The World Handicap System will be rolled out in Great Britain & Ireland on 2nd November 2020. From that date your handicap will be based on the average of your best 8 scores from the last 20 rounds. The main features of the system are described below.

Course Rating replaces Standard Scratch (SSS) and represents the score that a scratch golfer is expected to achieve on a specific set of tees on the course.

Slope Rating represents the relative difficulty of a course from a specific set of tees for a ‘bogey golfer’ compared to a ‘scratch’ golfer.  A bogey golfer is represented by a man with a 20 handicap and a woman with a 24 handicap. A course with long carries and thick rough will have a high slope rating because these features are more of a challenge to bogey golfers.

The range for all courses is 55 – 155. A slope rating of 113 is considered ‘neutral’ or standard. The GB & I average is 125.

Churchill & Blakedown G.C. Course Ratings and Slope Ratings are:

Tees Yardage Par Course Rating Slope Rating
White – Men 6510 72 72.0 127
Yellow – Men 6220 72 70.6 121
Red – Women 5730 73 74.4 126

A Handicap Index is a portable measure of a player’s demonstrated ability calculated against the Slope Rating of a golf course of standard playing difficulty. It represents a golfer’s course handicap on a course with a neutral Slope Ratingof 113. Therefore, you will probably find that your Handicap Index will be lower than your current handicap.

It is calculated as a rolling average of the lowest 8 from the last 20 Score Differentials (see below).

Whenever and wherever you play a round of golf, you will first need to know your Handicap Index. This will be found on HowDidIDo, Club V1 members App or the England Golf website once you have registered.

Then, using the Tables that are on display outside the Pro Shop, you can determine your Course Handicap for the tees from which you are playing.

This will apply for all Clubs and courses around the world.

A golfer’s Course Handicap for a specific course and set of tees is determined by multiplying the player’s Handicap Index by the Slope Rating divided by the neutral Slope Rating of 113. For example, from the White tees at Churchill & Blakedown, Course Handicaps will be calculated as follows:

A golfer with a Handicap Index of 16.0 playing off the white tees will have a Course Handicap of 18 (16 x 127/113). Playing off the yellow tees he will have a Course Handicap of 17 (16 x 121/113).

To repeat, there will be conversion tables available at each golf club, so the good news is that you won’t need to do the calculation yourself!

Acceptable Scores

Competition and supplementary scores will be known as Acceptable Scores from November. These include any singles competition scores and Social Scores (the new name for Supplementary Scores). These can include scores submitted in Society events (if conforming with the Rules of Golf) and informal roll-ups/swindles organised by members but must be registered with the Pro Shop before the round.

The golfer should return the score on the same day and this needs to be entered electronically onto the system.

The software will calculate a Gross Differential that is the actual score played to on the day and is equal to the difference between the adjusted gross (gross – any stableford adjustment) and the Course Rating (adjusted by any CAA of the day).

Gross Differential (GD) = adjusted Gross Score – Course Rating – CCA

CCA is the Course Condition Adjustment. It is similar to the current CSS adjustment but more conservative. Can be between -1 and 3, but more often than not it will be 0.

The GD is then de-sloped based on the neutral slope rating of 113 to give a Score Differential and this is then used to re-calculate your Handicap Index.

Therefore, your Handicap Index could change after each score is submitted and this change occurs shortly after midnight the next day.

There are caps in place in order to prevent excessive changes in Handicap Index each year due to poor form.

Transition Handicap Index. It is expected that, from October, the software system will calculate an expected Handicap Index for information based on previous scoring history being the average of the best 8 scores from the last 20 in the player’s current Handicap Record with an adjustment to reflect the Slope Rating for each round played. Players are encouraged to submit plenty of scores between now and November 2020 so that their Handicap Index is a good reflection of current playing ability. 9 hole scores are acceptable.

Players who have not submitted 20 qualifying scores will have their Handicap Index calculated in a similar way to a new player as below.

A New Player’s Handicap Index is initially allocated at 2 less than the best of the Adjusted Gross Scores from 3 x 18 hole cards submitted. Cards can be submitted as 6 x 9 hole or some other combination. Subsequent Handicap Index calculations change as more scores are entered:

  • 3 scores: lowest score -2
  • 4 scores: lowest score -1
  • 5 scores: lowest score
  • 6 scores: average of lowest 2 scores -1
  • 7 to 8 scores: average of lowest 2 scores
  • 9 to 11 scores: average of lowest 3 scores
  • 12 to 14 scores: average of lowest 4 scores
  • 15 to 16 scores: average of lowest 5 scores
  • 17 to 18 scores: average of lowest 6 scores
  • 19 scores: average of lowest 7 scores
  • 20 scores: average of lowest 8 scores

There will be:

No buffer zones

No 0.1 increases

No player categories