The World Handicap System
As many of you have heard, there was a global initiative bringing all the various the handicapping authorities and systems together in 2020 to create one unified system: The World Handicap System for golf. There are several changes coming to the system we have used. One major change is in ESC (Equitable Stroke Control: the downward adjustment of individual hole scores, in order to make handicaps more representative of an player’s ability), this will now be termed Maximum Hole Score, and the new method that will be used commencing January 1, 2020 is called Net Double Bogey.
Net Double Bogey, is a score equal to the par of a hole plus two strokes and adjusted for any handicap strokes to be applied on that hole. A net double bogey is a player’s maximum individual hole score for handicap.
It is the responsibility of our club and Committee, Golf Ontario and Golf Canada to educate our membership on this new method and ensure scores are properly adjusted for handicap purposes to maintain accurate handicaps. One way to ensure scores are properly adjusted for our new procedure: Maximum Hole Score/ Net Double Bogey is to require score posting be HBH (Hole By Hole) in the Golf Canada Score Centre. The benefits to this are that you just post your unadjusted hole by hole score into the system, and the Golf Canada Score Centre will automatically adjust for Net Double Bogey and Handicap purposes. This will assist us as a club to be full compliance to the new method, while at the same time provides 100% accuracy for all scores posted this way by our members.
Golf Ontario is recommending to clubs and golfers to post HBH with the incoming Net Double Bogey procedure and WHS.
Our Golf Association conducted several WHS Training seminars recently, over 200 individuals attended representing over 120 clubs. A short survey was conducted after presenting Net Double Bogey at those seminars and over half the clubs agreed they would be implementing the HBH score entry method for their club because of the challenge of education to their membership and the benefits of accuracy and compliance. The ask of each member when posting is simply hitting an extra 16 to 17 keystrokes to post their score (we do not believe this is onerous). On average it takes about 30 seconds to post scores using the HBH method. This is another means to ensure equity in our club events, but also for our members playing in events outside the club, whether that be locally, nationally or now worldwide.
We will also be joining other clubs by switching to the HBH posting method in 2020, and we will be making the changes to the Score Centre to require this entry method. We believe this is the right decision, one we didn’t take lightly, and we will monitor this over the year to ensure our club members are adjusting to the new entry method. We appreciate your participation and patience as we transition together into the World Handicap System.
World Handicap System FAQs
Why is Handicap Factor changing to Handicap Index?
The USGA’s current “Handicap Index” does not update each time a player’s score is entered. Since our current Canadian system updates for each score that is entered, we have used the term “Handicap Factor”. Under the WHS, updates will be daily in all countries, so the term “Handicap Index” will be used universally for everyone.
Is my handicap going to change (significantly) in the WHS?
Your handicap may change depending on several factors such as consistency, and frequency of play. Preliminary testing has shown most players new Handicap Index will be within 1 stroke of its current position.
How do I return my score at home? From Abroad? Who is responsible for this?
Scores can be posted in several ways including through the Golf Canada website, the smartphone application, as well if you need assistance one of the members of the board will be glad to assist. It is the golfer’s responsibility to ensure that all eligible scores are being posted.
How does the new system work?
The World Handicap System will be averaged based, using the best 8 of the last 20 scores in your record.
How are handicaps initially allocated?
A player will need to return 54 holes worth of scores to be issued an initial Handicap Index.
How do I get a (World) Handicap Index?
Handicap Indexes are only available to those who are members of Golf Canada/Provincial Golf Association. If you are new to golf, we require 54 holes of scores to be returned to obtain a Handicap Index. If a returning player, we can calculate an initial Handicap Index from your existing (historical) record.
Once I have a handicap index what happens if I don’t have 20 scores?
Following your first 54 holes worth of scores your handicap index will be allocated, then each time you add a new score it will be recalculated using an adjusted calculation to give you an Index equivalent to that of the Best 8 from 20 principle.
How long do I have to submit my first 3 scores or 54 holes for an Initial Handicap Allocation?
A new player has no time limit to return the first 54 holes worth of scores, but they won’t hold a handicap index during this time. Any combination of eligible 9 or 18 holes can be used.
How do I move clubs on the new system?
