This information was first published and distributed on 1st November 2023
On inception of the World Handicap System™ (WHS™) introduced by The R&A and USGA in 2020, the World Handicap Authority (WHA) was formed to oversee the system. This body has closely monitored its implementation and, as part of this process, England Golf, like other national associations, has provided feedback to the authority on an ongoing basis, arising from the experience of our committees and handicap advisors as well as the feedback of counties, clubs and golfers.
Just as with the Rules of Golf, the WHS™ Rules of Handicapping & Course Rating will be updated every four years – this is set to be the year preceding the Rules of Golf change (last update January 2023). This allows WHS™ to be appropriately adapted to any impacts from the Rules of Golf changes. The WHA have announced the next WHS™ update for the 1 January, 2024.
Under guidance from the R&A and USGA, these changes have been made to ensure a more unified approach worldwide to WHS™, especially within GB&I. This will give consistency to golfers travelling to different jurisdictions, allowing them to take advantage of digital innovations and therefore giving further improvement to having more scores which are acceptable for handicapping purposes.
England Golf, Scottish Golf, Wales Golf and Golf Ireland work closely together to ensure a simplified, aligned, and collaborative approach is taken so that golfers within GB&I can seamlessly play in each jurisdiction. Therefore, we have all agreed that the new updates to the rules will not take effect until the 1 April, 2024. This will allow further education and understanding for all our counties, clubs and golfers.
The changes included in the 2024 update of the WHS™ Rules of Handicapping & Course Rating™ are:
Rules of Handicapping
More resources will be available shortly via the WHS™ resources page on the website.
Books for the Rules of Handicapping update 2024 will be not be widely available and only limited numbers will be printed and distributed accordingly. There will be a downloadable version on the England Golf website.