World Handicapping System

The World Handicap System will be rolled out in Great Britain & Ireland on 2nd November 2020. From that date your handicap will be based on the average of  your best 8 scores from the last 20 rounds, and will vary depending on the difficulty of the course being played, as described below.

1. Course Rating & Slope Rating

Course Rating replaces Standard Scratch (SSS) and represents the score that a scratch golfer is expected to achieve on the course.

Slope Rating is the relative difficulty of a course from a specific set of tees for a bogey golfer compared to a scratch golfer.


2. Handicap Index

A measure of a player's demonstrated ability calculated against the Slope Rating of a golf course of standard playing difficulty.


3. Course Handicap & Playing Handicap

Course Handicap is the number of handicap strokes a player receives before Handicap Allowances, on a specific course and a specific set of tees.

Playing Handicap is the Course Handicap adjusted for any Handicap Allowances. It represents the actual number of strokes the player gives or receives for the round being played.

4. Transition Handicaps

In order to move from CONGU to WHS handicaps, all players' current Handicap Records will be reprocessed using the WHS principles.

5. Further Information


Click for further  information about the WHS on either the:

Or


Course Rating & Slope Rating

Course Rating represents the difficulty of a golf course for a scratch golfer (0 handicap), calculated to the nearest 0.1.

Slope Rating represents the relative difficulty of a course for a bogey golfer (20 handicap) compared to a scratch golfer.


A course with long carries, narrow fairways, lots of hazards and thick rough will have a high slope rating because these features are more of a challenge to bogey golfers. Slope Rating can be anywhere between 55 and 155. 113 is the neutral value that is used in handicap calculations. The GB&I average Slope Rating is 125.

The Course and Slope Ratings for MEGC's tees will be available once notified by Scottish Golf.

A golfer's handicap for a specific course is deteremined by multiplying their Handicap Index by the Slope Rating and dividing by 113.

Handicap Index

  • Handicap Index is a measure of a player's demonstrated ability calculated against the Slope Rating of a golf course of standard playing difficulty
  • It represents a golfer's playing handicap on a course with a Neutral Slope Rating of 113
  • It is calculated as a rolling average of the lowest 8 from the last 20 Score Differentials
  • Each time a new score is submitted the average of the lowest 8 from the last 20 is re-calculated, which may or may not lead to a change of Handicap Index
  • There are additional safegaurds to ensure that a player's handicap does not rise too quickly when a player is going through a spell of poor form
Low Handicap Index (LHI)
  • A player's lowest Handicap Index during the last 12 months is used as an Anchor Point to limit increases in Handicap Index
  • Soft CAP: Potential increases of  Handicap Index to a figure greater than (LHI + 3) are limited by half the amount over three, e.g. 5 is limited to 4,  6 is limited to 4.5, etc.
  • Hard CAP: The maximum that the Handicap Index can increase to is (LHI + 5)

Exceptional Scores
  • An adjustment to the Handicap Index after a very low score has been posted
  • A reduction of -1 for scores between 7 and 9 below Handicap Index 
  • A reduction of -2 for scores 10 or more below Handicap Index
  • The reduction is applied to the last 20 scores on the Scoring Record and drops off gradually over the next 20 rounds.
New Handicaps

A New Player's Handicap Index is initially allocated at 2 less than the best of the Adjusted Gross Scores from 3 x 18 hole cards submitted. Cards can be submitted as 6 x 9 hole or some other combination. Subsequent Handicap Index calculations change as more scores are entered:



  • 3 scores: lowest score -2
  • 4 scores: lowest score -1
  • 5 scores: lowest score
  • 6 scores: average of lowest 2 scores -1
  • 7 to 8 scores: average of lowest 2 scores
  • 9 to 11 scores: average of lowest 3 scores
  • 12 to 14 scores: average of lowest 4 scores
  • 15 to 16 scores: average of lowest 5 scores
  • 17 to 18 scores: average of lowest 6 scores
  • 19 scores: average of lowest 7 scores
  • 20 scores: average of lowest 8 scores


Transition Handicaps

In order to move from CONGU to WHS handicaps, all players' current Handicap Records will be reprocessed using the WHS principles. The calculation will identify the best 8 of the last 20 Qualifying Scores, if posted during the last 2 years, and factor in:

• The adjusted Gross Score (Score Differential)

• The Course Rating (or SSS)

• Any PCC (or CSS) adjustments

• The Slope Rating of the tees played

If a player has submitted less than 20 scores in the last 2 years, the calculation will be done in a similar manner to the method of allocating new handicaps, as shown below. 

Players will be able to see their expected Transition Handicap and their Low Handicap Index (Anchor Point) at the PSI screen when the handicapping software is updated around September 2020.

Players are encouraged to submit plenty of scores between now and November 2020 so that their Transition Handicap Index is a good reflection of current playing ability.

If less than 20 Qualifying Scores posted in the last 2 years


  • 3 scores: lowest score -2
  • 4 scores: lowest score -1
  • 5 scores: lowest score
  • 6 scores: average of lowest 2 scores -1
  • 7 to 8 scores: average of lowest 2 scores
  • 9 to 11 scores: average of lowest 3 scores
  • 12 to 14 scores: average of lowest 4 scores
  • 15 to 16 scores: average of lowest 5 scores
  • 17 to 18 scores: average of lowest 6 scores
  • 19 scores: average of lowest 7 scores
  • 20 scores: average of lowest 8 scores
If a player has no Qualifying Scores posted in the last 2 years, the Transition Handicap will be calculated on the basis of the 3 lowest scores being equal to their current playing handicap. So a player with a 20 handicap will have scores of 20, 20 and 20 on their Scoring Record and their handicap at Transition will be (20 - 2) = 18.  So there's an incentive to get 3 Qualifying Scores in this year!


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