World Handicap System

The World Handicap System was called into the world to unite the six different handicap systems into a single, worldwide applicable, handicap system. In some countries already introduced in 2020 (including Germany), the new system will be adopted by many other countries in the 2021 season.

The new Maximum Score

The maximum score will replace the Stableford system in the future. The maximum number of strokes is determined on the basis of the personal double-bogey and serves as a basis for calculating the handicap index.

The Playing Handicap

The Playing Handicap represents the actual number of strokes the player gives or receives for the round played in an event.

What changes with the WHS?

  • In Germany, the World Handicap Index will replace the previous DGV default system.
  • The handicap is calculated on the basis of the last 20 rounds of play, wherethe player must have played at least three pre-determined rounds.
  • The top eight scores are included in the Handicap Index calculation.
  • The "Playing Handicap" is calculated by incorporateing the course rating (difficulty level of the course), slope (relative difficulty of a set of tees on a golf course) as well as the external circumstances of the round.
  • New maximum score that a player can earn, also called net double-bogey (2 strokes more than you need according to his handicap for a particular hole).
  • Daily update of player scores instead of every few weeks.

How is the World Handicap Index calculated?

The Handicap Index is calculated based on the difference score (previously Stableford points for default rounds). The difference score is calculated by subtracting the course rating from the game result, the result of which is then multiplied by the standard slope of 113, and the result divided by the relevant slope rating. 

A calculation example of the WHI

To calculate the difference score, we assume a 72-par course with a course rating of 72.5, a slope rating of 128 and a score of 94:

(98 – 72.5) * 113 / 128 = 22,511

Now the average of the eight best difference scores is calculated:

(22.5 + 24.2 + 23.7 + 20.5 + 25.1 + 29.5 + 27.2 + 21.8) / 8 = 24.3

So in our example, the player has a handicap index of 24.3.