World Handicap System Ready to Launch in 2020. The new World Handicap System (WHS), developed by The R&A and USGA, is set to launch from 1 January 2020. The new system, which is designed to be inclusive and applicable world-wide, will begin its adoption process across the globe from the start of the new year.
The WHS has two main components – the Rules of Handicapping and the Course Rating System. The Rules of Handicapping are encompassed within seven Rules to inform administrators and golfers on how an official Handicap Index is calculated and administered, with some flexibility given to national associations based on how the sport is played and enjoyed in their region. The Course Rating System, based on the USGA Course Rating System first adopted nearly 50 years ago and already adopted on nearly every continent, sets out a consistent method of determining a course’s difficulty. Together, these components become the foundational elements in determining a golfer’s Handicap Index.