World Handicap System (WHS)

The purpose of the WHS is to enable as many golfers as possible the opportunity to obtain and maintain a Handicap Index that can be used on any golf course around the world and compete, or play recreational golf, with anyone else on a fair and equal basis


What is a Handicap Index?  This will replace your current club handicap and is designed to better represent your 'demonstrated playing ability'. Your new Handicap Index is obtained by calulating the average of your lowest 8 scores, from your most recent 20 scores. For example 6.4, or 15.1, or 25.7, or 36.5 etc

What Scores Can I Use? All Single Stroke Play or Stableford Competition Rounds are Mandatory (9 or 18 Holes). In addition any Social/ General play scores can also be used but these would need to be pre registered to be acceptable. Such pre-registration must be made before you start the round and must be in the manner prescribed by the club where the score is being played. 

What is Slope Rating? This is the number which indicates the relative playing difficulty of a course for bogey golfers, compared to scratch golfers, multiplied by a constant factor. It is expressed as a whole number from 55 to 155. A golf course of standard relative playing difficulty has a Slope Rating of 113.

How do I play golf? Before you play any course, you will need to convert your Handicap Index into a Course Handicap by looking at the course Handicap Chart. It can also be calculated using: Course Hcp = Hcp Index x (Slope Rating/113). However, for equity to be achieved amongst two or more players, a player’s Course Handicap must be converted into a Playing Handicap. This is determined by the format of play and applicable handicap allowance. For individual stroke play/stableford and four-ball match play the handicap allowance is 95%. For Individual match play it is 100%. Therefore, if playing stableford and your Course Hcp = 16.3, then your Playing Handicap is 16.3 x 95% = 15.4, so you would play off 15.


The above is only a basic overview. The following links provide you with more detailed information:

1. Cornwall Golf Union

2. England Golf - WHS2020


Whilst all this may appear to be very complicated we are expecting more information from England Golf to hand out. Hopefully we will also be able to arrange a couple of Q & A sessions to develop a better understanding of the new system. At the moment the authorities are set to introduce this system on 1st November 2020 as planned. This will give us the winter to get used to it.


If you have any further questions then please ask your handicap secretary.

White Tees 1Nov21.pdf
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Yellow Tees 1Nov21.pdf
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Green Tees Mats 1Nov21.pdf
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Red Tees 1Nov21.pdf
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Blue Tees 1Nov21.pdf
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Looe Golf Club - WHS News.pdf
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WHS-Golfers Toolkit.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [4.0 MB]
Adobe Acrobat document [88.9 KB]


Contact Details:

Looe Golf Club


Looe, Cornwall

PL13 1PQ

Tel: (01503) 240239

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