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FAQs - World Handicapping
1. When did the World Handicapping System going into effect?
In the United States, the Would Handicap System went into effect on January 1, 2020.
2. What were the major changes?
There were 10 major changes that will have an effect on your use of the handicap system. Please click here to read about these changes.
3. Does the CGA have materials I can use to learn about WHS?
Yes, there are manuals, fact sheets, videos, and posters that you can use to learn about as well as teach WHS principles.
- Top 10 New WHS Features - a summary level explanation of the major changes to handicapping
- What is World Handicapping Videos - short videos covering the major features of WHS
- Printable Posters and Matching Videos - letter-sized and legal-sized downloadable posters of new features
- Rules of Handicapping for 2020 - the complete rules manual for use of the WHS
- What changed - 13 fact sheets explaining how the principles of handicapping have been changed
4. Will I be able to use my handicap index and post scores when I play outside of the United States?
If you travel and play golf within the jurisdiction of any of the national golf associations authorized by the World Handicapping System, your Handicap Index can be used to calculate your Course Handicap on any officially rated course. Six National Golf Associations have come together to form the World Handicapping System. They are:
|United States Golf Association - USGA Handicap System|
|Council of National Golf Unions - CONGU Unified Handicap System|
|European Golf Association - EGA Handicap System|
|Golf Australia - Golf Australia Handicap System|
|Argentina Association of Golf - Argentinian AAG Handicap System|
|Golf South Africa - SAGA Handicap System|
Note: Some of the world associations will not fully implement the World Handicapping System until later in 2020 or perhaps as late as 2021. Please consult the foreign club or association to determined if they have implemented WHS.
5. What if I make a mistake when posting my score? Can I edit my own score?
Once you have posted your score, the GHIN software does not let you change your score. If you need a change to your posted score, the handicap committee or the professional staff at your home club will edit the score for you. Please do not call the Carolinas Golf Association for a score change. We are unable to do this for you. This is strictly a club responsibility per the Rules of Handicapping.
Members of the Carolinas eClubs and our Carolinas Youth on Course clubs can request changes to their score (if needed) from the Carolinas Golf Association as we function as members of the handicap committees for these clubs.
6. What is the Playing Conditions Calculation and who determines if this adjustment is needed?
When abnormal course or weather conditions cause scores to be unusually high or low on a given day, a Playing Conditions Calculation (PCC) will adjust score differentials to better reflect a player's actual performance. There is no one person that determines if conditions were abnormal. The PCC is an automatic computation procedure that compares scores submitted on the course and day in question against expected scoring patterns. If there is a significant variance, an adjustment will be applied to scores posted for that day. The PCC is conservative in nature and will be applied in whole number adjustments ranging from a plus (+)1 to a minus (-)3. You should not expect to see many PCC adjustments to your scoring record over the course of a year.
7. I understand there will be daily handicap revisions. What does that mean for me?
Every time you submit a new score to the handicap system, a new Handicap Index will be calculated that night at midnight and you will have a new Handicap Index as of the following day. This means it is very important for you to post your scores as soon as possible on the day of play (and before midnight) in order for a new Handicap index to be properly calculated for the next day. Golfers who habitually post scores later than the same day will be subject to review by their handicap committees and possible disciplinary action.
You will be able to check your Handicap Index at any time using any one of the three GHIN software applications: a) the clubhouse posting kiosk; b) the GHIN mobile app; or c) a desktop computer dashboard (www.ghin.com). Which Handicap Index will be used in organized competitions at your club or by the association will be determined by the Committee in Charge of the event. Please consult your club for more information about their Handicap Indexes timing policy.
8. Can you explain the Soft and Hard Cap in a simple manner?
By design, the WHS wants to limit the upward movement of a player's handicap relative to their 12-month Low Handicap Index (LHI). So, the system will let an index increase by 3.0 with no adjustment or cap. Once the HI starts to go beyond an increase of 3.0, a player's index will only be allowed to increase 3.0 plus one-half of the amount over 3.0. This slow-down factor will restrict their Handicap Index from rising too fast. The slow-down factor stays in effect until the Handicap Index calculation surpasses 5.0 over the player's LHI. At this point the Hard Cap limit applies and their index will be limited to just 5.0 higher than their LHI and never rise higher than 5.0 over their LHI.
Keep in mind, a Handicap Committee has the power to review every club member's Handicap Index to determine if their index is a fair representation of their golfing ability. This means if a golfer has suffered a temporary injury or medical problem or perhaps suffers from a disability, the committee can be petitioned to review the golfer's record and modify that player's Handicap Index as necessary. Most modifications are temporary and are removed once the golfer has accumulated enough scores while incapacitated to fairly reflect their ongoing ability.
9. I play nine holes on a regular basis. Will I still be able to post my scores?
The simple answer is yes! However, there are some things you should be aware of.
- First - all golfers will only have an 18-hole Handicap Index. The WHS does not support 9-hole Handicap Index calculations. Current 9-hole Handicap Index players will be automatically converted to 18-hole Handicap Indexes during the transition to the WHS.
- Second - all post-able 9-hole scores will be combined with a second 9-hole score in order to form an 18-hole score for inclusion in the Handicap Index calculation. On many occasions, a 9-hole score will be held aside waiting for a second 9-hole score. This means a lone 9-hole score will not have an immediate impact on the Handicap Index. It will only factor in once it has been combined with a second 9-hole score to form an acceptable 18-hole score.
- Third - a player can still calculate a 9-hole Course Handicap from an 18-hole Handicap Index. They simply use one-half of their 18-hole Handicap Index in the Course Handicap calculation.
- Fourth - a player can post any combination of 9-hole scores. They could be all front nine scores; combinations of front and back nines; or, they could be nine holes played from different tees or at different courses. The score just needs to post as a 9-hole score to the appropriate course and tee that was played that day and the software will take care of the rest.