Golf Canada Handicap Changes for 2016-2017

Golf Canada put out is annual changes to how it plans to govern in 2016 – 2017. If you have not read the details, let me save you some time.

Blah, Blah, Blah, we change our mind on solo rounds – Blah, Blah, Blah!

Okay, that was a little harsh, but like many other amateurs, Golf Canada’s decision in November of 2015 not to follow the USGA’s crazy idea of disallowing solo rounds for a handicap was applauded by the Canadian golfing masses! So what changed?

Actually, no one is really sure. Mike at 36aday provides a great article and is a definite read! His 5 points does sum up many thoughts of players looking to keep a handicap.

If you are wondering how the changes to the Golf Canada Handicap System was announced, here you go:

First there was a Twitter announcement (or a least that is where I first say it):

The link  in the Tweet led to the Golf Canada Website, click here.

Which in turn led to another link to the actual changes, click here.

I am not as annoyed as other players, but I do not endorse their decision to not allow single rounds to count towards my handicap. I play many rounds a year by myself for various reasons; good or bad I want them to count towards my true handicap!

Then the voice of reason started talking and the question about why the sudden change kept rattling around in my head!

Golf Canada said: “These changes are part of a bigger picture to unify the Handicap rules, and support the possible formation of a World Handicap System, which we wholeheartedly endorse.”

Okay, this is an admirable goal, but really what gives. I never heard of a World Handicap System! So, after a bit of research I found this article by the Wall Street Journal on the possibility of a World Handicap System, this is a piece of that article:

This initiative is the final piece in a long-term push for unified golf governance around the world. In the last decade or so, the USGA and its governing partner, the R&A (which oversees the game everywhere but in the U.S. and Mexico) have pretty much consolidated the game in three other areas: the playing rules of golf, equipment regulations and most recently the code of amateur status.

“The handicap system is effectively a fourth set of rules,” said John Bodenhamer, the USGA’s point man for the initiative. Not all golfers keep a handicap, of course, but for those who do the score-posting requirements enforce a rules-like discipline. Yet those rules deviate from country to country. “We feel it would benefit the game enormously, and add to its enjoyment, if golfers everywhere had a single, portable handicap number that worked the same wherever they traveled,” Bodenhamer said.

Apparently there is a bigger issue at hand, who knew! I am still not convinced that not allowing solo rounds will improve the system, but that is Golf Canada’s line in the sand for 2016-2017.

On a side note, Golf Canada indicated that the attester’s full name is not require. I am not really clear what that means. If the person who attests my round does not need to be a member of Golf Canada, the what is really the point?

Therefore, I will concede that Golf Canada is looking to evolve golf; whether this decision is for the better remains to be seen. I would suggest, however, that their communication plan might be something they need to work on to help lessen the lash back and confusion from irate amateur golfers!

I know I will remain a member of Golf Canada for the time being, but if the value of being a member diminishes, I may reconsider this decision in the near future.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

8 thoughts on “Golf Canada Handicap Changes for 2016-2017

  1. Pingback: Golf World Handicap System – Update - Swing Update

  2. Pingback: Golf World Handicap System – Update | The Grateful Golfer

  3. Hi Jim,

    I agree their communication on these important decisions needs to improve. Although I don’t agree with solo rounds not counting, I do admire the goal of a world handicap system, however, like Mike mentioned in his post, it should be about doing it the best way possible, not the quickest way.

    Although I’m disappointed in the decision, it won’t affect me personally a great deal so I wouldn’t consider myself irate. I think I only posted one score last year which was from a solo round. Typically if I have to play by myself, I use it as an opportunity for extra practice — I’ll play 2 balls, practice extra chips, bunker shots, putts, etc.

    However, honest players who play a lot of golf solo (and post scores) won’t have as accurate of a handicap now. That seems like a problem to me.



    • Josh

      It is interesting to see the backlash by many people. I agree that the ‘peer review’ seems like a red herring. Personally, I do not see the need for a world standard, but I am not following the corporate level of golf management that the USGA, R&A, and Golf Canada does. I guess time will tell if this was a good decision or not.


      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for the mention and link, Jim. An excellent piece with some important resources. In eager to learn more about this and will dig into your article and the great information you’ve shared. Thank you, Mike

    Liked by 1 person

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