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1. Handicap Index Calculation Method

1.1) How is a Handicap Index calculated?
The Handicap Index formula is based on the best Differential(s) in a player's scoring record. If a player's scoring record contains 20 scores, the best 10 Differentials of the most recent 20 are used to calculate the Handicap Index.

As the number of scores in the scoring record decreases, the percentage of scores used in a scoring record decreases from the maximum of the best 50 percent. If the scoring record contains 9 or 10 scores, only the best three scores (30 to 33 percent) in the scoring record will be used. Thus, the accuracy of a player's Handicap Index is directly proportional to the number of acceptable scores posted.

A Handicap Index must not be issued to a player who has returned fewer than five acceptable scores.

The Handicap Index computation will be managed by the GolfRSA Handicap Server. Those players wishing to perform an approximate check may do so as follows:

Step 1: Use the table below to determine the number of Differential(s) to use:

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Step 2: Select the number of differentials from the above table
Step 3: Average these to obtain an intermediate Handicap Index accurate to one decimal place.
Step 4: Apply the Bonus of Excellence (currently 0.96) factor applicable to the intermediate Handicap Index to one decimal place. This result is known as the players Handicap Index.

Handicap Index = Average of the lowest valid differentials X 0.96

1.2) How often is my Handicap Index calculated?
In order to be equitable, Handicap Indexes must always be kept up to date, and are revised daily at 4am. Although players are allowed 72 hours after completing a round to record a score, this period should not be used to delay score entry when the club terminal is operational.

Clubs are encouraged to make it a condition of their competitions that all scores should have been entered at the end of a round and prior to the start of any further round. When a previous day’s score is only entered the following morning, the player should be allowed to play off his current Handicap Index as reflected on the system unless such score was a second Exceptional Score and resulted in an immediate recalculation of the payers Handicap Index.

Where a terminal is offline, the player should play off their last computed Handicap Index as reflected on the offline terminal or on the handicap system when viewed on the internet or via the HNA Handicaps app. Once the terminal goes back online, all entered scores will be reflected in the player’s Handicap Index and the system will calculate the player’s Handicap Index at 4 am.

Handicapping Committees should, however, use discretion to obviate undue fluctuating of Handicap Indexes.

1.3) I've played very badly of late. Why is my Handicap Index not moving out?
It’s important to realise that your worst differentials aren’t considered in your Handicap Index calculation. Only your 10 best differentials are (while the 10 worst ones are disregarded). This means that it's quite normal if you play a number of bad rounds and not see a change in your Handicap Index.

1.4) That's all good, but how is it possible that a very bad score has caused my Handicap Index to come down and not go out?
In this situation, you need to compare the differential you entered with the differential that, because of the new entry, is no longer considered in the Handicap Index calculation—the 21st most recent differential, in other words. In all likelihood, the new differential is better than the old one. You may also have unknowingly received a penalty (please see section 5 for more penalties).
Whenever a handicap is computed or re-computed by the SAGA Handicap System, the differentials considered for inclusion in that computation will be indicated in a different colour (currently red). Those differentials actually used in the calculation will be underlined as well.Whenever a handicap is computed or re-computed by the SAGA Handicap System, the differentials considered for inclusion in that computation will be indicated in a different colour (currently red). Those differentials actually used in the calculation will be underlined as well.

2. Entering and Editing of Scores

2.1) Where do I enter scores?
Scores can be entered at any GolfRSA Handicap Terminal (situated at any affiliated golf club in South Africa and some neighbouring states), online via the 'Golfer Login' section of the www.handicaps.co.za website, via one of the SAGA Golf mobile applications, or by contacting your home club. (Please note that Handicaps Network Africa cannot enter scores on your behalf. Only your home club can.)

