HANDICAP FAQ 2020

WHY HAS MY HANDICAP INDEX REDUCED?

Top 3 reasons most people's handicaps will drop slightly with the World Handicapping System.

  1. Best 8 of 20: The best 8 of your last 20 scores now determine a handicap index. Previously this was the best 10, so by dropping the highest two scores of the 10, the handicap index could reduce. 
  2. Low index: The new system looks back 12 months since your most recent score for the lowest handicap index you have been on. If your form has been poor, then your handicap index will move out, but there is now a cap restricting how many strokes you can go out past your lowest handicap index of the 12 month period. Once it reaches 3 strokes higher, the cap starts to work and slows your handicap movement, to a maximum of 5 strokes. NOTE: There will still be the opportunity for a handicap committee to review a players scoring record and make adjustments where it is deemed to be needed. 
  3. Exceptional scores: If you have returned an exceptional score in your last 20 rounds then you may have been subject to a reduction. There is an automatic 1 stroke reduction after your best 8 of 20 has been determined if you have a round 7-9.9 better than your handicap index relative to conditions, course and slope rating. If the exceptional score is 10 better, then the reduction will be 2 strokes. The reduction applies to each of the most recent 20 score differentials, including the exceptional score. As a result the reduction will dilute as further rounds are submitted. Multiple exceptional scores will accumulate.
      For more information, see our Handicap Formula Journey video.
 

HOW IS IT POSSIBLE THAT MY HANDICAP INCREASES?

Our current system averages the best 10 of your last 20 scores and then uses a potential factor of 96% to find your handicap index. The WHS formula uses the best 8 of your last 20 scores, with no percentage adjustment.
 
15.6                                                                                    15.6
16.5                                                                                    16.5
16.8                                                                                    16.8
17.9                                                                                    17.9
19.3                                                                                    19.3
19.9                                                                                    19.9
20.6                                                                                    20.6
20.6                                                                                    20.6
20.9                                                                                    TOTAL 147.2/8 = 18.4 (WHS Handicap Index)
20.9
TOTAL 189/10 X 96% = 18.1 (Current Handicap Index) 
 
HOW CAN MY 9-HOLE AND 18-HOLE HANDICAP DIFFERENTIALS DIFFER FOR SCORES BASICALLY THE SAME?
 
Each 9-holes has its own course rating and slope number.  When a 9-hole score is scaled, the following occurs:
  • The un-played 9 holes are recorded as nett par plus one
  • The same 9 holes are considered for the un-played 9
  • The course rating of the 9 played is doubled
  • The slope number for the 9 played is used
  • The member scoring record only shows real scores, so a score of 40 shows, while a score of 81 might be used in the calculation of an HD
 WILL MY HANDICAP CHANGE DURING A TOURNAMENT?

It is strongly recommended that the handicap index remains unchanged during a competition played over multiple rounds on the same day, or consecutive days. The handicap committee may adjust a playing handicap mid-event if an exceptional score has been posted.

A tournament committee may take a snapshot of your handicap index before the tournament, at a date they determine, and use that as your handicap index for the duration of the tournament or competition.
 
That date might be the date of the first round, or the date when scorecards are printed for the first round.
 
This means that your playing handicap for that competition will stay the same across the competition, even though your current handicap index may change during that time.
 
THE NEW PLAYING HANDICAP FORMULA 
You may find that you now receive less strokes when playing. The change is due to the new course handicap formula. Previously a handicap index included an adjustment based on the slope number, but with WHS we now also consider the course rating and par.
 
If the course rating is lower than par, your playing handicap will be lower.
If the course rating is higher than par, your playing handicap will be higher. 
 
This happens from every set of tees regardless of gender or course played, but allows for an equitable competition including all members. It also means that 36 stableford points truly represents playing to your handicap.
  
 
WHAT HANDICAP ALLOWANCES APPLY IN NEW ZEALAND?
Previously a course handicap had a 96% factor which basically worked as an allowance. Whilst the WHS Rules of Handicapping Appendix C lists various allowances for individual play, we are only adopting those for team and multi-round competitions. Therefore, in New Zealand, for individual stroke and match play, we use 100% of the playing handicap.
 
 
 
 
If you have a query visit www.golf.co.nz/whs where the key elements of WHS are presented in more detail. Or, send an email to Phil Aickin, philaickin@nzgolf.org.nz.