World Handicap System 2020 – How do I find my Handicap Index?
Well, after all the hype and confusion we are nearly there!
With there being less than 10 days to go before the World Handicap System goes live in GB&I, many of you have been asking for ways to estimate your Transition Handicap Index.
Rather than try to work it out from your Handicap Playing Record you can get a sneak preview by using your National Members’ Portal and I have given the available links for you below.
If you have not yet received notification of your Handicap Index you can you can find it now that England Golf’s World Handicap System Members Early Access portal is now live and all you need is your CDH number to find out what you’re new index will be.
The Irish World Handicap System Platform is not available at the moment
Once you have entered in your CDH number, you will be able to see your new Handicap Index and the 8 scores that contributed to it – if your club has uploaded your email address to the platform.
If your club has not yet uploaded your email address you will not be able to see which particular scores were taken into account, but you will see your Handicap Index.
This Handicap Index is not guaranteed just yet because England Golf are warning that it may still change between now and launch and there is some confusion because some New Handicap Indexes may have been miscalculated.
Some member’s historic scores were taken from the wrong tees and others have seen that Competition Scratch Score (CSS) was not taken into account in their qualifying scores.
There is a distinct possibility that some Clubs will find their Members’ Handicap Indexes being changed England Golf has assured them that they will be correct for the 2nd November.
So, wait until Monday 2 2020 until everything goes live and your Handicap Index should be confirmed.
Once your Golf Club Handicap Software has been updated you should be able to access your Handicap Index through the Club Computer before or as you sign in to play a round.
Have fun, but don’t throw your arms up in disbelief at your Handicap Index, I will try to explain it further in the next post and take you through how to use it when you arrive at your Golf Course of choice after 2 November 2020.
England Golf COVID-19 Restrictions update 14 October 2020
Coronavirus FAQs on the return of golf
Last updated: Wednesday 14 October (impact of three-tier system on clubhouses, actions following a golfer/staff member testing positive for Covid-19)
Q- What is the government advice on travel in relation to ‘very high risk’ (Tier 3) areas?
A- Golfers from a very high-risk area (Tier 3) should avoid travelling outside their locality. Travelling into a very high-risk area for the purposes of golf should be avoided. Golfers should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK if resident in a very high alert level area, or avoid staying overnight in a very high alert level area if resident elsewhere.
Q – Can clubhouses reopen for access to indoor bar and catering facilities?
A – The regulations now vary depending on the local Covid-19 alert status of your area.
In areas of ‘medium’ risk (Tier 1), indoor bar and catering facilities within clubhouses may open provided strict guidelines on safety and social distancing are observed. From September 24, clubhouses with food and beverage facilities must close by 10pm and are not permitted to open before 5am. From this date clubs must provide table service only or serve take away for consumption off the premises.
In ‘high risk’ areas (Tier 2), the above rules apply with the additional restriction that people must not socialise with anybody outside of their household or support bubble in any indoor setting.
In ‘very high-risk’ areas (Tier 3), pubs and bars must close. They can only remain open where they operate as if they were a restaurant, which means serving substantial meals, such as a main lunchtime or evening meal. They may only serve alcohol as part of such a meal.
Full guidance for clubs operating in high-risk areas (Tier 2) can be found here
Full guidance for clubs operating in very high-risk areas (Tier 3) can be found here
England Golf has also issued clubs with a checklist and framework to assist with the safe reopening of bar and catering facilities where it is permissible to do so.
Q – What procedures should a club follow if a golfer/staff member returns a positive test for Covid-19?
A – Best practice guidance on this subject can be found here
The following links are for details of England Golf’s Recommendations for those areas in High Risk and Very High Risk Categories.
By clicking on the links, you will be able to download copies of those recommendations, which like all the recommendations will be regularly updated as conditions and advice change.
England Golf Advice for those areas in Tier 2 COVID-19 Restrictions
World Handicap System 2020 – Data Requirement 29 September 2020
Well, just over 4 weeks to go before the World Handicap System launches in GB&I on Monday 2 November 2020.
It has been a difficult time for Golf Clubs to prepare for this launch, but I hope they have run through their WHS Checklist and have everything in place for a smooth transition.
In preparation for the launch of the World Handicap System (WHS) England Golf have sent communications to support all golf clubs with their transition to the WHS. This notice outlines the necessary steps to ensure that your Golf Club’s handicapping software and member data is prepared for launch on Monday 2 November 2020.
Golf clubs in England must provide two key pieces of information to ensure their members obtain a handicap index for the start of the WHS on 2 November.
A member’s email address
A member’s date of birth
*This information should be logged on golf club handicapping software systems by 5 October 2020 in preparation for it to be transferred across to the central WHS database.*
Without this information, golf club members will not receive a handicap index when the transition from the current CONGU handicapping system to WHS takes place.
