The R&A and USGA plan a Single World Handicap System

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Plans for a worldwide handicapping system have been mooted for some years with rumours that an announcement, from the ruling bodies, was imminent for some time. 

That announcement came this week when both the R&A and the USGA issued press releases regarding a world system.

Extensive reviews of the existing handicap systems administered by the six handicapping authorities around the world have already been undertaken in preparation towards the development of a single World Handicap System for golf. Currently the six authorities are Golf Australia, the Council of National Golf Unions (CONGU) in Great Britain and Ireland, the European Golf Association (EGA), the South African Golf Association South African Golf Association (SAGA), the Argentine Golf Association Argentine Golf Association (AAG) and the United States Golf Association United States Golf Association (USGA).

In addition, golf organisations worldwide have been engaged with the six handicapping bodies over the last two years in developing the proposed system, which will recognise the number of varied golf cultures and common formats of the game.

A joint committee led by The R&A and the USGA has been formed, including representatives from each handicap authority, as well as Golf Canada and the Japan Golf Association, which plans to announce its proposals later this year.

England Golf, Scottish Golf and the Golf Union of Wales have all commented on the proposed system and their views can be found by following the links above.

By Mike Hyde

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