New Handicaps system on schedule

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Golf & # 39; s new World Handicap System (WHS), designed to bring the game of golf under one set of rules for handicaps and to provide a more consistent measure of the ability of players between different regions & # 39; s the world, remains on schedule for implementation from 2020.

Education started with events being held in Singapore, South Africa, Great Britain and Ireland, Japan, Argentina, Brazil, Continental Europe, Canada, the Caribbean and the US.

A secure source portal, accessible through, has also been launched to provide national associations with a library of materials that they can use to support their own educational efforts.

Coinciding with this release, The R & A and the USGA today launch a social media video campaign to remind golfers of the eight key features of the new rules for handicaps and to reveal more details

These functions include:

– Minimum number of scores to determine a Handicap index and a maximum Handicap index of 54.0

– Basis for calculating the Handicap index

– Acceptability of scores for disability purposes

– Course evaluation and slope value

– Calculation of a playing handicap

– Maximum hole score for handicap purposes

– Adjustments for abnormal playing conditions

– Frequency of updating a Handicap index

Significant progress has been made in preparing for the rollout of the new system, including the construction of a library of teaching materials, the finalization of the new rules for disabilities, the release of technical specifications and the continuation of tests. Many national associations around the world are working to ensure that their golf courses are assessed in accordance with the course rating system and are working to update local software platforms so that they are ready to apply the new rules for disabilities.

Although many countries will be ready to switch to the WHS early in 2020, given the extent of the change for some jurisdictions and the changing seasons around the world, some may require more time


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 attractive to people who think of recording the sport and disability is clearly one of them. It World Handicap System is an important new sport initiative that will bring about a clearer and more consistent handicap process for golfers around the world

"We work closely with national associations, as we do in all our core activities, to ensure that they are fully prepared for the introduction of the new system as soon as possible after it is available for implementation."

"The World Handicap System is the latest example of our work to make the game more hospitable," said Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA.

"Golfers around the world will be able to play fair, measure their success and have more fun and participate in the game. After working with National Associations around the world on Course Rating in the last 30 years and now the World Handicap System, this monumental collaboration will benefit everyone in golf. "

Since its concept, the development of the WHS has focused on three main goals: to encourage as many golfers as possible to obtain and maintain a Handicap index; enable golfers of different abilities, gender 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 that a golfer can reasonably achieve on any course around the world, playing under normal circumstances.

The system was designed after 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 the development of the new system

The broad support for the WHS was reflected in an international survey of 52,000 golfers with 76% for the new system and another 22% said they were prepared to consider its benefits. Focus groups were also held in different regions of the world to get detailed feedback on the features of the new system, which contributed to the final rules for disabilities.

The World Handicap system will unite the golf world under a single set of handicaps and is governed by USGA and The R & A, with support from the existing six handicap authorities.

As an extension of their worldwide support for the Rules of Golf, Rolex has committed itself to supporting the efforts of R & A's and USGA & # 39; s to implement the World Handicap System.

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