It is advisable that every member has her/his own personal Email Address, this will help England Golf to identify and prevent duplicate CDH entries.
England Golf will be moving to a higher integrity level of handicapping for and on behalf of its affiliated members with the introduction of WHS.
The initial transfer of information is required to ensure player identification and to eliminate the duplication of handicap records.
Ongoing communication with affiliated members will be for handicap purposes and will be fully compliant with GDPR regulations.
Junior members without an email address of their own may use an email address of a parent or guardian. SafeGolf procedures as well as GDPR regulations remain of paramount importance in such cases.
If you are concerned about providing this information to England Golf and wonder why they require it and how they are going to use it, you can download a copy of the Data FAQs by clicking on the Download Button below:
Please co-operate with your Club as much as you can, they have a difficult job to do.
With COVID-19 restrictions having made it impossible to hold Educational World Handicap System seminars at Golf Clubs I have placed in this post and on the My Golf Website a series of Videos produced by England Golf that may help you to understand the forthcoming Handicapping System due to be introduced on Monday 2 November 2020.
England Golf Update After Government Covid-19 Regulations Change – 10 September 2020
England Golf says that the sport can continue next week, with a few precautions, after the government announced that groups must not exceed six people whilst socialising.
Golf can continue to be played but groups of more than six people, e.g. societies and roll ups, must remain in separate groups of under six people.
This means that larger groups should stay in smaller groups and not mix with others, with England Golf advising organisers to take special care in ensuring that different groupings do not merge.
The news won’t make too much of a difference to how clubs are already operating, although large society groups and groups on golf breaks will have to make some adjustments.
“From Monday 14th September, competitive and social golf can continue to be played in accordance with our existing ‘Play Safe, Stay Safe’ guidelines provided on course groupings do not exceed the new legal limit of six people,” England Golf said in a statement.
“Clubhouses may continue to accommodate multiple social groups provided each individual group is no larger than six people. Individual groups should not join up with others to form gatherings of more than six people and everyone must continue to follow government regulations on social distancing and sanitisation.
“Society and team event organisers should take special care to ensure different groups of up to six people from within their party do not merge to form larger groups before, during or after the round. Travel to and from golf venues should continue to be in accordance with government regulations.
England Golf have also updated their COVID-19 FAQs; of particular note are :
Q – What is the maximum group size permitted to gather?
A – Social gatherings of more than six people are illegal in England from Monday 14 September 2020. This applies both indoor and outdoor with a limited number of exceptions. Groups of six people may be made up of individuals from different household, both indoor and outdoor. Golf clubhouses are able to accommodate multiple social groups each containing up to six people, but these must not merge to form larger groups.
Q – Can society bookings still be taken by clubs?
A – Society bookings can still be taken and can still go ahead. However, both clubs/ facilities and society members must ensure that congregations are avoided and that no groupings larger than six are formed at any time from Monday 14 September.
Q – What are the regulations on the wearing of face coverings in the clubhouse, Professional’s shop and indoor areas of a golf facility?
A – From Saturday 8 August, face coverings must be worn by members of the public in all indoor areas of the club/ facility as well as in Pro shops. Coverings may be removed in bar and restaurant areas for the purpose of eating and drinking. There are some exemptions to wearing face coverings including children under the age of 11 and those with certain disabilities. Clubs should refer to government guidance to ensure compliance.
Despite the COVID-19 Pandemic England Golf have reassured us that the new World Handicap System will be rolled out in Great Britain & Ireland on Monday 2nd November 2020.
They have embarked on a ‘Know the Score’ campaign to educate Golf Club Committees and Golfers on aspects of the new World Handicap System and issued every Golf Club with a Digital Education Toolkit, a copy of which you can download by clicking on the Download button below:
From that date your handicap will be based on the average of your best 8 scores from the last 20 rounds, and will vary depending on the difficulty of the course being played, as described below.
Next season your handicap will be known as your “handicap index”,
No more Qualifying Rounds, Buffer Zones or 0.1 increases.
If you don’t have the full 20 scores at transition your handicap index will still be allocated and continue to be developed by the same process as an initial handicap. The more cards you put in this season the better your “handicap index” will reflect your current playing ability. Don’t forget you can put in as many supplementary scores as you like.
If you can look at your own handicap record on your club website you may see it now shows your last 20 scores which will be used to calculate your “handicap index”. Later in the year your record should also show your “handicap index” alongside your current handicap so you can see how they compare . For most golfers there will be little difference.
Your “handicap index” will not lapse as long as you are a member of a golf club. Annual reviews by the handicap committee will still take place .You should note that unlike some other parts of the world the system in GB&I will not require all your social golf rounds to be pre-registered and count for handicap purposes.
Wherever you play you will use your “handicap index” to work out your “course handicap”. This is done simply by looking at a chart which will be available by the first tee (Apps and online calculators will also be available to prepare in advance!)
