This month’s exciting news is that the USGA and World Golf Handicap systems will be merging and changing the way that golfers compare themselves against other players. This means that handicaps can move more easily around the world. The US will roll theirs out the first week of January and there COULD be a blackout period where you cannot enter your scores. I would suggest waiting until the 2nd week of January. Here are 7 things you need to know about the new system:
Your handicap index may change a few decimal points when the update happens, but it will be very little.
The system was tweaked to where it will use the BEST 8 scores out of your past 20 (versus 10). This will benefit the more consistent players where their scores are normally tightly bunched.
The new system will take a harder look at PAST performance and demonstrated ability versus trying to identify future potential.
Players will have a playing handicap where slope rating, course rating and PAR will be used. This will allow players to compete from different tees on the same course more easily.
The max score for handicap purposed will be limited to net double bogey (par + 2) which will definitely speed play up on the par 3’s!
You handicap will now update the DAY after a score is posted. That means you will want to post your scores immediately upon finishing the round and not save up scorecards for a bi-weekly posting party.
The system will also account for abnormal playing conditions and limit extreme upward movement of an index (sandbagging in our language) and an index may be reduced if an exceptional score is posted.
Please realize that each governing body can still make tweaks to the system for golf in their country, but these may come much later. Players will simply need to post their scores in GHIN or an Association’s version of GHIN to get a worldwide handicap. LPGA Amateurs could also still make adjustments to your handicap index for a particular competition (in rare cases.)
Sincerely ‘til next month, your Chapter Handicap Chair,