UK governing bodies to adopt new handicap system

Handicap

The governing bodies of amateur golf in the UK are to adopt the new World Handicap System next year.

In a statement, Scottish Golf announced that the new system would come into effect on November 2 in 2020.

Here's the full statement from Scottish Golf:

The governing bodies of amateur golf in Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales are delighted to announce that they have signed the licence for the new World Handicap System (WHS) which will come into operation on November 2, 2020.

As members of the Council of National Golf Unions (CONGU), Scottish Golf, England Golf, the Golfing Union of Ireland, the Irish Ladies Golfing Union and Wales Golf have been driving forces in planning for the new system in alliance with The R&A and USGA.

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The current Golf Handicapping System maintained by CONGU will be replaced by WHS which will unify the six different structures currently in operation throughout the world of golf.

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.

In addition, they will be able to compete or simply play a casual round with fellow golfers anywhere on a fair and equal basis.

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As well as encouraging players new to the sport to obtain a handicap with ease, the WHS will also modernise the game for those already well versed in the game of golf.

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 also take into account factors currently not fully represented in the existing handicapping procedure through a course and slope rating system.

“Following recent education seminars across the country, Scottish Golf is pleased to confirm that the new World Handicap System will be implemented on time on November 2, 2020. We believe that moving to a more unified handicap system will be beneficial to all golfers,” said Scottish Golf CEO Andrew McKinlay.

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“The team here at Scottish Golf will continue to liaise with, and support clubs across the country to ensure the transition between now and next year is as seamless as possible for everyone involved.”

CONGU, the United States Golf Association (USGA), Golf Australia, the European Golf Association (EGA), the South African Golf Association (SAGA) and the Argentine Golf Association (AAG) represent around 15 million golfers in 80 countries who currently maintain a handicap.

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The aligning of all six handicapping authorities behind the WHS is a hugely significant step in the modernisation of golf across the globe.

WHS has been introduced under the auspices of the USGA and The R&A.

Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A said: “The R&A’s purpose is to ensure golf is thriving in 50 years’ time and the World Handicap System (WHS) is one of the key ways in which we can ensure the long-term health of the sport.

“We all want to encourage more people to take up golf and having a handicap which provides an accurate measure of playing ability is one of the best ways of achieving that.”

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