Wednesday 17th April 2024: The course is Open. Please see latest news for further information

World Handicap System

World Handicap System (WHS)


Before 2020, there were six different handicap systems used around the world. Each was well developed and provided equity for play locally, but each of the different systems produced slightly different results when calculating players’ handicaps.

After important collaboration with the six previous handicapping authorities, it was agreed to unify the six systems into a single WHS which:

  • enables golfers of different abilities to play and compete on a fair and equal basis, in any format, on any course, anywhere around the world
  • is easy to understand and implement, without sacrificing accuracy.
  • meets the varied needs and expectations of golfers, golf clubs and golf authorities all around the world and is adaptable to suit all golfing cultures.

The World Handicapping System started in April 2020 and some revisions took place in 2023 and these were implemented on the 01st of April 2024.

One of the main benefits of the WHS

All of Handicap Index calculations have been consistent for all players, making a Handicap Index directly comparable to all other players around the world.

Key Features of the WHS

The WHS is designed to be as accessible and welcoming as possible, while still providing golfers with the portability, accuracy and consistency they expect.

A few Key Features of the World Handicap System include:

  • Players can establish a Handicap Index after as little as three scores
  • A player’s Handicap Index will be calculated using the best 8 out of their 20 most recently recorded scores, or a smaller number if 20 scores have not yet been submitted
  • The Course Rating and Slope Rating of the tees played is fundamental to the calculation of a Handicap Index
  • The maximum hole score for handicap purposes is a net double bogey
  • A Handicap Index updates the day after a score is posted to the player’s scoring record, or soon after, providing players with a responsive measure of their ability
  • A playing conditions calculation identifies and accounts for abnormal course or weather conditions
  • Safeguards limit the extreme upward movement of a Handicap Index and reduce a Handicap Index when an exceptional score is submitted.

To Obtain an Player’s Handicap Index Number

To obtain an Player’s Handicap Index at Calderfields Golf and Country Club you must do three (3) full Rounds of 18 holes (54 Holes) or six (6) Rounds of 9 Holes (54 Holes) or two (2) Rounds of 18 plus two (2) rounds of 9 holes (54 Holes) or four (4) Rounds of 9 and one (1) round of 18 Holes (54 Holes), and have your scorecard marked and signed by another member (of Caldefields Golf and Country Club).

Once you have three cards then staple them together and place them in an evelope and post them in the box which is located next to the computer screen in our Pro Shop. Our Handicap Secretary will then process these cards and provide you with your Handicap Index number. The more cards that you do after this initial process will mean the more accurate your Handicap Index number will be. Once you have completed and handed in twenty (20) cards, then it takes the best eight (8) from these to produce an avarage of your ability.


For 2024 the WHS changed the way a player’s course handicap was calculated and the following formula is now used

Player’s Handicap Index X (Course Slope Rating / 113) + Course RatingPar for the course = Course Playing Handicap

Therefore if a player has an Handicap of 13.5 and playing in a competition (at Calderfields Golf and County Club) from the white tee the following information is used.

Player’s Handicap Index X (Course Slope Rating / 113) + Course Rating – Par for the course = Course Playing Handicap

13.5 X (126 / 113) + 71.0072.00 = Course Playing Handicap.

13.5 X 1.08 + -1.00 = Course Playing Handicap.

14.58 + -1.00 = Course Playing Handicap.


13.58 = Course Playing Handicap.

This figure is rounded up to the nearest whole number therefore this player would be playing off 14

A Playing Handicap is the actual number of strokes you receive or give during a round and is the number used for the purposes of the game.

To save you time in calculating this out every time before you play all you have to do is look at the individual Course Handicap Tables before you go out on the course. These are located in the Pro Shop, Locker area and next to the fist tee. These have been changed and update on 01st of April 2024


Please click on the Individual Course Handicap Tables to open them in a new window.


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