This month we look at the final changes that will be implemented on the 1st January 2020 with the introduction of the World Handicap System in South Africa.
We are pleased to advise that none of these changes will require golfers to do anything, as they are all system driven.
1. The introduction of the Playing Conditions Calculation (PCC)
Course Ratings are based on normal playing conditions, yet the difficulty of a golf course can vary substantially from day to day, due to course conditions, weather conditions and course set-up.
The playing conditions calculation (PCC) determines whether playing conditions, or course set up, on the day, are easier or more difficult than normal – and whether an adjustment to the Course Rating is needed to compensate. The PCC adjustment to the Course Rating can be -1, 0, 1, 2 or 3.
The PCC will be calculated overnight on the HNA system and will automatically adjust your handicap differential for the round played, and reflect on your scoring records.
It is important that players enter their scores on the system immediately after playing, so that as many scores as possible are taken into consideration by the PCC calculation, which will improve its accuracy.
2. Low Handicap Index and a cap on the movement of an Index over a 12-month period
The Low Handicap Index represents the demonstrated ability of a player over the preceding 365-day period and provides a reference point against which the current Handicap Index can be compared.
Limits on Upward Movement of a Handicap Index
Limits (or caps) on upward movement of a Handicap Index ensure that a player’s HI does not increase too quickly.
To ensure this, there are two triggers within the cap procedure:
(i) The soft cap. This is triggered when the difference between a player’s newly calculated Handicap Index and their Low Handicap Index is greater than 3.0 strokes.
When a calculated Handicap Index increase is greater than 3.0 strokes, the value above 3.0 strokes is restricted to 50% of the increase.
(ii) The hard cap. The hard cap triggers to restrict the amount by which a player’s Handicap Index can increase, after application of the soft cap, to no more than 5.0 strokes above their Low Handicap Index.
There is no limit on the amount by which a player’s Handicap Index can decrease.
3. Playing Handicap Calculation
The Technical Committee of the World Handicap System has analysed millions of scoring records and it has arrived at a recommended set of allowances that may be applied to competitors’ Course Handicaps by competition organisers and clubs. The application of a Handicap Allowance is intended to give all participants a fair chance of winning.
These are only recommendations, and it is up to each competition organiser to decide whether to implement the recommended allowance or any other allowance.
It is important to note that the Playing Handicap is only used in determining competition scores and golfers must always use their Course Handicap when entering Adjusted Gross or Hole-by-Hole scores into the system.
The Playing Handicap is calculated as follows:
Playing Handicap = Course Handicap x Handicap Allowance
The calculated Playing Handicap is rounded to the nearest whole number, with .5 rounded upwards.
Below is a table of recommended allowances. Note: some of these competition formats, where players don’t play their own ball for the whole round, like Foursomes, Greensomes Pinehurst/Chapman and Scramble, are not valid handicap scores, and are not acceptable for handicap score entry purposes.
We will be sending out more information on the World Handicap System as well as the WHS Rules of Handicapping in the next few weeks. We would also like to thank all of you for the positive manner in which you have embraced all the changes we have had to make.
We hope that you will be pleased when these final changes are implemented and the process has been completed. We will be one of the first countries in the world to fully adopt the World Handicap System on the 1st January 2020.