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Course Handicaps

In the new system, your Course Handicap will be the number of strokes needed to play to par. This will result in greater variance in that number and presents a change, as historically it has represented the number of strokes needed to play to the Course Rating. This is a good thing, as par is an easy number to remember. Target score for the day? Par plus Course Handicap. The Course Rating will now be inherent within the calculation to be more intuitive and account for competing from different tees. Here is a look at some key differences in Course Handicap Calculation in WHS.

  • New: Course Handicap calculation includes the difference of the course rating of the tee played minus the par of the course.
  • Old: The Course Handicap calculation only utilized the course rating, but par was not a factor.
  • Effect: This eliminates the need for the current system’s Section 3-5, dealing with players competing from different tees. That difference is now included in the formula for Course Handicaps. That was an often confusing rule that was difficult to explain, and now the implementation is automatically included when determining the Course Handicap.
  • New: Course Handicaps will likely change significantly from tee to tee for a golfer.
  • Old: There was very little variance in Course Handicaps among a club’s tee sets.
  • Effect: In WHS, the Course Handicap represents the number of strokes needed to play to par, a term much easier for the average golfer to understand. In WHS, the target score can simply be calculated by adding the Course Handicap plus par.
  • New: The term “Playing Handicap” is the golfer’s Course Handicap multiplied by any handicap allowances the golfer receives. It represents the actual number of strokes the golfer receives on the course.
  • Old: Playing Handicap was not used in the USGA Handicap System.
  • Effect: By introducing a new term, there is a clear delineation between two key definitions, where both serve specific purposes. The Course Handicap is used to adjust individual hole scores (like Net Double Bogey for maximum score posting) while Playing Handicap is used for net competition purposes.

Key Changes in the World Handicap System

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Handicap Index Computation

Handicap Index Computation

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Course and Playing Handicap

Course and Playing Handicap

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Playing Conditions Calculation

Playing Conditions Calculation

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Exceptional Score Reduction

Exceptional Score Reduction

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