Notify your new club that you have kept a Handicap in the past. They will initiate a transfer process through Golf Canada. This will retain all your scoring history and Handicap Index.
How long do my 20 scores last on the new system?
Scores will not expire. However, to maintain the most accurate handicap it is recommended that players continue to post all eligible scores.
Can my handicap lapse?
No, if you retain membership your Handicap Index will remain valid. If your membership does lapse, your account will no longer compute a Handicap Index. Scores are not deleted at this time. If your membership is reactivated, the Index will be computed again based off scores existing in the account.
What will happen to my existing playing history when WHS comes into effect?
The scores you currently have in your record will be used to calculate your new Handicap Index.
When will I as a golfer know what my Handicap Index will be?
The aim is to show all members a sample of their new Handicap Index towards the end of the 2019 season
How do the daily course conditions affect the score?
The WHS includes a Playing Conditions Calculation (PCC), which will analyze how players have performed that day compared to their expected performance on that golf course. It will naturally include weather and course setup (reflected in the scores), and if expected results fall outside a tolerance level, an adjustment will apply to all scores played on that course for that day. A Playing Conditions Calculation (PCC) can only be calculated if at least 8 scores from players with fully developed Handicap Indexes have been entered on that day.
What happens to the Playing Conditions Calculation (PCC) if the weather is significantly different in the morning to the afternoon?
Only one PCC will be calculated, so both sets of conditions will be included within the PCC calculation. Scores should be entered as soon as possible.
What would happen if a score is not returned quickly, is there a time limit?
Scores should be entered before the end of the day (approx. midnight (local time). Any scores not entered before that time will not be used as part of the PCC determination. However, the PCC determination for the day of play will still be applied when the score is posted.
Will there still be an active/inactive Handicap Season?
Yes, there is still a seasonal need for an Active Handicap Season. With other tools available within the system, each Provincial Association has the right to choose their seasonal dates to which scores played in that region are acceptable for Handicap purposes.
What is a playing handicap and what does it consist of?
The playing handicap will be the player’s course handicap (handicap index adjusted by course rating and slope rating), and any handicap allowances.
What is the recommended minimum number of scores per year that should be submitted to maintain an accurate Handicap Index?
While there is no minimum number of required scores, the more scores submitted the more accurate the Index becomes in reflecting a player’s potential ability. Will we still need a Club Handicap Committee? Yes: a club will still need to appoint a Handicap Committee to manage and maintain members handicaps e.g. carry out handicap reviews, adjust handicaps where necessary, and ensure that scores are being submitted.
What restrictions will a Committee be able to place on handicaps for club competitions?
As with any competition, the Committee can have a set of Conditions which may include a handicap limit.
We hope this helps explain the changes. Should you have any questions on any of these changes specifically, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 905-852-1101 x 230. PO Box 970 Uxbridge, ON L9P1N3 p: 905 852 1101 f: 905 852 8893 GAO.ca
Should you have any questions on this system please contact any of your board members
This is critical to the overall validation of our handicaps and the main reason we joined the GAO and RCGA this year
Upon entering the GAO web site please note that if the golf course you played is not on the GAO list, make sure to then enter the rating and slope rating and leave the name as “AWAY”.
You can also enter 9 hole scores. Follow the instructions on the system. All members should enter their own scores, in the event that you are unable please drop of or mail your score cards to our head office. If you are mailing your score cards, please make sure that they are mailed 3 weeks prior of our Championship so they can get processed. Cards received late may not be processed and you may not get the correct handicap. Or make arrangements with Rui Machado or any other board member.
Also please do not enter scores that you have given us in order to avoid duplication. PCGA TOUR EVENT SCORE CARDS will be collected from the members after the event. Please note that we will enter these scores so you don’t have to.
NEW PCGA JUNIOR MEMBERSHIP CLASS
PCGA is now accepting Junior members who will receive all the PCGA benefits.
This membership is now available to any persons that are 18 years of age or under of Portuguese heritage. The cost of the Junior membership is $25.00 annually with no initiation fee.
Please pass this to any and all junior Luso-Canadian golfers that you know.
Use The Button Below TO ACCESS GAO’s SCORE POSTING, HANDICAP LOOKUP AND PERFORMANCE REPORT