The World Handicap System
The purpose of the World Handicap System is to make the game of golf more enjoyable for golfers by providing a consistent means of measuring one’s performance and progress and to enable golfers of differing abilities to complete or play a causal round with anyone else on a fair and equal basis.
Introduced in 2020, the World Handicap System amalgamated the 6 different handicap systems used by individual Golf Associations around the world. The new unified system promotes a more accurate calculation of handicaps that are responsive and reflective of a player’s demonstrated ability and that are portable from course to course and country to country.
Under the World Handicap System, a player is expected to:
- Act with integrity by following the Rules of Handicapping
- Attempt to make the best score possible at each hole
- Submit acceptable scores for handicap purposes as soon as possible after the round is completed and before midnight on the day of play
- Submit acceptable scores to provide reasonable evidence of their demonstrated ability
- Play by the Rules of Golf
- Certify the scores of fellow players
Peer Review allows for each golfer’s reported scores and resulting handicaps to be available to their peers, including golfing partners and competitors, event organizers and handicap committees. It is the process by which either a player’s score or Handicap Index can be confirmed or challenged. While the Handicap Index calculation has built in safeguards against handicap manipulation, the human element is equally important to ensure fair play.
Peer review can be as simple as confirming scores with playing partners during and after a round, to attesting scores of other players in sanctioned matches and competitions, to scheduled or spot-checked reviews to ensure score posting consistency, and to confirm the validity of a handicap index.
Why is accessing this information important?
- Individual players require access to other players’ scores and handicaps to confirm that handicaps are up-to-date, and to be able to calculate net standings in stroke play and strokes given and/or received in match play.
- Event organizers require access to players’ scores and handicaps to be able to ensure correct placement in flighted events, to calculate net results in net events and to ensure the maximum total handicap for team events is valid.
- Rules & Handicap Committees require access to players’ scores and handicaps to confirm that score posting is current and producing valid handicaps and to ensure player eligibility to enter specified competitions. Access also allows the Committee to assess and confirm that an individual’s handicap index continues to reflect the player’s demonstrated ability.
The Committee has added responsibility for Peer Review. Click to read Peer Review and The Rules & Handicap Committee
To ensure fair and equitable play, members who wish to enter Net or Flighted competitions, or any other competition where handicaps form entry requirements, are required to have and maintain a valid handicap.
While all members are encouraged to obtain and maintain handicaps, it is acknowledged that some members enjoy recreational golf only. Consequently, these golfers may not enter any competitions as noted above.
The Club’s Handicap Policy is clearly written and available for review to all members. Click to read the Club’s Handicap Policy.