2.2) Do I have to enter a score for every round I play?
Yes, a score must be entered for every round that you play except in the following situations:
a) When the score cannot be ratified by a playing partner or competitor
b) When the types or number of clubs were limited (as in a competition in which only iron clubs were allowed)
c) When the round played included the use of “Mulligans”
d) Competition Match Play Rounds
e) When more than one ball was used at a time
f) When the course played is not officially rated including when a course is set up much longer or shorter than the Average Playing Length when the rating of the course was determined
g) When the player used non-conforming clubs, balls or tees, or with respect to Rule 14-3 (Rules of Golf) where an artificial device was used in the execution of stroke or when equipment was used in an unusual manner during the execution of a stroke.

2.3) What score do I need to enter?
The GolfRSA Handicap System uses an Adjusted Gross score when calculating the differential for each round played. An Adjusted Gross is obtained by applying the below maximum score rule to the score achieved on each hole or for unfinished holes where the score was likely to be higher than the maximum allowed.

The maximum score on a hole for Course Handicaps up to 18 is 2 over Par. Where a player has two handicap strokes on a hole, the maximum score allowed on the hole is 3 over Par. Where a player has 3 handicap strokes on a hole, the maximum score allowed on the hole would be 4 over Par.

Where a player is unsure of how to adjust the Gross score on each hole, the player may enter the scores achieved on each hole using the GolfRSA Handicap Terminal function “Hole-by-Hole” scoring, and the system will adjust the player’s actual score to the maximum allowed per hole, based on the stroke allocation per hole, as entered on the system by the club, to give a total Adjusted Gross Score for the round. 

2.4) What score do I enter for a particular hole if I do not finish it?
A player who starts but does not finish a hole or is conceded a stroke must record the Most Likely Score they would have achieved. The number of strokes most likely to have been achieved should not exceed the maximum allowed on each hole as detailed in section 2.3 above. 

2.5) Is anybody else able to enter a score for me?
Yes, your home club's handicap administrator can enter scores for you.

2.6) I entered my score incorrectly. Can somebody fix this?
Yes, your home club's handicap administrator will be able to correct the entry for you.

2.7) Is there a time limit for the entering of scores?
All scores must be submitted within 72 hours of the completion of the round. The period of 72 hours is taken from 21h00 on the day of play to 21h00 three days later. Scores not returned during this period will result in a penalty score. Please note that the onus is on the player to make sure that their scores are recorded successfully. They can do so by visiting their 'Handicap Record Sheet'. If a score doesn't show here, then it hasn't been entered successfully and it will have to be resubmitted.

2.8) Can I enter scores for rounds played outside of South Africa?
Yes, scores can be entered for courses not registered on our system. These can be entered on the system after selecting the 'Foreign/Other' option during step 1 of the score-entering process.

2.9) I'm struggling to enter my score via www.handicaps.co.za. How does one do this?
After logging in to your account via the 'Golfer Login' section, click on 'Enter Score', then complete every stage during Step 1 of the process: Date, AM/PM, Club, Course, Tee, Holes. Pay special attention to the final stage, where you have to select the number of holes you played. You need to select either 'FULL 18' or '1ST 9 (OUT)' or '2ND 9 (IN)' by clicking on the relevant icon.

If you do all of this correctly, Step 2 will appear. Here you need to select either 'HOLE-BY-HOLE' or 'QUICK' or 'NO RETURN'—again by clicking on the relevant icon. If you select 'HOLE-BY-HOLE', you'll have to enter a score for each hole of the course you played. If you select 'QUICK', you'll simply have to enter your Adjusted Gross score. If you select 'NO RETURN', you won't have to enter anything, as this option will effectively cancel out your round.

Having made your selection and entered the required informtion, simply hit 'SUBMIT'.

3. The USGA Course Rating System & Slope

On 3 September 2018, we implemented the USGA Course Rating as well as Slope. Under this system, a player's course handicap on any given day will be determined according to the difficulty of the course they choose to play.

GolfRSA believes that this will be fairer than our current handicap, which does not equalise the higher and lower handicaps well on a difficult golf course. It will also bring SA in line with the rest of the world when the World Handicap System is implemented and make our Handicap Index portable from country to country.

