WHS – Do I Record on My Scorecard, the Number of Strokes Taken Based on My Course Handicap or My Playing Handicap?

WHS – Do I Record on My Scorecard, the Number of Strokes Taken Based on My Course Handicap or My Playing Handicap?

Well while we, in GB&I, find ourselves in Golf Lockdown again, some golf is being played around the world and I am receiving both Rules of Golf and World Handicap System queries, which is why I have not posted anything yet on Mixed Tee Competitions as promised.

While England Golf struggles with teething problems over the introduction of the WHS the 4-week lockdown may give them some respite and time to sort things out before we get back to playing golf with a vengeance.

I recently received a query from a reader to which I could provide a straight forward answer but which also raised a point with the New World Handicap System that many players may not be aware.

Unlike the previous CONGU Qualifying Rounds, which were played off Full Handicap, under the the WHS there are occasions when acceptable rounds will be played off a percentage of a Course Handicap and you must be aware of both your Course Handicap and your Playing Handicap  in the same round so that you ‘do not pick up before you run out of strokes, according to your Course Handicap’

Now this goes against the teachings of improving the Pace of Play, but is a necessary action under the WHS when competitions are being played for Handicap purposes.

The R&A will no doubt have to reconsider Rule 21 in the light of the WHS and remove the wording ‘To help pace of play, players are encouraged to stop playing a hole when their score will result in zero points.’ for Stableford Formats and ‘To help pace of play, players are encouraged to stop playing a hole when their formats. score has reached the maximum’, for Maximum Score formats.

All will, I hope be revealed below.

The question was:

‘In a Stableford qualifying competition, do I record on my card, the number of strokes taken based on my course handicap or my playing handicap for the competition?’

My answer was:

You record your Gross Score for each hole, and you should base it on your Course Handicap not your Playing Handicap for the reasons which I will give below.

  1. Under the Rules of Golf ,you must record your gross score for each hole, whatever the competition format, it is the score that you enter into your Golf Club’s Handicap Computer.

The Course Handicap, calculated from your Handicap Index and your Course’s Slope Rating, replaces your CONGU Handicap, and could be considered to be one and the same. It is this Handicap that dictates if any Adjustments to Hole scores need to be made for Handicap purposes.

The Playing Handicap is your Handicap for a particular competition depending on the format being played and is the number of strokes you actually receive for that round and is the one you use, in the case of a Stableford Competition, to calculate your points for each hole and the one that your Club’s Handicap System will use to calculate your points for each hole for a competition result.

  1. Under the new World Handicap System, there are a couple of points that you need to be aware of that can influence your play of a hole, especially if you think you are unable to score on a particular hole and decide to pick your ball up.
  • Your Playing Handicap may be a percentage of your Course Handicap and not its full value, e.g. in an Individual Stableford your Playing Handicap will be reduced to 95%.
  • For scores being submitted for Handicap Purposes, your Adjusted Gross Score for a competition is used in your Handicap Index calculation. There is a maximum score that can be accepted for each hole this is a Net Double Bogey, and this is applied by the WHS, when you submit your score, based on your Course Handicap.
  • If you fail to score on a hole or complete the play of a hole the WHS will award you a Net Double Bogey for that hole.

This last point is an important one because you must ensure that by having a Net Double Bogey recorded for not completing the hole does not award you a score higher than if you had completed the hole.

This is relevant especially when a Handicap Allowance for a particular format reduces your Playing Handicap or a Committee sets a Maximum Score for each hole.

An example would probably better illustrate my point.

Caroline has a Handicap Index of 20.1

She is playing an Individual Stableford Competition on her home course from the Red Tees which have a Course Rating of 72.8, a Par of 72 and a Slope Rating of 126

Caroline’s Course Handicap (in GB&I) is: 22

The Handicap Allowance for an Individual Stableford is 95% which adjusts her Playing Handicap to: 21

From this Playing Handicap Caroline will receive one stroke on holes with Stroke Index 4 -18 and two strokes on each of holes with Stroke Index 1, 2 and 3.

Caroline is playing well but on Hole 6, a Par 4 with Stroke Index 4, where she receives 1 stroke in this competition, she runs into a bit of trouble and after just missing a putt for a 6, decides to pick up and record a 0 at that hole, because she is out of shots for that hole according to her Playing Handicap.

