World Handicap System Education

World Handicap System

In 2020, the USGA and The R&A launched the World Handicap System to enhance golfers' enjoyment and unify the game by providing a standard measure of playing ability. Now, players in 125 countries are able to use their Handicap Index to compete against anyone, on any course.

The World Handicap System is set to implement its first update in 2024. Below, you will find information on the 2024 Revision and key changes to the WHS.

3 Key Changes

  1. Course Rating & Shorter Courses
    - Courses as short as 750 yards for 9 holes and 1,500 yards for 18 holes are eligible for a Course Rating™ and Slope Rating™ – enhancing the portability of a Handicap Index® to make the system more accommodating for all players.
  2. 10-17-Hole Scores
    -Use of expected Score Differential™ applies when 10-17 holes are played, introducing more flexibility to score posting. In this scenario, you’re asked to post your score hole-by hole.
  3. 9-Hole Scores
    - No more waiting on 9-hole scores to combine, as they will count toward your Handicap Index the very next day. A premium is placed on the holes you played
    and combined with an expected Score Differential for consistency and fairness.

Read more on these three key changes at usga.org.

Educational Pieces

Player Reference Guide
This resource provides an overview of the World Handicap System (WHS ) and is intended to teach players the basics of the Rules of Handicapping.

Rules of Handicapping
Full text of the 2024 Rules of Handicapping.

Change Summaries for the 2024 WHS Revision
Each of these one-page documents explain a major change for the 2024 revision for the Rules of Handicapping and Course Rating System. The papers describe:
• The policy used prior to the 2024 revision of the WHS (2020-2023),
• The Rule change for the 2024 revision of the WHS, and
• The reasons for the change.

FAQs by Topic
Treatment of 9-Hole Scores
Treatment of 10-17 Hole Scores (Holes not Played)
Reduced Course Length to Obtain a Course Rating and Slope Rating

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 2024 Revision of the Rules of Handicapping going into effect on January 1, 2024, we are working on educational opportunities to reach all key segments, including member clubs and staff, allied associations, as well as the general golfer.

Any member club/course or association interested in offering their members further educational programs should contact NebGolf Manager of Membership & Women's Programs Chad Pitkin at (402) 505-4653, ext. 103 or cpitkin@nebgolf.org.