WHS (World Handicap System)


  1. In the ever-evolving world of golf, handicaps play a pivotal role in leveling the playing field and allowing golfers of varying skill levels to compete fairly. The introduction of the World Handicapping System (WHS) has been a game-changer, simplifying the calculation of handicaps and promoting consistency and fairness across the globe. In this article, we will explore the WHS and its impact on the world of golf.

The Evolution of Handicapping

  1. Before delving into the World Handicapping System, it's essential to understand the history of handicapping in golf. Handicaps have been a part of golf for centuries, serving as a means to ensure that players of differing skill levels can compete fairly. In the past, various systems existed, each with its own set of rules and calculations.

  1. The WHS emerged as a response to the need for a more unified and globally recognized system. It was developed collaboratively by the world's leading golf organizations, including the United States Golf Association (USGA) and The R&A, and officially launched in 2020.

Key Components of the WHS

  1. Course Rating and Slope Rating: The WHS uses Course Rating and Slope Rating to determine a golfer's Handicap Index. The Course Rating represents the difficulty of a course for a scratch golfer, while the Slope Rating accounts for the challenges faced by an average golfer. These ratings are critical for calculating a golfer's Handicap Index accurately.

  2. Handicap Index: The Handicap Index is the golfer's portable handicap that can be used on any course that uses the WHS. It is calculated based on the player's scores and adjusts as new scores are submitted. This ensures that a golfer's handicap is reflective of their current skill level.

  3. Equitable Stroke Control (ESC): ESC is a system within WHS that limits the maximum score a golfer can post on any hole for handicap purposes. This prevents exceptionally bad holes from significantly affecting a golfer's handicap.

  4. Daily Revisions: Unlike previous systems, which updated handicaps monthly, the WHS provides daily revisions. This allows golfers to have a more up-to-date handicap and ensures that it accurately reflects their current abilities.

Benefits of WHS

  1. 1.

    Global Consistency: The WHS has brought a level of consistency to handicapping worldwide. Golfers can now compete and compare their handicaps on a global scale, making it easier to play at different courses, especially when traveling.

  2. 2.

    Fair Competition: The system's use of Course and Slope Ratings ensures that golfers of varying skill levels can compete on an equal footing. This promotes fairness and competitiveness among players.

  3. 3.

    Accessibility: The WHS is user-friendly and accessible through various online platforms and mobile apps. This accessibility encourages golfers to maintain and improve their handicaps.

  4. 4.

    Real-time Updates:With daily revisions, golfers can see the immediate impact of their recent rounds on their Handicap Index. This motivates players to consistently improve their game.

  5. 5.

    nclusivity: The WHS accommodates all skill levels, from beginners to professionals. It encourages golfers to strive for improvement and enjoy the game at their own pace.


  1. The World Handicapping System has ushered in a new era of consistency, fairness, and accessibility in the world of golf. With its standardized approach, real-time updates, and focus on fair competition, the WHS has made golf more enjoyable and accessible for all. Whether you're a seasoned golfer or just starting out, the WHS is here to ensure that every round played is a true test of skill and a fair competition.