A lot of hard work has been going on behind the scenes in preparation for the launch of the World Handicap System and we are delighted that we have reached this key stage of the process.

“We are very excited about the positive benefits WHS will have to the game of golf in Wales and across the golfing world.

“The Wales Golf team look forward to working with our clubs, fellow home Unions, technology partners and the R&A over the next year to ensure that the transition is as seamless as possible for clubs and most importantly for golfers.”

Pat Finn, CEO of the Golfing Union of Ireland added: “We look forward to meeting with our member clubs over the coming months to outline the World Handicap System. With CONGU adopting the system for Ireland and Great Britain from late next year we need to ensure golfers across Ireland are prepared for the change.”

CONGU, the United States Golf Association (USGA), Golf Australia, the European Golf Association (EGA), the South African Golf Association (SAGA) and the Argentine Golf Association (AAG) represent around 15 million golfers in 80 countries who currently maintain a handicap.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir September 25, 2019 07:12
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  1. hollowman March 2, 19:09

    do we have to change the current system we have in place or will it update to the new set up

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  2. dtmc September 26, 12:01

    Ok, I’ve got the fact that handicaps will be a better reflection on a player’s ability and be based on the same rules and criteria throughout the world but could you please explain exactly in practical terms what the club golfer will have to do to get/maintain a handicap

    Reply to this comment
    • GeeCeeEss September 26, 12:27

      As all clubs have a handicapping system in place, then you need do no more than submit cards as previously. Your club will have made appropriate adjustments to their systems to accommodate any changes. Additionally they (your club) should be ensuring that you are familiar with what you “have to do”.

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