World Handicap System

The World Handicap System was launched in order to combine the six different handicap systems into a single, globally applicable handicap system. Already introduced in 2020 in some countries (including Germany), the new system will be adopted by all countries from the 2021 season.

The new maximum score

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

The playing handicap

The playing handicap represents the actual number of strokes that the player receives for the round to be played.

What will change with the WHS

In Germany, the World Handicap Index will replace the previous DGV specification system.
The handicap is calculated based on the last 20 game rounds, whereby the player must have played at least three handicap-effective rounds.
The eight best scores are included in the handicap index calculation.
The “playing handicap” is calculated by including the course rating (degree of difficulty of the course), slope (relative difficulty of a set of tees on a golf course) and the external circumstances of the round in the evaluation.
New maximum score that a player can post, also called net double boegey (2 strokes more than you need according to your handicap for a respective hole)

How is the World Handicap Index calculated?

The handicap index is calculated based on the Score Differential (previously Stableford points for handicap laps). 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 its result is divided by the relevant slope rating.

A calculation example of the WHI

To calculate the DIfferenz Score, we assume a par 72 course with a course rating of 72.5, a slope rating of 128 and a total of 98 strokes.

(98 – 72.5) x 113: 128 = 22.511

Now the average value of the eight best game results is calculated as the difference score:

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

In our example, the player has achieved a Handicap Index (HCPI) of 24.3.