Have you ever wondered why golf developed a process to even the playing field? The governing powers continue to embrace its roots of golf being a sport for all players. As such, they decided to evolve my favourite sport and developed a world handicap system. It became live in Canada in January and I am looking forward using this new system this summer.
I have just started researching the benefits of the new system and I do not have my mind wrapped around it all. I will continue to research the new process and update everyone as I figure things out. In the meantime, I found out what the governing bodies thing the World Handicap System will provide:
Golf Canada provided the following explanation of the system’s key features:
- Flexibility in formats of play, allowing both competitive and recreational rounds to count for handicap purposes and ensuring that a Handicap Index reflects demonstrated ability
- A minimal number of scores needed to obtain a new handicap; with the number of scores needed to obtain a new handicap being 54 holes from any combination of 18-hole and 9-hole rounds (with some discretion available for national or regional associations)
- An average-based calculation of a handicap, taken from the best eight out of the last 20 scores and factoring in memory of demonstrated ability for better responsiveness/control
- A calculation that considers the impact that abnormal course and weather conditions might have on a player’s performance each day
- Timely handicap revisions
- A limit of Net Double Bogey on the maximum hole score (for handicapping purposes only)
- A maximum handicap limit of 54.0, regardless of gender, to encourage more golfers to measure and track their performance to increase their enjoyment of the game
- The formation of a World Handicap System was first conceived in 2011 between the USGA and The R&A in an effort to engage more golfers in the game and promote equity, no matter where golf is played. The effort unites six existing handicapping systems into one, while embracing the many ways the game is played across cultures.
There is an important aspect of having an official handicap that is often overlooked. To generate an official handicap you have to buy a membership from the Golf Associating of Ontario. This is an important step and one I think all golfers should do. I will be discussing this a bit more in the future as well, so stay tuned!
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!