Handicap Index Computation
The formula for computing a handicap index in the World Handicap System has been changed from the current USGA Handicap System. Below are a few major highlights of how handicaps are computed in WHS:
- New: WHS will take the lowest 8 of the golfer’s 20 most recent score differentials.
- Old: The USGA Handicap System took the lowest 10 of the golfer’s most recent 20 score differentials, plus a multiplier of .96.
- Effect: This means that most golfers will see a change to their handicap index on Jan. 1 when WHS launches, with lower handicap players likely seeing a slightly lower handicap index and higher handicappers seeing a slightly higher handicap index.
- New: A golfer needs just 54 holes to establish a handicap index in WHS.
- Old: Golfers needed the equivalent of five rounds (90 holes) to establish a USGA Handicap Index.
- Effect: This enables more golfers the opportunity to establish and maintain a handicap index. By requiring fewer scores, players who only play sporadically may be more likely to obtain a handicap index. Statistics show that players with a handicap index play more golf, so making it easier to obtain a handicap index can help increase participation.
- New: All scores posted by a golfer are considered for possible reduction of a handicap index if a score differential is at least 7.0 strokes below the golfer’s handicap index on the day of play.
- Old: The golfer’s lowest two tournament round score differentials over the past 12 months were considered against the golfer’s handicap index at each revision date, and if a threshold was met, the golfer’s handicap would be reduced with a “R” following the handicap index.
- Effect: By including all scores, the system is more intuitive and inclusive and it is simpler to explain and understand for golfers, since all score types are eligible.
- New: The Playing Conditions Calculation (PCC) will be used to potentially adjust a golfer’s score differential upon calculation of the handicap index to account for any abnormal course or weather conditions.
- Old: There was no adjustment of a score differential in the USGA Handicap System.
- Effect: Including the PCC as a part of WHS will ensure that each score differential is truly reflective of a player’s performance in a given round.
Use the form below to find out what your handicap index will be in the new World Handicap System, based on scores currently submitted to your handicap record.