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The World Handicap System (WHS)

The World Handicap System (WHS) will bring major changes to the fabric of our handicap system. This new World Handicap System aims to bring the game of golf under a single set of handicapping rules and provide a more consistent measure of players’ ability between different regions of the world.

5 things you need to know:

1. Your Handicap Index may change.

But that’s okay! Finally, players around the world will have an apples-to-apples handicap. Your new handicap index will be more responsive to good scores by averaging your eight best scores out of your most recent 20. In short, your Handicap Index will be determined by your demonstrated ability and consistency of scores. In most cases for golfers in Canada, it will change less than one stroke.

2. You need to know your Course Handicap.

In the new system, your Course Handicap will be the number of strokes needed to play to par. This will result in greater variance in the Course Handicap per tee and presents a change, as historically it has represented the number of strokes needed to play to the course rating. This is a good change, as par is an easy number to remember and was generally referenced by the golfing public anyway. The target score for the day is now calculated as par, plus your course handicap. The course rating will now be inherent within the calculation to be more intuitive and account for competing from different tees.

3. Net Double Bogey.

The maximum hole score for each player will be limited to a Net Double Bogey. This adjustment is more consistent from hole to hole than compared to our previous procedure. Net Double Bogey is already used in many other parts of the world and the calculation is simple: Par + 2 + any handicap strokes you are to receive on that hole.

4. Playing Condition Calculation (PCC).

The playing conditions calculation is a calculation that determines if the day to day conditions differ from normal playing conditions, thus impacting player performance based on those course conditions, weather conditions, and course setup. The good news is that all of this will be calculated behind the scenes on the Golf Canada Score Centre. If PCC shows players have performed significantly better/worse than expected, it will adjust score differentials accordingly.

5. Safeguards in the new system.

The new system will limit extreme upward movement of a Handicap Index, automatically and immediately reduce a Handicap Index (when an exceptional score of at least 7 strokes better is posted), and account for abnormal course or weather conditions to ensure that scores reflect when a course plays significantly different than its established Course Rating and Slope Rating.

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