World Handicap System

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World Handicap System

The new World Handicap System (WHS) comes into operation on 2nd November 2020.

With one single, global system in place for the first time, golfers will be able to obtain and maintain a handicap index and use this on any course around the world. Under the new system a player’s handicap will be based on the average of eight best scores from their last 20 rounds.

WHS will take into account factors currently not fully represented in the existing handicapping procedure through a course and slope rating system. For all golfers the process will begin in the same way throughout the world – by accurately measuring a player’s golfing ability.

For regular golfers, this will be done by:

The WHS Software calculating the average of the eight best scores from the previous 20 rounds.  From this they will be provided an initial Handicap Index. After a player has achieved 20 scores, a ‘fully developed’ Handicap Index can be calculated to provide the most accurate representation of a player’s ability.

For new golfers, they will have to:

Submit scorecards of 54 holes (3x 18 holes, 6x 9 holes or any combination of 9 and 18 holes) to their golf club’s Handicap Committee. From this they will be provided an initial Handicap Index. After a player has achieved 20 scores, a ‘fully developed’ Handicap Index can be calculated to provide the most accurate representation of a player’s ability.

To ensure a player has only one Handicap Index, the golfer will nominate a home club. The home club is determined by the player, but for practicality it is recommended this is where the player typically submits the most of their scores.

Further Information:

World Handicap System Privacy Notice:

Members are advised to read the England Golf ‘World Handicap System (WHS) Privacy Notice’.
This explains how England Golf collects and processes personal data of its members. England Golf collect data through details that you give to them or information that they collect through your communications with them. They also obtain some information from your golf club.

PLEASE NOTE:   You are not obliged to provide your personal data to England Golf. However, if you do not provide your personal data, they will not be able to provide all services to you.  For example, if you do not provide your email address and date of birth England Golf will not be able to provide you with a handicap.

Key Dates:

  • w/c 12 October 2020:
    the Club will be given access to England Golf’s data platform to check for any errors. 
  • w/c 19 October 2020:
    Golfers will have access to the England Golf WHS platform to view their predicted WHS Handicap Index ahead of launch and to view the functionality the system provides.
  • 2 November 2020:
    WHS launch date. Ongoing communication with affiliated golf club members will be for handicap purposes and will be fully compliant with General Data Protection Regulations.