Five things club managers need to remember about the World Handicap System

2023 rules of golf
The return of golf across the UK means it’s time to refresh your memory on the new global way forward. England Golf’s Gemma Hunter is on hand with a quintet of quick tips If it seems ages ago that we were talking about the launch of the World Handicap System, that’s because it is. The new way of measuring the ability of golfers was launched in the UK on November 2. But coronavirus lockdowns have meant many of our members have barely had the chance to get to grips with terms like Course Handicap and Slope, and you have had plenty of other things to think about in the ensuing months. Now, as golfers return to the course and the competition season starts to get into gear, you’re going to be dealing with WHS for the first time in a really meaningful way. So what are the key things you need to be on top of as we step into this new dawn? Gemma Hunter, England Golf’s head of handicapping and course rating, is on hand with a few nuggets of advice as you embark on the year ahead… Make sure you’ve got a handicap committee established One of the things WHS may have brought about is a misunderstanding that you might not need a handicap committee anymore. That's certainly not the case. The handicap committee play a vital role in the administration of WHS. They are still the local authority for handicapping, and they are who will carry out a handicap review. So a handicap committee needs to be a good mix of members within the golf club. It might be there’s a pro in there, or a club manager, because they interact with players perhaps more than other board members. The idea is that there’s a good balance of people on that committee, who can review players’ handicaps as and when required and can carry out their responsibilities under the rules of handicapping on behalf of the golf club. Keep checking handicaps periodically as you always have done – and not just in the annual review Don't see WHS as something that’s taking over. It's trying to make it simpler and easier for you but keep looking at players, keep looking at scoring patterns, and keep looking at players who are playing well. The key factor with a player who is winning a lot is to look at everyone else. Are they winning with good scores? Are they winning with bad scores? If it is the latter, for example, it may be that the field is playing badly – because we haven’t been playing for a few months. But if players are winning with good scores, and the field are not coming up to scratch, it’s an indication of potential need for a review. It’s really important to go back and recheck players following the transition. Double check to make sure things look right. The transition happened nearly five months ago. Although players haven’t put scores in, there...
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