World Handicap System - update

The World Handicap System is launching in 2020. It will go live in November and is designed to welcome more players, to make golf easier to understand and to give all golfers a handicap which is portable all around the globe.


It will replace the six different systems currently used by over 15 million golfers in more than 80 countries. It has been developed by The R&A and The United States Golf Association (USGA), supported by the world’s handicapping authorities, including CONGU, which represents the four home countries of Great Britain and Ireland. More information can be found be clicking here.


To make the game more enjoyable, the new system will include:

  • Course rating and slope rating
  • Minimum number of scores to obtain a handicap
  • Competitive and recreational scores to count for handicap
  • Handicaps calculated from an average of recent scores
  • Maximum handicap of 54
  • Abnormal course and weather conditions adjustments
The new World Handicap System has been designed to make golf more modern, fun and inclusive. The R&A and the USGA have created nine videos that capture this and break down each key change in a simple to understand manner.

Please find links to all the videos below. They have been uploaded into a YouTube playlist so you can view each video individually by clicking the link below.

  1. Introduction
  2. Basis of calculation
  3. Course and slope rating
  4. Playing handicap
  5. Maximum handicap index 54
  6. Acceptable scores
  7. Net double bogey
  8. Daily revisions
  9. Playing conditions calculation