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  • BFRMC Executive Board

Club News - January 6, 2020

USGA Launches World Handicap System

The World Handicapping System, launched this month, will unify six different handicap systems together into a single set of Rules for Handicapping. The new system will enable golfers of different ability to play and compete on a fair and equitable basis, in any format, on any course, anywhere around the world; be easy to understand and implement, without sacrificing accuracy; and meet the varied needs and expectations of golfers, clubs and authorities all around the world and be adaptable to suit all golfing cultures.

The WHS will encompass both the Rules of Handicapping and the Course Rating System (formerly the USGA Course Rating and Slope System). Once the changes take effect, you may find that your Handicap Index will be different due to the newly developed rules that more fairly indicate a golfer’s demonstrated ability. In most cases for golfers in the U.S., it will change less than a stroke. The more consistent your scores, the less likely your Handicap Index will change as a result.

In addition to the calculation, there are a number of important new features of the WHS:

  • Handicap Index calculation is changing and your new index will change slightly and golfers with a Handicap Index will have a new one calculated under WHS on January 6, 2020

  • Handicap Index revisions will occur the day after you post a score instead of every two weeks

  • Course Handicaps computation is changing an you new handicap will likely change greatly

  • Net Double Bogey is replacing Equitable Stroke Control (ESC)

  • New safeguards were added to prevent extreme upward movement of a Handicap Index.

  • Additional information is available on the club website under "Handicap Notice" ( Please review the detailed explanations found there.

If you have any questions regarding these changes, you are encouraged send us an email at We will try to respond within 48 hours.

Regards -- Jim Clark, BFRMC VP & Handicap Chairman

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