The WHS (World Handicap System) will incorporate six separate systems for handicapping into one handicapping ruleset.

This allows golfers, with different levels of ability, to compete on an equal basis, irrespective of where or how they play. As a worldwide sport, golf has one set of rules for playing, one set of rules regarding equipment, and one set of rules regarding amateur players.

Handicapping is the odd one out, and — following detailed discussions with the current handicapping associations and authorities – it has been decided that now is the time to combine the different handicapping systems.

On New Year’s Day 2020, the Handicapping System of USGA will be substituted for the WHS. The WHS is designed to give all golfers a chance to:

  • ¬∑Acquire and sustain a Handicapping Index
  • Utilize their Handicapping Index on all golf courses the world over
  • Play for fun with, or compete with, others on an equal basis

On New Year’s Day, the new handicapping rules will come into effect. Aside from these rules, golfers in Maryland will be affected in other ways, prior to the start of the season on the 15th of March.

A revision on New Year’s Day will be omitted, while everything adjusts to the new rules. This update/transition will occur between the 1st of January and the 6th of January, and you will not be able to access your handicap throughout this period.

Everything is expected to be working correctly by the 7th of January. However, please be mindful that this process is reasonably complex. Therefore, unexpected problems could arise that result in this inactivity period being prolonged past the 7th. In this situation, updates will be offered as regularly as possible.

The season dates for MSGA will be from the 15th of March to the 14th of November, as usual. Therefore, the rounds you play in Maryland throughout the idle period won’t contribute to your daily index, before the season starts in March.

Because of the introduction of PLAYING CONDITIONS CALCULATIONS and DAILY REVISIONS, PROMPT SCORE SUBMISSIONS will be a crucial element in protecting your Handicap Index’s integrity.
Although lots of the handicapping rules will stay unchanged, there are some notable changes, like NET DOUBLE BOGEY maximum scores, which golfers have to be mindful of when posting scores during the active period.