Have you heard the news?
The new World Handicapping System is here!
This is a very big change for all of us – players and the golf clubs who offer the handicapping system to their members.
Your Handicap Committee is on it! You’ll be hearing from us over the next 3 months as we gear up for the transition to this new system for the coming season. Our plan is to provide a series of brief e-blasts between now and spring that will introduce the major “need-to-know” points of the World Handicapping System.
The Role of the Handicap Committee and Its Members
Before we start, let us introduce your Handicap Committee and give a quick review of why the committee exists. For 2020, Rick Armour, Alice Carlson, Judi Edwards, Debbie Rankin (Chair) and Don Rodney form the committee. Our Club must have a functioning Handicap Committee to fulfil its license agreement with Golf Canada. The Committee’s role is to provide “Education, Communication and Accountability” to assist in the Club’s and players’ compliance with the Rules of Handicapping. For more about the Handicap Committee and the Club’s license agreement, please click here.
Now on to the good stuff!
As many of you have heard, the World Handicap System for golf is a global initiative bringing all the various handicapping authorities and systems together in 2020. The new system has many changes. The two most major are:
- Changes to your Course Handicap and Handicap Index: Your Course Handicap may change and will now equal the number of strokes needed to play to par. This will be achieved by a new method of calculating adjusted hole scores, which will be more precise and reflective of each player’s demonstrated ability. Both your Course Handicap and Handicap Index will be more responsive to good scores by averaging your 8 best scores out of your most recent 20. In short, your handicap will be determined by your demonstrated ability and consistency of scores. In most cases for golfers in Canada, handicaps will change less than 1 stroke.
- Adjusted scores and maximum scores: Introduction of the new method of calculation of adjusted hole scores and the maximum hole score you can take on each hole for the purpose of updating your handicap.
Prior to the introduction of the World Handicap System, we used the Equitable Stroke Control (ESC) method, which provided a maximum score, based on your course handicap, to be used on all holes regardless of par or of the difficulty of the hole.
This ESC method is now gone – so forget about it!
The Equitable Stroke Control (ESC) system has been replaced with the Maximum Hole Score, and the new method to calculate it on each hole is Net Double Bogey.
Net Double Bogey is a score equal to the par of a hole plus 2 strokes and adjusted for any handicap strokes to be applied on that hole. Net double bogey is a player’s maximum individual hole score to be used for the purpose of updating their handicap.
How do you know if you get handicap strokes and on which holes?
Most golfers who participate in match play events know how handicap strokes are used. Many of us who just play regular golf may not. Here is a quick explanation:
At the bottom of the Club scorecard you will see two rows entitled “Handicap, Men” and “Handicap, Women." These rows were formerly known as the Stroke Allocation Rating and are now called the Stroke Index Allocation. Each hole has its own stroke allocation value, 1 through 18. (There is a complex formula used to determine which hole gets which value, but for now it is simpler to state that the allocations are based somewhat on the difficulty of the hole: value 1 for the hardest hole, value 18 for the easiest hole.)
Under the World Handicap System, the values 1 through 18 on the Stroke Index Allocation (listed on those rows marked “Handicap, Men” and “Handicap, Women”) will be used in everyday play as well as in competition. These values will have an impact on your maximum score for each hole for the purpose of updating your handicap.
Gross Hole Scores
We keep saying maximum hole score for the purpose of updating your handicap. If you score a 9 on a hole, that is still your Gross Hole Score. And the sum of the gross scores on all the holes is still your Gross Score for the round. It is only when you enter your scores in the Golf Canada Score Center computer program to update your handicap that you use the Maximum Hole Score of Net Double Bogey. (And, of course, if your gross score on any hole is LESS than Net Double Bogey, no adjustments are needed.)
Let’s look at two examples: using the PGCC scorecard where hole #1 is a par 4 and has a Stroke Index Allocation of 7 for men and 12 for women.
- A man with a course handicap of 10 will get a stroke on the 10 most difficult holes for men, that is, with a Stroke Index Allocation of 1 through 10. If he scores 9 on Hole #1, his maximum score using the Net Double Bogey method is Par (4) + Double Bogey (2) + Stroke Allocation (1) = 7.
- A woman with a course handicap of 10 will similarly get a stroke on the 10 most difficult holes for women, that is, with a Stroke Index Allocation of 1 through 10. If she scores 9 on Hole #1 she will not get a Stroke Allocation because it is only the 12th most difficult for women. Her maximum score is Par (4) + Double Bogey (2) + Stroke Allocation (0) = 6.
In both examples, the players' gross scores are still 9. The adjusted scores are only used for the purpose of updating their handicaps.
Enter Scores Hole-By-Hole
Prior to the introduction of the World Handicap System, players had the choice to enter just the total of their final adjusted score or to enter their complete score on a “Hole-by-Hole” basis. With the transition to the World Handicap System, players will be requested to enter their scores on a “Hole-by-Hole” basis only. The Golf Canada Score Center computer program will do all the work. It will automatically take your gross unadjusted hole-by-hole scores, calculate the correct Net Double Bogey for each hole and include your final adjusted score for the round. It will be easy and error free!
This change provides additional benefits to both the player and the Club. It eliminates the time-consuming chore for the player of manually calculating the Net Double Bogey on each hole. It also provides the necessary data for Clubs to review and update the Stroke Index Allocation and helps to keep course ratings current.
Finally, players around the world will have a consistent approach for adjusting scores and an apples-to-apples handicap.
We hope you found this first intro to the World Handicap System and the new Net Double Bogey maximum score informative. Stay tuned for more information and important changes. In the meantime, we encourage you to read in greater detail the material provided by Golf Ontario. Just follow this link: World Handicap System Resources.
In closing, we appreciate your participation and patience as we transition together into the World Handicap System.
Your Handicap Committee