3.1) What is the difference between my Handicap Index and the Course Handicap?
The Handicap Index is an indication of your potential as a golfer. The Course Handicap is the handicap you will use when playing from a selected Tee (colour course) at a particular club—calculated taking the difficulty of the course into consideration. Once you have selected which course (Tee) you are going to play, the Course Handicap is obtained from the Mobile App, the HNA system (website or terminal) or, where neither is available, from Course Handicap Conversion Tables at the club.

3.2) Can men and women play off the same tee and compete?
Definitely—this is one of the reasons why the system has been introduced. There are no Men’s, Senior’s or Women's Tees anymore. We will be referring to the various courses by the colour of the Tee. All the Tees have been rated for Men, while only certain Tees have been rated for Women. If the Women at the club feel that they want more options, they can request this from GolfRSA.

3.3) Why is my Course Handicap a figure with a decimal—do I play with this?
When the Course Handicap is calculated it takes into account the Course Rating that has been calculated to one decimal point and your Handicap Index is to a decimal point. Before playing you must round the decimal in your Course Handicap up or down to a whole number, i.e. 18.2 becomes 18, 18.5 becomes 19 and 18.7 also becomes 19.

3.4) How will Slope Ratings make things fairer?
Generally speaking, a higher handicapper finds it more difficult to adjust to a difficult course than a lower handicapper. The slope adjustment balances this out. For example, if the White Tees are harder than the Blue Tees, a high-handicapper may play the White Tees off a handicap of 28 and the Blue Tees off 24. (He gets four more shots for the harder course.) The low handicap player finds it easier to adjust, so they may play the White Tees off 4 and the Blue Tees off 3. (He only gets one shot more for the harder course.)

3.5) What do I need to do when arriving at a course other than my home course?
Decide which Tee you want to play from, or ascertain which is specified for the day’s competition. Enter this choice on the Mobile App, the HNA system or the Course Handicap Conversion Tables at the club. Any of these will give you your Course Handicap.

3.6) What are the features of Slope?
Every set of Tees will have a Course Rating to one decimal point. Every set of Tees on every golf course will also have a Slope Rating determined in accordance with the new Slope Rating System. The Course and Slope Ratings are different for men and women. The maximum Slope Rating is 155 and the minimum is 55—the Neutral Rating is 113.

For more information, please download the South African Golfer's Guide to the USGA Course Rating System.

4. Handicap Index displays as 'N/A'

4) Why is my Handicap Index displaying as N/A?
For one of two reasons: 1) you don't have at least five valid scores on your profile, or 2) you have two or more open rounds against your name. To regain your Handicap Index, you'll have to close the rounds.

5. Penalty Scores

5.1) Why did I receive a Penalty Score?
Penalty Scores are added if you fail to enter a score within the 72-hour window period allowed for score entry, which starts from the time your round is completed. A Penalty Score will be given as soon as your late score is entered into the system. This is done to ensure all Handicap Indexes are up to date and to stop people from delaying score entry prior to month end or to delaying putting in exceptional scores.

5.2) How is a penalty score calculated?
A Penalty Score is the lowest differential of the player’s last 20 recorded scores, or such penalty as the club handicapper may decide, based on the circumstances around the failure of the player to enter the score. Where the late entered score is equal to or lower than the lowest of the player’s last 20 differentials, the system will allocate 1 Penalty stroke for Handicap Indexes of below 4.0, and 20% of the player’s Handicap Index for Handicap Indexes of 4.0 and above to a maximum of 4 strokes, and email the details to the club for the handicapper to review and adjust where necessary.

5.3) How long will a Penalty Score be considered in my handicap calculation?
A Penalty Score will be considered in your Handicap Index calculation until it falls out of your most recent 20 scores.

5.4) Is it possible to remove a Penalty Score?
Yes. If you feel that you received a penalty score unfairly (it might not have been possible for you to enter a score in good time), please get touch with your home club's handicap administrator, who'll look into the matter and remove it if necessary. Please note that the onus is on the player to make sure that their scores have been recorded successfully. They can do this by visiting their 'Handicap Record Sheet'. If a score doesn't show here, then it hasn't been entered successfully and it will have to be resubmitted.

