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2021 playing year & handicapping

World Handicap System 2021

On the 2nd November 2020 handicapping and competition processing in Great Britain changed from the CONGU system to the World Handicap System (WHS). This means that the way your handicap is calculated will be different.

What is Changing?
  1. Your handicap will become your Handicap Index, reflecting your demonstrated ability.
  2. A move to a more responsive calculation method (averaging rather than incremental).
  3. Handicaps will not lapse and will not become ineligible for competition play.
  4. The Competition Scratch Score (CSS) will become a daily Playing Conditions Calculation (PCC).
  5. The PCC determines whether playing conditions on the day differed from normal conditions to the extent that an adjustment is needed to compensate. It takes into account all qualifying scores on the day, both competition and casual play.
  6. Rather than your upward movement being restricted to 0.1 the more responsive calculation method will allow your handicap to increase in line with your demonstrated ability – but not too fast due to other safeguards that are built into the calculation.
What Is New?
  1. Your Handicap Index will be converted into a Course Handicap, depending on the difficulty of the course being played from the chosen set of tees. The difficulty of a golf course will continue to be assessed through Course Rating and Slope Rating.
  2. A Handicap Allowance may be applied to your Course Handicap, depending on the format of play. This becomes your Playing Handicap.
  3. A capping mechanism, which will suppress and eventually prevent any further upward increases in your Handicap Index.
What Stays the Same?
  1. Designation of your home club to manage and maintain your Handicap Index.
  2. Only scores from individual stroke play formats of play will count for handicap (competition and general play).
  3. Pre-registering your intent to submit a score from a recreational round for handicap purposes before going out to play.
  4. Maximum hole score capped at net double bogey (or zero Stableford points).
  5. Handicap allowance will be used depending on the format of play.
  6. Maximum handicap index of 54.0 for both genders.
  7. Handicaps will be updated promptly.
Key Points
  1. Your Handicap Index is a measure of your demonstrated ability as a player.
  2. Your Handicap Index will be the average of the best 8 of your last 20 scores. If you have less than 20 scores then a pro-rata calculation will take place.
  3. Having an accurate Handicap Index means you receive the number of strokes you need to have a reasonable chance of doing well.
  4. Not all of the rounds you play will count for handicap, but the more scores you submit, the more reflective your Handicap Index will be of your ability.
  5. The daily Playing Conditions Calculation (PCC) will include scores submitted on a course on a given day, from both competition and casual play rounds.
  6. The handicap calculation will include safeguards to prevent extreme upward movements of handicaps and take additional account of exceptional scores.
Completing and Submitting your Score Card

You must include:

  • The event (competition or casual play)
  • The date
  • The course played (white, yellow, red tees, etc)
  • Your name (recognisable!)
  • Your Handicap Index and your Playing Handicap
  • The gross score for each hole or N/R for a no score
  • Your signature and that of your marker. During COVID-19 restrictions only the markers signature is required.

It is the players responsibility to check their Handicap Index and their Playing Handicap, not the clubs. Up to date Handicap Indexes can be found on the PSI terminal, HowDidIDo or the England golf app My EG.

Note, you may be disqualified if your card
  • Does not have your Handicap Index and Playing Handicap.
  • Has a Handicap Index or Playing Handicap that is too high.
  • Is not signed by your marker.

Please return your card, even if you discontinue your round or scoring. This will help to avoid incorrect calculation of competition results. Every card matters in the calculation of the Playing Conditions Calculation.

All scores for competition or casual play rounds must be entered electronically via HDID or PSI on the date the round takes place.

If you have any queries please contact either:

Handicap Secretary handicap@bourngolf.com

Ladies Handicap Secretary ladieshandicap@bourngolf.com

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