The World Handicap System (WHS) has been introduced by the R&A and USGA to standardise handicap calculations throughout the world. It replaces the current various systems maintained by CONGU. WHS will launch in Scotland, and the rest of GB and I, on 2nd November 2020.

Why the Change?
By unifying all existing handicap systems, WHS will mean handicaps are recognised globally and are calculated the same way. This will allow you to play and compete fairly anywhere in the world, as your handicap is portable across the globe.

Informing Hopeman GC Membership
The change to WHS will affect your own handicap both at Hopeman or any other club you may play in the future. Normally for a change of this magnitude, we would invite members to participate in an information meeting at the club; however, with the COVID-19 restrictions this is currently not possible. Instead, we will provide a summary below and invite you to view videos which we will link in the coming few weeks newsletters and also view relevant documents.

What do you need to Know?
As with any change programme there is a lot of technical background in to how the WHS is calculated and being implemented. If you are interested in this, then there is information available online.

However, for the vast majority of members, we envisage you simply want to know the basics. This will be an awareness of the revisions and an understanding as to how WHS will generate changes to your handicap – both up and down – based on the scores you have submitted regardless of the course you played.

Your new ‘Handicap Index’
Your current handicap will be replaced by a ‘Handicap Index’. This will be calculated based on your best eight scores from the last twenty. Don’t worry, if you do not have twenty or even eight scores to date as a Handicap Index will be calculated for you. This will be based on your scores over 54 holes. This can be 3 x 18 holes or 6 x 9 hole returns or a mixture of both. Once you have your Handicap Index you are ready to go and play on any course.

‘Course Rating’ and ‘Slope Rating’
All courses in the UK are being rated with a ‘Course Rating’ (the new equivalent to SSS) and a ‘Slope Rating’. These are used to calculate your actual playing handicap for a given course. It is therefore quite possible to have a different playing handicap whether you are playing off yellows or white tees. Similarly, if you play another course such as Forres you may well have a different playing Handicap than you do at Hopeman. The Course and Slope Rating for Hopeman are –

Men’s – White
Course Rating™: 67.7
Slope Rating®: 119 – Par: 68

Men’s – Yellow
Course Rating™: 66.5
Slope Rating®: 118 – Par: 68

Women’s – Red
Course Rating™: 71.7
Slope Rating®: 122 – Par: 68


When you arrive at a course, you will use your Handicap Index to calculate your Playing Handicap for that course. All courses will supply lookup sheets which will allow you to determine your Playing Handicap directly. For those more technically minded, it can be downloaded for free from an App. After your round you will simply enter your score into the APP/IPAD and everything else will be done for you.

Bounce Games
Finally, a common question we have been asked is, “does this mean I must submit a card for every round of golf played”, the short answer to this is NO, you do not. SG recognise that bounce games are often played, and they do not want to deter people from this. However, should you wish to submit a card for any round, you simply have to register your intent in the system prior to teeing off. Obviously, the more cards submitted the more accurate your Handicap Index will be.

Issuing of your Handicap Index
The new Handicap Indexes will be supplied by SG before 2nd November. Members can see their new WHS handicap via the “APP” through handicap at the top left and after that there is an option to view your projected WHS Index.
Winter Golf
Please note that Winter Golf options will not be supported in the new handicapping system. All qualifying rounds MUST be played on a certified golf course, and while our summer courses (White, Yellow and Red) are all certified, unfortunately we are not able to do this with out winter course. However, we have elected to continue with our winter competitions albeit using a modified version of your current handicap, should you decide to play in these competitions.

More details will be made available in the coming weeks.