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Welcome to our World Handicapping page which we have put together to try and explain to our members about the significant changes that are being implemented on how handicaps will be maintained.

The World Handicap System is being introduced on the 2nd of November 2020. It is designed to welcome more players, to make golf easier to understand and to give all golfers a handicap which is portable all around the globe.

It will replace the 6 different systems currently used by over 15 million golfers in more than 80 countries.

It has been developed by The R&A and The United States Golf Association (USGA), supported by the world’s handicapping authorities, including CONGU, which represents the four home countries of Great Britain and Ireland.

If you haven’t already, we encourage you to signup for your England Golf account by clicking HERE. By signing up you can receive the England Golf WHS newsletters directly to your inbox. From the 2nd November, you can also track your handicap through the England Golf WHS Platform.

The summary below provides an overview of the new system covering all the main elements and how they link together.

For further information go to:

England Golf’s dedicated website to the WHS – CLICK HERE

England Golfs FAQS – CLICK HERE

The World Handicap System Map – CLICK HERE

Work Already Completed

To prepare for its introduction some work has already been completed in relation to our course:

COURSE RATING – in the late summer of 2019 the course has been given a Course Rating which represents the difficulty of a course for a scratch golfer from each different tee (a bit like the old Standard Scratch rating)

  • BGGC Course Ratings are Whites 67.6, Yellows 66.7, Seniors 66.5 and Reds 70.3

SLOPE RATING – this rating represents the relative difficulty of a course for a bogey golfer as compared with a scratch golfer. In this context bogey means a 20 handicap for men and 24 for women. Slope rating has been done for each different tee.

  • Slope rating will be higher on a course with long carries, narrow fairways and thick rough

  • Slope Rating falls within a range of 55 and 155

  • In GB & Ireland the average Slope rating is 125

  • For Handicap purposes a Neutral Slope rating of 113 is used

BGGC Slope Ratings are :

  • White tees – 119

  • Yellow – 115

  • Seniors – 111

  • Red – 120

Work Already Completed

Handicap Index

You currently have a playing handicap. Under the WHS you will have a Handicap Index. This will be computed as the average of the best 8 of your last 20 qualifying scores posted since 1st January 2018. If you have not posted 20 qualifying scores since then a method similar to allocating a new handicap will be used. Between the date that the course becomes qualifying and the 2nd November 2020 you are encouraged to play in as many individual strokeplay competitions as possible and to submit as many *supplementary scores as possible, over either 9 or 18 holes.


*Supplementary Scores

On completion of your round please post your scorecard in the box located beside the members noticeboard. Please ensure it has been signed by yourself and your marker and you have put down the date you played. 

Handicap Index

Course Handicap - Course & Slope Rating

So we have Slope Rating and a Handicap Index.

Your handicap on a specific day is calculated by reference to the particular course and tee that you are playing from.

Your Handicap Index is multiplied by the Slope Rating for the course tee being played and then divided by the Neutral Slope Rating of 113.

For example, if the Slope Rating of the White tees on a course was say 127, then if your Handicap Index is :

  • 10.0 then 10 x 127 ÷ 113 = 11.2

  • 20.0 then 20 x 127 ÷ 113 = 22.5

  • 30.0 then 30 x 127 ÷ 113 = 33.7

Good News! – charts will be available at each club to help assist in working your handicap index.

Course & Slope Rating

Submitting Scores

On completion of the round, as soon as possible on that day, you must post your scorecard in the box next to the member's board. Scores will be updated every Sunday.

Please also register for your England Golf account by clicking HERE . By signing up you can receive the England Golf WHS newsletters directly to your inbox. From the 2nd November, you can also track your handicap through the England Golf WHS Platform.

Submitting Scores

Adjustment to Handicap Index

We will no longer have a “ratcheting system” of handicap adjustment. Currently a good score results in a much bigger handicap adjustment than having a poor score. Also, a spell of poor form is rewarded by 0.1 increases in handicap. Under the WHS it will be very different up & down.


Your Handicap Index will be the average of your best 8 out of the last 20 Acceptable Scores (see 6. Below). It is recalculated when new scores are returned. There could be quite a swing.


Upward movement of Handicap Index within a defined period of time is CAPPED to limit the rate of increase during a period of poor form. (Soft and Hard cap).

For Handicap purposes, a big score at a hole is reduced to a net double bogey.

There can also be exceptional score adjustments after a very low score is returned.

Adjustment to Handicap Index

Acceptable Scores for Handicaps

There are two categories :

1. Competition Scores – scores in all singles competition rounds of Individual Strokeplay (Medal & Stableford) played over a qualifying measured course from a particular tee

2. General Play Scores – scores in non-competition and social golf can be used but pre-registration is required. Like Supplementary Scores currently, you register your intention to submit a score for handicap purposes prior to commencement of the round. These can be played over 9 or 18 holes.

Team and Matchplay scores are currently excluded in England.

Acceptable Scores for Handicaps

Playing Handicap

We have covered Course Handicaps and that calculation is done first by multiplying your Handicap Index by Slope rating and then dividing by 113.

You may then need to determine your Playing Handicap by restricting your Course Handicap dependent on the format of the competition. For example :

  • 4 ball Matchplay the restriction is 90%

  • Individual Strokeplay (Medal and Stableford) the restriction is 95%.

So a bit of juggling when it comes to getting the right handicap for recording scores on your scorecard. A Handicap Index, a Course Handicap and a Playing Handicap.

Playing Handicap
Playing Conditions Calculation

Playing Conditions Calculation

This adjustment is made automatically by the software to take account of abnormal course or weather conditions. It looks at all the scores submitted on the course for that day and determines if the course or weather conditions on the day differed from “Normal” expected scores. This is a bit like the current CSS adjustment.

The adjustment will however be conservative in nature. In easy conditions it may adjust the gross score for the round by 1 or increase the gross by up to 3 in difficult conditions.

Changes that you will notice

  • No “Competition” handicap status, “C” status

  • No handicap categories, currently Categories 1 – 6

  • No Standard Scratch

  • No 0.1 handicap increases

  • No Buffer Zones in determining handicap adjustments

Changes that you will notice
WHS Player Journey
WHS - Explanation Videos
Player Reference Cards
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