This month we look at some of the benefits and changes that we are going to see with the introduction of the World Handicap System in 2020.
The World Handicap System – Key Changes
The new World Handicap System has been designed to encourage more golfers to obtain a handicap – enabling them to play with, or against, each other anywhere in the world.
One of the major changes we can expect is that, along with every other country in the world, we are going to be moving to net two over par as the maximum score allowed on a hole for handicapping purposes. In other words, this is a net double bogey (or zero Stableford points).
Currently in South Africa the maximum score allowed is 2 over par, unless you have two strokes on a hole, in which case you can enter a 3 over. When we change to net double bogey, if you have a stroke on a hole then you can enter a 3 over par and if you have two strokes on a hole then you can enter a 4 over par score for handicap purposes.
This will cause most of our handicaps to drift out, but it will also bring us in line with handicaps in the rest of the world.
The other change is the introduction of an algorithm called the Playing Conditions Calculation. The handicap system will take the scores that are entered at the end of the day and run a calculation that will determine if the scores entered are outside of an expected range or buffer zone.
So, if the wind is blowing very strongly or the greenkeeper has set the course up with pins in difficult positions, the calculation will determine if the Course Rating should be adjusted. The system will then do this overnight and it will usually be not be more than 2 strokes up (course is playing harder) or 1 stroke down (course is playing easier) than the rating.
Golfers will enter their Adjusted Gross scores as normal and the system will do the rest. The more scores entered, the more accurate the calculation, so it will be important for golfers to enter their scores on the same day that their round was played. This will allow us to make sure that all golfers' handicaps are more representative, especially at coastal courses.
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Quote of the month
"They say golf is like life, but don't believe them. Golf is more complicated than that." ~ Gardner Dickinson