6. Maximum Scores

6.1) What is the maximum score I can enter per hole?
The maximum score on a hole for Course Handicaps up to 18 is 2 over Par. Where a player has two handicap strokes on a hole, the maximum score allowed on the hole is 3 over Par. Where a player has 3 handicap strokes on a hole, the maximum score allowed on the hole would be 4 over Par.

Players should, where possible, complete every hole regardless of their partner’s or their opposition’s score. Where a player does not complete a hole, they should record their Most Likely Score.

Where a player is unsure of how to adjust the Gross score on each hole, the player may enter the scores achieved on each hole using the GolfRSA Handicap Terminal function “Hole-by-Hole” scoring, and the system will adjust the player’s actual score to the maximum allowed per hole, based on the stroke allocation per hole, as entered on the system by the club, to give a total Adjusted Gross Score for the round. 

6.2) Is it compulsory for me to adhear to the maximum score rule?
Yes, it's compulsory.

7. Exceptional Scores

7.1) What is an exceptional score?
A score is flagged as exceptional when the particular differential is 3 or more strokes below their Handicap Index at the time the round was played.

7.2) How can an exceptional score effect my Handicap Index?
Having a single exceptional score in your last 20 rounds will not have any impact on your Handicap Index. However, should you score a second exceptional score within your 20 most recent scores, then the system will use your best eight scores to compute your Handicap Index.

In simple terms, a player is allowed to have one really good round in their last 20 and no action is taken. Should they have two or more very good rounds, the number of differentials used in the Handicap Index calculation will be reduced from ten to eight.

7.3) How long will this affect my Handicap Index?
A player’s Handicap Index will be calculated using the best eight differentials until there is only one exceptional score among their last 20 scores.

8. Nine-hole Scores

8.1) Must I enter a nine-hole score for Handicap Index purposes?
Yes. Players are obliged to enter all nine-hole scores into the GolfRSA Handicap System except in the following situations:
a) When the score cannot be ratified by a playing partner or competitor
b) When the types or number of clubs were limited (as in a competition in which only iron clubs were allowed)
c) When the round played included the use of “Mulligans”
d) Competition Match Play Rounds
e) When more than one ball was used at a time
f) When the course played is not officially rated including when a course is set up much longer or shorter than the Average Playing Length when the rating of the course was determined
g) When the player used non-conforming clubs, balls or tees, or with respect to Rule 14-3 (Rules of Golf) where an artificial device was used in the execution of stroke or when equipment was used in an unusual manner during the execution of a stroke.

8.2) How is the differential worked out for a nine-hole score?
The system will use the player’s Adjusted Gross Score for the 9 holes played and then add Par for the second nine, plus half the player’s Course Handicap rounded down, to give an 18-hole Adjusted Gross Score. This Adjusted Gross Score will then be converted into a Differential using the formula as detailed in section 6 of the GolfRSA Handicap Manual.

8.3) Can I receive an 'Exceptional' round for a nine-hole score?
No, you cannot receive an 'Exceptional' round for a nine-hole score.

9. Incomplete Holes

9) What score should I enter if I do not finish a hole?
It is advised that all players finish every hole, but in the case that you do not finish the hole or putt out, you should record the score you would most likely have achieved more than 50% of the time, from the position you were in when you picked up your ball. If the most likely score is above the maximum allowed on a hole, then the maximum allowed score should be used for that hole.

10. Incomplete Rounds

10.1) What do I enter for uncompleted rounds?
If a player completes 13 or more holes, the player must post an 18-hole score. If more than 9 but less than 12 holes are played, the player must post a nine-hole score. Scores for unplayed holes must be recorded as Par plus any handicap strokes that the player is entitled to receive on the unplayed holes.

