This month we look at the key features of the World Handicap System (WHS) that make your Handicap Index comparable and usable at any course, anywhere in the world.
How the WHS levels the playing field – for all
Hopefully, it is not too long before world travel restrictions are lifted, which will mean that not only will you be able to travel and play golf overseas, but we will also welcome plenty of international visitors to our shores and our golf courses.
The World Handicap System is currently being implemented in the United Kingdom and Europe and by the end of 2021 most countries in the world will have converted to it. This means that your WHS Handicap Index will be able to be used on an equitable basis wherever you choose to play. Similarly, foreigners playing in South Africa will play off an equitable Course Handicap.
While there are some differences in the scores that different countries allow for Handicap score entry purposes, there are a few key issues in the system that make all the WHS Handicap Indexes comparable. These are:
1. Net Double Bogey (Net two over par)
All countries now use Net Double Bogey as the maximum score allowed on a hole when calculating the Adjusted Gross Score for a handicap score entry into the system.
This means that, when entering your score for Handicap purposes, the maximum score allowed, and what you have to record for a hole where you ‘ring out’, is a Net Double Bogey (Net Two Over Par or Zero Stableford Points).
2. Handicap Differential
All countries use the same calculation for a Handicap Differential that is used to calculate your Handicap Index. A differential is calculated with the following formula: (Adjusted Gross Score – Course Rating) x 113/Slope Rating of the Tee you used. This is the number you see in your scoring record for each round.
3. Average of the best 8 out of the last 20 differentials.
All countries now use an average of the best 8 differentials out of the last 20 to calculate a Handicap Index.
4. WHS Course Rating System
All golf courses are now rated using the same course rating system, to give a Course Rating and a Slope Rating. The Course Rating is the measure of the difficulty of each Tee at a golf course relative to par for a scratch golfer (0-Handicap Index), while the Slope Rating is the relative difficulty of a Tee for a 19-Handicap Index golfer when compared to a scratch golfer).
These four pillars of the World Handicap System ensure that your Handicap Index is valid and equitable at any course, anywhere in the world, that has implemented and is part of the World Handicap System.
Quote of the Month
“Golf is about how well you accept, respond to, and score with your misses much more than it is a game of your perfect shots.” – Dr Bob Rotella.