World Handicap System Education

World Handicap System

The way golfers around the world will calculate their handicaps is set to be transformed by a new system developed by the USGA and The R&A, with key features designed to provide all golfers with a consistent measure of playing ability.

The new World Handicap System, to be implemented in 2020, follows an extensive review of systems administered by six existing handicapping authorities: Golf Australia, the Council of National Golf Unions (CONGU) in Great Britain and Ireland, the European Golf Association (EGA), the South African Golf Association (SAGA), the Argentine Golf Association (AAG) and the USGA.

5 Things You Need To Know about WHS 2020

  1. The Handicap Index Calculation is changing in 2020
    - Your Handicap Index will be reflected on your best 8 scores of the most recent 20. For most golfers in the U.S., this will be a minor change, but you may see your Handicap Index is different in January, despite not having played.
  2. You will have a Playing Handicap in 2020
    - Slope Rating, Course Rating and Par will be used to determine your Playing Handicap, allowing players of different abilities to compete on a fair and equitable basis, even from different tees.
  3. Net Double Bogey will replace ESC
    - The maximum scores for handicapping purposes will be limited to Net Double Bogey (Par + 2 + any handicap strokes received.)
  4. You will have more responsive Handicap Index updates
    - Your Handicap Index will update the day after a score was posted. On days you do not submit a score, no update will take place.
  5. Safeguards have been added to protect your Handicap Index
    - The new WHS will account for abnormal playing conditions, limit extreme upward movement of a Handicap Index, and reduce a Handicap Index when an exceptional score is posted.

Educational Pieces

Fundamentals of Handicapping
The Fundamentals of Handicapping covers the basics of the new World Handicap System.  Objectives of WHS, key definitions, Course Handicap, Playing Handicap and more are identified in this PDF.

Handicap Index Calculation
The Handicap Index Calculation provides examples of how to calculate your Index in 2020.  It also includes any adjustments to a Handicap Index such as the Playing Conditions Calculation (PCC), Exceptional Score Reduction (ESR), Hard Cap and Soft Cap.

Explanation for Each Major Change
Each of these one-page documents explain a major change going into effect on January 1, 2020. Each individual paper describes:
• The current USGA Handicap System policy,
• The Rule change and
• The reasons for the change.

Member Club Rules of Handicapping Workshops

One of the duties of the Nebraska Golf Association, as an Allied Golf Association of the USGA, is to educate golfers on the Rules of Handicapping. With the new Rules of Handicapping going into effect on January 1, 2020, the NGA has a robust schedule of educational opportunities to reach all key segments, including member clubs and staff, allied associations, as well as the general golfer.

The curriculum for these seminars will be a presentation on the major changes to the Rules of Handicapping, or they can be tailored to fit the needs of the member club. Any member club/course or association interested in offering their members further educational programs should contact NGA Manager of Membership & Women's Programs Sam Oehm at (402) 505-4653, ext. 103 or

World Handicap System Seminar Offerings
Please find the seminar you would like to attend and click on the link to register.

February 12, 2020 - Happy Hollow Club, Omaha; 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
February 24, 2020 - Scotts Bluff Country Club, Scotts Bluff; 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
February 25, 2020 - Lake Maloney Golf Club, North Platte; 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
February 26, 2020 - Kearney Country Club, Kearney; 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
February 27, 2020 - Riverside Golf Club, Grand Island; 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
March 10, 2020 - Norfolk Country Club, Norfolk; 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.