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World Handicap System starts on 2nd November 2020

20th October 2020

New Handicap System from 2nd November

On 2nd November the method used to calculate handicaps is changing to bring it into line with the World Handicap System.

This means that the handicap of many members will change on that day and the new handicap will be used for all competitions after that date.

Handicap Index

Your handicap will be known as your “handicap index” and will be allocated to 1 decimal place but this will not be your playing handicap.

Course Handicap (the shots you normally receive when playing)

This will vary depending on the course you are playing (and which tees) AND on your handicap index. See the tables below for Griffin White tees (these will be available near the first tee at all golf clubs); there is another table (at the end) for the yellow tees which will make your course handicap for the yellows lower.

The handicap table for the Ladies off the Griffin red tees and the tables for the Phoenix yellow tees (men) and Pheonx red tees (women) can also be found at then end of this article.


If my handicap index is 17.1, my course handicap on the Griffin white tees will be 18

However, on the yellow tees it will be 17 (using the yellow tees table)

Playing Handicap for Competitions

Your playing handicap and course handicap will normally be the same but your playing handicap may be changed for a competition depending on the format of the competition. E.g. Medal and stableford competitions will be played off 95% of your course handicap.


For a stableford competition off the white tees for my handicap index of 17.1, my course handicap is 18. I will get 95% of my course handicap; 95% of 18 is 17 when rounded so I will get 17 strokes.

When a stableford is played of the yellow tees (e.g. November monthly Stableford), my course handicap is 17; I will get 95% my course handicap; 95% of 17 is 16 strokes when rounded.

When will you know your new handicap (index)?

England Golf have set up an online “platform” to calculate your new handicap based on the best 8 of your last 20 qualifying scores. From November 2nd onwards this will be updated daily to reflect any scores you have submitted each day.

Golfers can get access to the platform to check their handicap history and current handicap index at

You will need your CDH number - you can find this on your handicap certificate which you can print from the members section of this website. After logging in, click handicaps/competitions and then select "my golf" to access your handicap certificate.

We also expect handicap index details to be available on the PSI screen when the Club’s Handicapping Software is updated and hopefully on the members website.

How is a handicap index calculated?

Essentially it is based on an average of the best 8 of your last 20 rounds. The “best” rounds are determined after taking into account the difficulty of the course and the tees you played from. It uses the stableford score you would have achieved in each round rather than the gross scores.

For an explanation of how the WHS works overall download “The Rules of Handicapping Player Reference Guide” is available to download from England Gold:


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Buchan Hill
Pease Pottage
West Sussex
RH11 9AT
Tel: 01293 528 256
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