Hole 6 is a hole on which she would in general play have received 2 strokes, but off 95% of her Course Handicap now only receives 1 Stroke.

This would be all right for the result of the competition, but for Handicap Purposes the WHS would record a Net Double Bogey of 8 for her not completing play of the hole, working from her Course Handicap.

This would in fact be one more stroke than if she had putted out and completed play of the hole.

It would therefore have been better for Caroline to putt out and record a 7, recording one stroke less for handicap purposes.

Many players will not fully appreciate the importance of continuing beyond the maximum hole score to reach their NDB score on a given hole.

So remember  in England when playing Stableford or Maximum Score Formats you need to keep an eye on your scoring against your Course Handicap and not just your Playing Handicap or the Maximum Score for a Hole.

Think before you pick up and record a Net Double Bogey or a Zero on your scorecard.

This can be a little confusing to begin with, but just keep your wits about you.

This situation obviously does not occur in General Play, when no Handicap Allowances apply and  you are playing off your Course Handicap

Have fun and

Enjoy your golf as soon as it is allowed

Best wishes and stay safe


England Golf Courses Are to Close In Lockdown 2.0 Starting on Thursday 5 November 2020

It Has Been Confirmed That England Golf Courses Are to Close In Lockdown 2.0 Starting on Thursday 5 November 2020

The news that we hoped we would not have to hear – golf courses, facilities and driving ranges in England will be closed during the nationwide lockdown until 2nd December, has been confirmed by England Golf.

Despite intense lobbying to government from the golf industry bodies, including England Golf and the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf, increased national lockdown measures will force the closure of golf clubs and facilities from tomorrow.

There was a light of hope after Prime Minister Boris Johnson was encouraging people to get outdoors and exercise and said that people can meet up with one other person from outside their household.

Playing golf in pairs, as at the easing of the first Lockdown seemed a possibility.

However, after three days of challenging the government to keep courses and facilities open, the answer was no.

A letter has now been sent to all affiliated clubs and facilities to inform them of the fact.

I have reproduced the letter from England Golf below:

It is with a feeling of deep regret that we must now inform all affiliated golf clubs and driving ranges that they should prepare to close from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December 2020.

Pending a vote today in the House of Commons, the UK government has confirmed these closures are required as part of increased national lockdown measures designed to suppress the spread of Covid-19, save lives and protect the NHS.

England Golf, as the governing body for the amateur game and alongside our colleagues in the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf, respectfully, but vigorously challenged government to argue the case for golf courses to remain open.

As an open-air sport played by limited numbers in a vast outdoor setting which naturally lends itself to social distancing, we lobbied that golf should continue to be played in accordance with our government-approved ‘Play Safe, Stay Safe’ framework.

With the Prime Minister actively encouraging family households and up to two individuals from different households to exercise in the open air without limit, we strongly believe that golf courses should have remained open as an extension to recreation even if it was necessary to close clubhouses and professional shops.

Participants would have been able to enjoy the obvious physical rewards of playing the game, but perhaps more importantly, the benefits to their mental health at a time of disruption to normal life.

The government engaged in detailed conversation, but has decided not to amend its original guidance and we would ask all clubs and golfers to respect the legislation that is set to come into force overnight.

England Golf staff remain available to support golfers, clubs and counties throughout this period of temporary closure.

We will signpost to relevant information and government advice where we can and as quickly as possible with the help of our Club Support Officer network.

We will also maintain an open line of communication with government in a bid to allow courses and facilities to re-open at the earliest opportunity.

Please continue to check our social media channels and website for all the latest updates on golf and the Covid-19 situation.

I’m proud of the incredible support golf has received from so many quarters in the last few days – a sure sign of how much our game means to so many people in the country.

We will spend the next four weeks strengthening our network and building on this fantastic momentum to make sure that golf is never again in the position of having to close its doors when it can do so much to help support the country’s route out of the pandemic.

Kind regards

Jeremy Tomlinson, CEO England Golf

You can read the actual letter and the full All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf statement by CLICKING HERE.

Stay well and safe, and look forward to returning to golf, in whatever form, after 2 December 2020.

