Durham ON Chapter
Handicap
Handicapping - Golf Canada

Golf Canada is the Authorized National body that is responsible for implementing and administering the Rules of Handicapping in Canada in co-operation with the provincial golf associations.

The purpose of the World Handicap System (WHS) 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 compete, or play a casual round, with anyone else on a fair and equal basis.

Through the WHS, each golfer establishes a “Handicap Index” which is the measure of a player’s demonstrated ability on a course of standard playing difficulty.

The Handicap Index is calculated using the lowest 8 of the player’s most recent 20 Score Differentials and updated with each new round played. The Handicap Index travels worldwide with the golfer from course to course (and tee to tee) and is used to calculate a “Course Handicap”. The Course Handicap is the number of strokes a golfer receives from the specific set of tees at the course. The more difficult the golf course, the more strokes the golfer receives and vice versa.

The World Handicap System launched in Canada January 8th, 2020 and will feature the following:

  • Flexibility in formats of play, allowing both competitive and recreational rounds to count for handicap purposes and ensuring a golfer’s handicap is more reflective of potential ability.
  • A minimal number of scores needed to obtain a new handicap. The number of scores needed to establish a Handicap Index is 54 holes from any combination of 18-hole and 9-hole rounds.
  • A consistent handicap that is portable from tee to tee, course to course and country to country through worldwide use of the World Handicap System.
  • An average-based calculation of a handicap, taken from the best eight out of the last 20 Score Differentials and factoring in memory of previous demonstrated ability for better responsiveness and control.
  • A calculation that considers the impact that playing conditions (including course set up and weather conditions) might have on a player’s performance each day.
  • Daily handicap revisions, taking account of the course and weather conditions calculation.
  • A limit of Net Double Bogey on the maximum hole score (for handicapping purposes only). Net Double Bogey will replace the existing Equitable Stroke Control (ESC) procedure for determining the maximum hole score.
  • A maximum Handicap Index of 54.0, regardless of gender, to encourage more golfers to measure and track their performance to increase their enjoyment of the game.