Your “course handicap” will vary depending on the difficulty of the course you are playing on ( known as its “slope rating”) The system is designed to enable us to compete or play recreationally with anyone else on a fair and equal basis .
Put simply, on a more difficult course than your Home Course your “course handicap” will be higher, on an easier course than your Home Course your “course handicap” will be lower. This will make matches fairer.
It is a good idea to begin to familiarise yourself with the changes before next season. There is a wealth of information available on the England Golf website including an excellent and straightforward “Rules of Handicapping Player Reference Guide” which is available at the bottom of this page or on the My-Golf website.
The main reasons for the Handicap changes are to bring the calculation of all handicaps, worldwide, into line so that they are comparable wherever you play. A typical home example is when you have a 20 handicap at your Home Club and you play another 20 handicap golfer from another Club, where the course may be a lot more difficult than your Home Course.
Under the new World Handicap System all handicaps (Handicap Indexes) will be based on a golfer playing a Standard Course which will be the same one for ALL golfers.
This will be a lot fairer allowing all golfers to play with or against each other on an even playing field (or Golf Course!)
A second reason for introducing the World Handicap System is that the current CONGU Handicap System, with its Buffer Zones and 0.1 increases etc., gives an indication of your playing potential and is not a true representation of your current playing ability. We all know only too well that if we get cut following a good round, it is difficult to play to our new handicap. Under the new WHS, with it being an average based system your handicap will not see-saw so much and in some cases may not be affected at all depending on your most recent scores recorded.
A third reason is that there will no longer be any Qualifying or Non-qualifying Competitions. There will no longer be Competition or Non-competition Handicaps, you will not have to submit a minimum of 3 scores in order to maintain your handicap, so long as you remain a member of an Affiliated Golf Club you will ne er lose your handicap indx.
The system will also have a mechanism (Capping) to ensure that your handicap does not go up or down too quickly within a 12 month period, unless you do record an exceptional score at some time; but, again this is dealt with sympathetically.
Although all this sounds quite daunting there is no real need to be overly concerned, all calculations should be performed by your Golf Club’s Handicap Software and in terms of day to day playing, in all honesty, not too much changes; all you will need to know is your Course Handicapor, if you are playing in a Competition, your Playing Handicap, before you start each round because these change depending on which Golf Course, Teeing Area or Competition Format you are using.
All Golf Clubs will provide a Course Handicap Table, in the ProShop, Clubhouse, First Tee or Mobile App from which you can determine the Course Handicap before you play, but during your round, and following it, there are no noticeable changes, just enter your score according to your Golf Club’s required procedure, as you do currently, and you will be notified of any change to your Handicap Index overnight.
Course Rating, Bogey Rating and Slope Rating
Course Rating replaces Standard Scratch (SSS) and represents the score that a scratch golfer (Handicap 0) is expected to achieve on the course.
Bogey Ratingrepresents the score that a Bogey golfer (Handicap for Men around 20 and for Ladies around 24) is expected to achieve on the course.
Below is a series of images that may help those of you who would like more detail and help you to further understand the WHS now you are aware of some of the new terms and definitions, or you may download a copy by clicking on the download button at the bottom of the page.
Compulsory Wearing of Face Coverings in Golf ProShops from Friday 24 July 2020
England Golf COVID-19 Guidelines Update – 22 July 2020
On Wednesday 22 July 2020, England Golf updated their CoVID-19 Play Safe Framework on the wearing of face coverings in Golf ProShops following the UK Governments Guidelines.
To make reading easier England Golf have highlighted changes to their Play Safe guidelines in Blue.
From Friday 24 July it is mandatory for customers to wear a face covering inside a shop. This will apply inside stand-alone professional shops where a fine of up to £100 may be imposed on anyone breaking this rule.
There are some exemptions to wearing face coverings including children under the age of 11 and those with certain disabilities.
If the professional shop is located within a clubhouse and forms an integral part of that building, then there may be some discretion in the requirement for face coverings to be worn. Please check latest government advice.
You can download a copy of the England Golf Play Safe Framework for Players by clicking HERE.
With the World Handicap System up and running in most countries you can now search for the Slope Rating of many Golf Course, worldwide.
Introduction of the World Handicap System in GB&I is still on track for 2nd November 2020.
All Golf Clubs have been issued with digital educational material allowing them to organise club information sessions .
If you want to know your Golf Course’s, or any Golf Course’s, Slope Rating, follow the link below to the USGA Course Rating and Slope Database (TM) where you can, by entering details of a Golf Course, search for the Slope Rating of any Golf Course Worldwide which has had its Slope Rating issued for 2020. For England enter Country as ‘England’ NOT ‘UK and Leave the Club State field blank. Note that the layout you see will be different for Windows and iOS (iPad, iPhone) best layout is Windows:
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