Best wishes


WHS 2020 – How to Use Your Handicap Index When Playing a Round of Golf

How to Use Your Handicap Index When Playing a Round of Golf

Remember! Remember! The Second of November!

The introduction of the World Handicap System (WHS) in GB&I is only a few days away.

Are yoiu ready?

By now you will have received your Handicap Index, and, having got over the shock, no doubt booked to play a round of golf on, or after, Monday 2 November.

If you have not received your Handicap Index, please CLICK HERE to find out how you can find your Handicap Index.

What do you do now?


Decide what type of round you will be playing and, for Handicapping purposes, understand what Acceptable Scores are.

    • All 9-hole and 18-hole Singles Competition Rounds in Authorised Formats must be submitted for handicap purposes, subject to the competition being played to the Rules of Golf and over the measured length of the course
    • General Play (Social Rounds) may be submitted but must be pre-registered according to your Club’s Pre-registration Procedure. This also includes such play as Roll-ups and Swindles etc. and can include away games if you so wish.
    • Scores from team competitions and match play will not be acceptable in England initially, although this may change based on feedback from other jurisdictions that include those format
    • Pre-register your round on the day you are playing

Because the WHS is an averaging system, the more scores you submit the more accurate your Handicap Index will be.

Follow the guidelines of England Golf Know your Score and use HCP.

This translates to:

Handicap Index: Know your Handicap Index. This is the replacement to your current Handicap and represents your ability to play a Neutral Course which has a Slope of 113.

It is calculated in the same way for every golfer worldwide and so is comparable between golfers.

It is NOT the handicap that you will play off, but it is the ‘Handicap’ that you enter a competition with.

Course Handicap: This is the handicap that your Handicap Index is converted to, in order to provide you with a handicap that is more suited to your playing your chosen course.

If the club competition software is not available consult the Course Handicap charts relevant to the tees being used. These should be prominently displayed in your Clubhouse or ProShop.

This Course Handicap will be the Handicap that you will play off for General Play Rounds (Social)

Playing Handicap: If you are playing in a Club Competition in a particular format, calculate your Playing Handicap by applying the Handicap Allowance (see the table below), for that format.

Your Course Handicap will need to be converted to a Playing Handicap, by applying a Handicap Allowance according to the Competition Format you will be playing.

The various Handicap Allowances can be seen in the table below.

File Name: WHS-Handicap-Allowances.pdf

If you would like to download a copy of the Handicap Allowance Table, please click on a Download Button below:

It is hoped that, if you are entering a Club Competition e.g. a Monthly Medal or Stableford, that you will be pre-registered for the competition and your Course Handicap and Playing Handicap will have been calculated and show on your Club’s Computer.

Finally, I would like to add an S to the HCP, which stands for Scoring and Submitting a Score.

Scoring and Submitting a Score:

    • Ensure that your Course Handicap is entered on your card, and the chosen Tee designated to avoid Disqualification.
    • Ensure Scorecard signed by a Marker (Not necessary during COVID-19 Restrictions)
    • After the round, return the card as directed. Submit your score in accordance with Club procedures as soon as possible after you have completed your round.
    • Enter your Gross Score on the Club Competition Computer for each hole, hole by hole
    • If a hole is STARTED BUT NOT COMPLETED in Stableford, Par or Maximum Score formats. For handicap purposes net double bogey will be added to the score
    • If a hole is NOT STARTED for a valid reason net par will be added
    • Blanks/dashes no longer acceptable on Score Cards.
    • All 9 holes must be played or started for a 9-hole score to be acceptable for handicap purposes
    • A minimum of 10 holes must be played or started for an 18-hole score to be acceptable for handicap purposes
    • If you did not play a hole for a valid reason, you should mark the hole as ‘not played’ (NP).

Valid reasons for not playing a hole include:

    • Failing light or bad weather
    • Player injury or illness
    • A hole being declared out of play by the Committee for maintenance or reconstruction purposes

Invalid reasons for not playing a hole include:

    • Not playing a hole for the purpose of gaining a scoring advantage (high or low)

If you fail to return a scorecard your Handicap Committee may impose a penalty or, if a score can be retrieved, enter a Penalty Score for your round. NRs are not acceptable.