Example: A player with a Course Handicap of 24 stops playing after 16 holes because of lightning. Hole 17 is a Par 3 and is stroke index is 18 on the course scorecard. The player will record 3 (Par) plus 1 handicap stroke for a gross 4 on hole 17. Hole 18 is a Par 4 and is stroke index is 6 on the course card. The player will record 4 (Par) plus 2 handicap strokes for a 6 on hole 18.

10.2) What do I enter if I played less than nine holes—or didn't even start the round (because of heavy rain, for instance)?
A 'No Return' (NR). This will essentially cancel out the round. In other words, it will have no effect on your Handicap Index.

11. Scores not acceptable

11) Which scores am I not allowed to enter into the GolfRSA Handicap System?
a) When the score cannot be ratified by a playing partner or competitor
b) When the types or number of clubs were limited (as in a competition in which only iron clubs were allowed)
c) When the round played included the use of “Mulligans”
d) Competition Match Play Rounds
e) When more than one ball was used at a time
f) When the course played is not officially rated including when a course is set up much longer or shorter than the Average Playing Length when the rating of the course was determined
g) When the player used non-conforming clubs, balls or tees, or with respect to Rule 14-3 (Rules of Golf) where an artificial device was used in the execution of stroke or when equipment was used in an unusual manner during the execution of a stroke.

In each of these instances, a 'No Return' should be entered into the system. This will essentially nullify the round.

12. Discovery Vitality

12.1)  How do I link my Vitality and HNA memberships?
- Log in to the 'Golfer Login' section on www.handicaps.co.za
- Go to ‘My Account’
- Click on the ‘Activate’ button next to the orange Discovery Vitality logo
- Fill in your Discovery Health number and click submit

For the next few days you'll see a message in that space that reads 'Status: Pending'. This will change to 'Status: Active' when your account has been validated by Discovery. You'll receive an email when this happens. If you don't receive this email within five days, please contact 0860 99 88 77.

12.2) When will I not earn Vitality points?
- When you have not linked your Vitality membership details to the HNA database
- When you enter a ‘No Return’
- When you receive a penalty score
- When you don’t enter a score after your game

12.3) Can points be backdated?
No, you will only earn Vitality points for scores you enter after you have linked your Vitality and HNA memberships.

12.4) Where can I view how many Vitality points I've earned?
You can view a detailed breakdown of the points you have earned recently on the Vitality Points Monitor.

12.5) I am a member of Vitality but not of an SAGA-affiliated golf club. Can I still earn Vitality points for playing rounds of golf?
No, only individuals who are a member of both Discovery Vitality and an SAGA-affiliated golf club can earn Vitality points for playing rounds of golf.

If you have any additional queries, please visit the Discovery Vitality support page or call 0860 99 88 77.

13. GPS Maps

13.1) What is GPS Maps?
GPS Maps is a feature on the HNA Handicaps App that gives you accurate 3D hole maps and precise distance indicators while you are on the course. The feature is currently only available on Apple iOS (iPhones but not also Apple Watches). FunGolf, the German company that integrated GPS Maps into our app, is yet to give us an indication of when a version for Android will be available. News on this front will be communicated via the HNA Newsletter.

13.2) How do I access GPS Maps?

As a member of an SAGA-affiliated golf club, you can gain access to a free trial version of GPS Maps, whereby you'll be able to view the first three holes of all the biggest courses in South Africa. You simply have to do the following:
- Download the HNA Handicaps App or update to the latest version
- Open the app, log in, then click on 'GPS Course Map'
- Search for the course you want to view
- Click on the course's name and let the map load

To get access to the full version, whereby you'll be able to view all of the holes of the over 200 courses on the feature, you need to subscribe via an in-app purchase (R139.99 per year). The offer will pop up when you try to view the fourth hole of any of the courses.
Screen Shot 2016 12 01 at 1.07.45 PM
13.3) My distances aren't updating. The blue dot, which is suppose to follow me wherever I go, just remains on the tee box. What's causing this?
Mostly likely the location services on your iPhone has been disabled, which is preventing your location from being picked up. Activate your phone's location services, which can be done under its settings, and the problem should disappear.


