The World Handicapping System, set to debut in 2020, will unify six different handicap systems together into a single set of Rules for Handicapping.

The new system will enable golfers of different ability to play and compete on a fair and equitable basis, in any format, on any course, anywhere around the world; be easy to understand and implement, without sacrificing accuracy; and meet the varied needs and expectations of golfers, clubs and authorities all around the world and be adaptable to suit all golfing cultures.

The WHS will encompass both the Rules of Handicapping and the Course Rating System (formerly the USGA Course Rating and Slope System).

Once the changes take effect, you may find that your Handicap Index will be different due to the newly developed rules that more fairly indicate a golfer’s demonstrated ability. In most cases for golfers in the U.S., it will change less than a stroke. The more consistent your scores, the less likely your Handicap Index will change as a result.

In addition to the calculation, there are four important new features of the WHS coming in January:

  • Course Handicaps are changing
  • Net Double Bogey is replacing Equitable Stroke Control (ESC)
  • Your Handicap Index will be revised after every day you post a score instead of every two weeks
  • New precautions to prevent extreme upward movement of a Handicap Index



World Handicap System Home (USGA)

The 5 Things You Need to Know About WHS

WHS Frequently Asked Questions