The prompt submission of your score is important as it will enable:

    • Your score to be included in the daily PLAYING CONDITIONS CALCULATION


    • Your Handicap Index to be UPDATED READY FOR YOUR NEXT ROUND

Handicap decreases or increases will not be calculated along with the competition results

Scores will be uploaded to a new platform designated by each national golf federation, for adjustment after midnight.

Your Handicap Index will be recalculated using the Playing Condition Calculation (previously CSS) at the end of every day you play

Your new Handicap Index can be viewed early next day either on the Golf Ireland website or available app.

Your correct Handicap Index will appear on the competition software in your Home Club when you enter a competition.

So, relax and enjoy your golf

Play as many rounds as you can, but remember:

Stay Safe and Play Safe

Best wishes


PS: My next post will contain details on Mixed Tee Competitions

PPS: From Monday 9 November 2020, because the WHS will be the Official Handicapping System, all references to the CONGU Unified Handicap System (UHS) will be removed from the My Golf Website.

World Handicap System 2020 – How do I find my Handicap Index?

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.

Visit the England Golf World Handicap System Platform here

Visit the Scottish Golf World Handicap System Platform here

Visit the Welsh Golf World Handicap System Platform here

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.

Stay safe

Enjoy your gof!

Best wishes


England Golf COVID-19 Restrictions – Update 14 October 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

  • England Golf Advice for those areas in Tier 3 COVID-19 Restrictions

World Handicap System 2020 – Data Requirement 29 September 2020

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.

Stay Safe and Play Safe

Enjoy your golf,


World Handicap System 2020 – Videos

World Handicap System 2020 – Videos

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.

I hope you find them useful

WHS Video Part 1:

WHS Video Part 2:

WHS Video Part 3:

WHS Video Part 4:

Enjoy your golf

Stay Safe and Play Safe

Best wishes


England Golf Update After Government Covid-19 Regulations Change – 10 September 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.

Follow this link to read the England Golf Official Statement https://www.englandgolf.org/update-to-social-distancing-guidelines-following-government-announcement-9-sept/

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.

Follow this link to England Golf FAQs

Enjoy your golf and stay safe

Best wishes


World Handicap System 2020 – What You Need to Know

World Handicap System 2020 – What You Need to Know

Hope you all are keeping well and safe.

Just to let you know that I have updated the World Handicap System FAQs page with England Golf’s August 2020 updates.

You can read more by clicking HERE.

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.

Know the Score Logo

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 Handicap or, 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.

  1. 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 Rating represents the score that a Bogey golfer (Handicap for Men around 20 and for Ladies around 24) is expected to achieve on the course.

Slope Rating is the relative difficulty of a course from a specific set of tees for a bogey golfer compared to a scratch golfer, as described on the  Course Rating, Bogey Rating and Slope Rating Pages

The Slope Rating of a Course of standard playing difficulty, used in the calculation of every golfer’s Handicap Index worldwide, is 113

  1. Acceptable Scores

Singles Competition Rounds and Social Scores in Authorised Formats may be submitted for handicap purposes, as described on the Acceptable Scores page.

  1. Handicap Index

A measure of a player’s demonstrated current ability calculated against the Slope Rating of a golf course of standard playing difficulty, as described on the Handicap Index page.

  1. Course Handicap & Playing Handicap

Course Handicap is the number of handicap strokes a player receives before Handicap Allowances, on a specific course and a specific set of tees.

Playing Handicap is the Course Handicap adjusted for any Handicap Allowances. It represents the actual number of strokes the player gives or receives for the round being played under a given format.

See the Course and Playing Handicaps page.

  1. Transition Handicaps

In order to move from CONGU to WHS handicaps, all players’ current Handicap Records will be reprocessed using the WHS principles, as described on the Transition Handicaps page.

  1. Definitions

New terminology explained on the Definitions page.

  1. Further Information 

Click for further information about the WHS on the R&A website

and FAQ’s from the England Golf Website

and a series of short videos on specific aspects of the system

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.

Enjoy your golf

Stay Safe and Play Safe


Compulsory Wearing of Face Coverings in Golf ProShops from Friday 24 July 2020

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.

Stay Safe and Play Safe


Email: tony@my-golf.uk

Rules Golf: www.my-golf.uk