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As we look ahead to the 2024 playing season, we wanted to take this opportunity to make you aware of up-and-coming changes to the World Handicap System for 2024.

WHS is being updated, essentially this is to bring WHS in the UK much more in line with WHS in the US and Europe. The changes take effect on 1st April 2024.

The main changes are:

Course Handicap:

The Course Handicap calculation is to be changed to include (Course Rating – Par) as part of the formula, which now reads:

Course Handicap = (Handicap Index x Slope Rating / 113) + (Course Rating – Par)

This means Course Handicap and Handicap Score Aggregate are now aligned, so the shots assigned as part of Course Handicap are in line with the shots assigned for Handicaps.

Therefore, if the par is lower than the Course Rating, you will receive additional shots on your Course Handicap and if the par is higher, you will lose strokes.


The Course Handicap covers everything so even in multi-tee competitions you just choose your tee, ask Club V1 or the EG App to calculate your Course Handicap and the resulting Course Handicap is your target score worth 36 pts. Thus, no more + / – 2 shot adjustments.

In General Play that’s it, however, if you are playing in a Competition the Handicap Allowance needs to be factored in to determine your Playing Handicap.

Note: This new method means that your Course Handicap may change so please refer to the new Handicap boards on the first tee. 

Playing Handicap

The handicap allowance (90%, 95% etc) still exists ‘as is’ but the calculation underneath has changed, the rounding will now happen once and only once at the end of the calculation.

This is now more accurately calculated by Club V1 and may differ slightly than if you try to calculate it manually.  Therefore, it is recommended that you take your Playing Handicap from Club V1 on sign-in (or EG app).

Again, rounding is now only done once, at the end, to get a handicap to play golf.

Use of an Expected Score for a Hole Not Played: 

Improvements have been made to the method used to handle holes not played, which will now be based on a player’s expected score rather than a score of net par. This new method will produce a 9-hole or 18-hole Score Differential that more accurately reflects a player’s ability.

Valid and unacceptable reasons for not playing a hole:

Valid reasons for not playing a hole might include fading light or severe weather preventing the continuation of play, injury, illness, hole closed for maintenance.

Unacceptable reasons: weather that does not prevent continuation of play, not playing a hole because the player knows it usually causes them difficulty, slow play, poor score, run out of balls etc.

4BBB Strokeplay, the card must be entered for the 2 players showing the best score on each hole. It will only count if one player has 9 or more counting scores; their individual score is 36 points or better and/or the joint result is 42 points or better. Holes where the player did not score will be allocated points relative to the score recorded on the card.

Player Responsibilities.

To view the England Golf WHS Update Resources click here 

Handicap Committee                                                                                           March 2024