14. Registered Rounds Percentage

14.1) What is the Registered Rounds Percentage?
The Registered Rounds Percentage indicates how many of a golfer’s last 20 scores have been registered at the club before playing.
August Handicap News Introducing Registered Rounds Percentage

14.2) How do I register a round?
By visiting the pro shop before your round, handing the attendant your handicap card, and asking them to do so. Please note that the onus is on the player to get their rounds registered.

14.3) When will the Registered Rounds Percentage be calculated?

The Registered Rounds Percentage will be computed at the end of each day. It will not be possible to declare a ‘Foreign Round’ as a Registered Round.

14.4) How will 'Foreign Rounds', which can't registered, affect my percentage?
Foreign rounds only affect your RR percentage insofar as they shrink the pool of rounds used in the calculation. So if there are, for instance, five foreign rounds among your last 20 entries, only 15 of those will be used to calculate the percentage.

14.5) Does my club have the ability to register rounds for me?
All clubs in South Africa have the ability to register rounds for players, either via their GolfRSA Handicap Terminal’s Open Round button (if enabled) or via their club’s back-of-office service provider.

If a club has access to neither they can make use of our free Open Round Registration Software, which can be loaded onto any PC, and should be placed close to the Players' Registration office. All this requires is an Internet connection and card reader.

14.6) What if I do everything in my power to get my round registered, but the club's not able to? What if their internet connection is down for the day, for instance?
In the unique situation where it's not possible for a club to open a round for you, you can get in touch with your home club's handicap administrator and ask whether they'll consider marking your round as registered after the fact. You'll be expected to prove that it was absolutely impossible for the club in question to register your round either before or during your time on the course.

14.7) I didn’t even know about Registered Rounds and now my low score makes me look bad. Will people think I’m a cheat?
Since we launched all Registered Rounds Percentages at 100%, the chances are that most scores are still very high. Some might even remain at 100%. However, there could be some golfers who missed the communication and have seen their percentage drop significantly.

This does not in any way imply that you are a cheat, but it is advisable to get into the habit of making sure your club registers your round by opening it on the handicap system in order to avoid your percentage slipping further.

14.8) How do I get my Registered Rounds Percentage back up?
It’s simple—make sure you head to the pro shop and ask them to register (open) your round on the system each and every time you play. In no time you will knock out those unregistered rounds and get your percentage back up again.

14.9) Does my Registered Rounds Percentage affect my Handicap Index?
Not at all—the figure is only there to show how often you have gone through the right channels when you have played, by having the club open your round.

15. World Handicap System

15.1) What is the World Handicap System (WHS) all about?
Golf already has a single set of playing Rules, a single set of equipment Rules and a single set of Rules of Amateur Status overseen by the USGA and The R&A. Yet, today there are six different handicap systems used around the world. Each is well developed and successfully provides equity for play locally, but each of the different systems produces slightly differing results. The WHS will unify the six systems into a single system that will:

– enable golfers of different ability to play and compete on a fair and equitable basis, in any format, on any course, anywhere around the world;
– be easy to understand and implement, without sacrificing accuracy; and
– meet the varied needs and expectations of golfers, golf clubs and golf authorities all around the world and be adaptable to suit all golfing cultures.

After significant engagement and collaboration with the existing handicapping authorities and other National Associations, it has been agreed that the time is right to bring the different handicapping systems together as a fourth set of Rules, in support of the global game.  

In addition, this project has provided an opportunity for the existing handicapping authorities to come together and share their combined experiences to produce a system which is modern and relevant for the way the game is played today around the world.

The WHS will encompass both the Rules of Handicapping and the Course Rating System (formerly the USGA Course Rating and Slope System).

