World Handicap System

Old Method New WHS Method Video – click YouTube to see a larger screen will be unavailable from January 1, 2020 to January 5, 2020 while it converts to the new World Handicap System. will come back online on January 6, 2020 with the new improved interface to the World Handicap System. All handicap indexes will be restated. All rounds played during the five day conversion can be posted on January 6th.
Under the new system, players must choose a permanent HOME course, which should be where most of their rounds are played. The “T” designation for Tournament Scores will be replaced with a “C” for Competition Scores.
Calculation of Course Handicap
Currently the calculation of Course Handicap is:

(Handicap Index X Slope Rating / 113)

Under the World Handicap System the calculation is changed slightly to:

(Handicap Index X Slope Rating / 113) + (Course Rating – PAR)

And yes, there’s an app for that! The NCGA app will automatically calculate the new course handicap on January 6th.
Calculation of Adjusted Gross Score – Net Double Bogey
Equitable Stroke Control will go away
and be replaced with……—>
Net Double Bogey
the maximum that you can take
on each hole
(for handicap purposes)
Par + 2 + Pops
Watch this video to learn the new method of calculating the adjusted gross score
Frequency of Revisions
Currently, the handicap index is revised on the 1st and 15th of every month With the new World Handicap System,
the index will be revised


and will be adjusted to reflect
adverse playing conditions

Incomplete Holes – Most Likely Score
For Pace-of-Play considerations, sometimes we need to “Pick-Up” or “X-Out”. Use the table at the right to estimate the number of strokes to add after the “Pick-Up”.
PCC – Playing Conditions Calculation
Currently, a score in foul conditions
is weighted the same
as a score in fine conditions
With the new World Handicap System,
an algorithm will account for
adverse weather and course conditions
Daily Index calculated using best 8 out of 20 recent scores
Currently, the handicap index is calculated using the best 10 out of 20 recent scores With the new World Handicap System,
the daily index is calculated using the best 8 out of 20 recent scores
Handicap Index Soft Cap & Hard Cap
Currently, there is no automatic
calculation to adjust the index
for a couple bad rounds
With the new World Handicap System,
the handicap index is
automatically prevented
from rising or dropping too fast
Maximum Handicap Index
Currently the
maximum handicap
for women is 40.4
The Maximum Handicap Index
will now be
54 for both men and women
Number of Scores Needed to Establish a Handicap Index
Currently, five 18-hole rounds (90 holes)
or a combination of 9’s
are required for GHIN to
calculate an initial handicap index
With the new World Handicap System,
three 18-hole rounds (54 holes) are required
to calculate an initial handicap index
ESR – Exceptional Score Reduction
Currently, a score that is out of range of the current handicap (a one-off) is not recognized until the 1st and 15th change date. The New World Handicap system will recognize the potential scoring ability immediately by adjusting the other scores appropriately. This restatement can be viewed in the Adjustments Column in the player’s GHIN account.
Acceptable Scores to Post
Unacceptable Scores To Not Post Include:

  • If you played fewer than 13 holes. (Remember you still have an acceptable 9-hole score.)
  • When you play in a competition limiting the types of clubs used, such as a one-club or irons-only tournament.
  • When an 18-hole course is less than 3,000 yards long.
  • When a majority of the holes aren’t played under the Rules of Golf, as in a “scramble.”
  • “Inactive season” scores. Caveat: If a round is played on a course that is observing an inactive season, that score is unacceptable for handicap purposes. However, if a member whose golf club is currently observing an inactive season plays at a course observing an active season, that score must be posted.
  • Playing two or more balls as practice at a small, local 9-hole course in lieu of going to the driving range. This is practice play and should be treated the same as practice at the driving range.

Acceptable Scores to Post:

  • Scores from home and away courses.
  • Scores in all forms of play; match play, stroke play, even team competitions in which you are requested to pick up.
  • A score from two nines even if it’s the same nine, or nines from different days.
  • Score from a single nine. Each nine holes on a golf course has its own Course Rating and Slope Rating. Two nine-hole scores will eventually be combined to create an 18-hole score and be designated with the letter “C.”