April 30, 2019
Golf’s new World Handicap System, which is designed to bring the game under a single set of Rules for handicapping and provide a more consistent measure of players’ ability between different regions of the world, remains on track for implementation starting in 2020.
Education has begun with events being held in Singapore, South Africa, Great Britain and Ireland, Japan, Argentina, Brazil, Continental Europe, Canada, the Caribbean and the USA.
“The World Handicap System is the latest example of our work to make the game more welcoming,” said Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA. “Golfers throughout the world will be able to play equitably, measure their success and more fully enjoy and engage with the game. After working with national associations across the world on Course Rating throughout the past 30 years and now the World Handicap System, this monumental collaborative effort will benefit everyone in golf.”
Martin Slumbers, chief executive of The R&A, said, “There are many ways in which it is important for golf to modernize and become more appealing for people thinking of taking up the sport and handicapping is clearly one of them. The World Handicap System is a major new initiative for the sport which will establish a clearer and more consistent handicapping process for golfers throughout the world. We are working closely with national associations, as we do across all our core activities, to ensure they are fully prepared for the introduction of the new system as soon as possible after it becomes available for implementation.”
Since its conception, the development of the WHS has focused on three key goals: to encourage as many golfers as possible to obtain and maintain a Handicap Index; to enable golfers of differing abilities, genders and nationalities to transport their Handicap Index to any course around the world and compete on a fair basis; and to indicate with sufficient accuracy the score a golfer is reasonably capable of achieving on any course around the world, playing under normal conditions.
The system has been devised following extensive consultation with the six existing handicapping authorities: Golf Australia, the Council of National Golf Unions (CONGU) in Great Britain and Ireland, the European Golf Association (EGA), the South African Golf Association (SAGA), the Argentine Golf Association (AAG) and the USGA. The Japan Golf Association and Golf Canada have also been closely involved in developing the new system.
Widespread support for the WHS was expressed in an international survey of 52,000 golfers with 76% in favor of the new system and a further 22% saying they were willing to consider its benefits. Focus groups were also held in different regions of the world to elicit detailed feedback on the features of the new system, which have contributed to the finalized Rules of Handicapping.
The World Handicap System will unite the golf world under one single set of handicapping rules and will be governed by the USGA and The R&A, with support from the existing six handicap authorities.
For more info, please visit whs.com