World Handicap System
Golf’s governing bodies rolled out a new handicapping system in 2020 that changes the ways in which golfers can compare themselves against other players, allowing for the first time an apples-to-apples system in which handicaps more easily can travel around the world.
The handicap indexA player’s number will be based off the best eight scores out of the past 20.Players will have a ‘playing handicap’Slope rating and now course rating and par will be used to determine a “playing handicap,” allowing players to compete from different tees on the same course more easily.Net double bogey will replace equitable stroke controlThe maximum hole score for handicap purposes will be limited to net double bogey (par + 2 + any handicap strokes received). For example, scratch players do, of course, make triple bogeys or worse. But for handicap scoring purposes, double bogey is the max.Handicap index updates will be more responsivePlayers’ handicap indexes will update the day after a score is posted. This replaces the current bi-weekly update method.Safeguards have been added to protect handicap indexesThe system will account for abnormal playing conditions, limit extreme upward movement of an index (largely to help prevent sandbagging) and reduce a handicap index when an exceptional score is posted.To learn more, visit the USGA World Handicap System