15.2) What are the benefits of the World Handicap System?
As the world becomes a smaller place with a much greater frequency of international play (as demonstrated by golf returning to the Olympics in 2016), we believe the development of a single handicap system will result in easier administration of international events and, potentially, allow National Associations more opportunity to focus attention on golf development and strategic planning to support the sport. It would also provide the opportunity to evaluate de-personal golfing data to help monitor the health of the game.  

15.3) How will existing handicaps be used for the World Handicap System? Also, is my handicap expected to change when the system goes live?
Existing scoring records will be retained and, where possible, be used to calculate a handicap under the WHS. For most players, their handicap will change only slightly as they will be coming from systems which are generally similar to the WHS. However, this will be dependent on many factors – including the number of scores available upon which the calculation of a handicap can be based. National Associations are being encouraged to communicate this message to clubs and golfers, i.e. that the more scores available in the scoring record at the time of transition, the less impact golfers will feel on their handicap.

15.4) Will the World Handicap System impact the way the game is played in my country or region?
It is not our intention to try to force a change on the way that golf is played around the world or to try and remove the variations. The cultural diversity that exists within the game, including different formats of play and degrees of competitiveness, is what makes the sport so universally popular. Through collaboration with National Associations, the goal has been to try to accommodate those cultural differences within a single WHS.
 
15.5) Does the World Handicap System have the support of all the existing handicapping authorities and other National Associations around the world?
Yes. A series of briefing sessions was conducted all around the world in 2015, which aimed to cover as many National Associations as possible. The reaction was very positive.  It is also worth emphasising that the development of the WHS is a collaborative effort and all the existing handicapping authorities and National Associations who are directly involved in the process are very supportive of the initiative.

Each of the six existing handicapping authorities have recently gone through their own internal approval processes, and all of them have confirmed their support for the new system.  While the USGA and The R&A will oversee the WHS, the day-to-day administration of handicapping will continue to be the responsibility of the existing handicapping authorities and individual National Associations.

15.6) Have you consulted with golfers and golf club administrators about the World Handicap System?  
Yes. We have solicited the opinions of golfers and golf club administrators all around the world via an online survey, to which we received over 52,000 responses. We have also conducted focus group sessions in five markets throughout Europe, the USA and South America. The reaction was overwhelmingly positive; for example, 76% surveyed are supportive, 22% undecided at this stage and only 2% opposed.

15.7) What is the timeline for implementation of the World Handicap System?
We are planning to make the WHS available for implementation by National Associations beginning in January 2020, after an extensive schedule of testing, communication, promotion and education.

15.8) What other details of the World Handicap System can you share?
Further details of the WHS will emerge over the coming months. However, we want to emphasize that it is being designed to be as accessible and inclusive as possible, while still providing golfers with the portability, accuracy and consistency they expect.

Offering a couple of examples, golfers will be able to obtain a handicap after returning a minimal number of scores – the recommendation being as few as three 18-hole scores, six 9-hole scores or a combination of both to comprise 54 holes. Handicaps will not lapse after a period of inactivity and the maximum handicap will be 54.0, regardless of gender. These elements are designed to clear a pathway into the game, enabling players new to the sport to feel more welcomed into the golf community.

While the WHS is intended to encourage more golfers to measure and track their performance, it must enhance the enjoyment of all golfers. Therefore, it will be important for clubs to ensure that new golfers with higher handicaps pick up at the maximum hole score and maintain a good pace-of-play.

15.9) How and when will golfers and golf club administrators be educated on the World Handicap System?
The education roll-out is scheduled to commence in January 2019, and we have already started to work on a strategy for the development of a ‘global-ready’ education plan to support implementation and ongoing operations. National Associations will continue to carry out the responsibility of educating its membership.

15.10) Will the introduction of the World Handicap System have an impact on the current technology infrastructure?  
The methods used to receive scores and compute and maintain handicaps remains at the discretion of each National Association. While implementation of the WHS will invariably impact different technology and computation services in use around the world at various levels, it is anticipated that any disruption will be kept to a minimum.

15.11) Is there a place I can go for more information about the World Handicap System?
You can visit www.usga.org or www.randa.org.

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