The New Handicap System
Last Updated: 12/31/19

World Handicap System 2020 – What you need to know.

1. The Handicap Index calculation is changing.

Our present handicap system known as the Golf Handicap and Information Network (GHIN), will be changing to the World Handicap System (WHS) effective January 1, 2020.  Presently there are 6 handicap systems being used across the world. The World Handicap System will be the one handicap used in every country across the globe. The GHIN APP will be down for several days starting Jan 1 to upgrade to the new WHS.    

Your handicap index may change with implementation of the new system – even if you do not post a new score.  This is because the old GHN system averaged your 10 best scores and hit it with a .96 multiplier. The new WHS simply averages your 8 best scores.  

2. You need to know your Course Handicap.   

This is the number of strokes needed to play to par.  SCGA Course Handicaps can be found at the link below. Here you will find the table for Altadena.  You will see that Course Handicaps vary according to your Handicap Index and the tees that you play.  For example, with my present Handicap Index of 13, playing from the blue tees, my course Handicap is 10.  This means that to play to my handicap I need to shoot an 82 (par of 72 plus my Course Handicap of 10).  

         SCGA WHS Course Handicap Tables       

3. Net Double Bogey Replaces ESC

The maximum score posted for a hole is now Net Double Bogey based on your Course Handicap.  Net Double Bogey = Par for the hole + 2 + handicap strokes received. This replaces the present Equitable Stroke Control (ECS) which limits the highest score for a hole based on your Course Handicap.   

To demonstrate, under the current ECS my 13 Handicap Index limits me to posting a 7 on every hole.  So, on those unfortunate days when I shoot an 8 on Altadena’s hole number 1, I was limited to posting a 7.  Under the new WHS, my Course Handicap is 10 – meaning that I get a single handicap stroke on each of the 10 toughest holes.  The first hole is the number 11 handicap hole, so I get no handicap stroke. Therefore, I am limited to posting Net Double Bogey on this par 4, which is a 6 (par 4 +2).  On the other hand, if I shoot an 8 on number 2 (which happens more often than I care to admit), because this is the number 5 handicap hole I get a handicap stroke, and I would I post my Net Double Bogey as a 7 (par 4 + 2 + 1 handicap stroke).

4. Your Handicap Index will be now be updated daily

The WHS will update you Handicap Index daily, as opposed to the present system where it is updated twice a month.  For this reason, it is best to post scores on the day of play.

5. Safeguards have been added to protect your Handicap Index.

The new WHS will take into account Playing Conditions.  The system will look at scores posted on a given day from at minimum 8 acceptable postings.  If the scores are unusually high due to 

challenging weather our course set up, the system may do a calculation to adjust score differentials.  Likewise, if scores are unusually low, the system may also adjust scores.  


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