Every four years the WHS Rules of Handicapping are reviewed by the USGA and R&A.

Certain changes have taken place with effect from 1st April 2024 and are detailed below:

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The major changes which may affect you are: 

  • Course Handicap using CR minus Par
  • Inclusion of shorter-length golf courses within the Course Rating System
  • Inclusion of 4BBB Scores
  • Use of Expected Score for a hole not played
  • PCC Adjustments made more frequently
  • Enhanced guidance on conducting a Handicap Review
  • Rounding

The Player Guide effective January 2024 provides an overview of the WHS and outlines the basic information about handicapping in golf. 

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Standardisation of Par

Where appropriate, standardisation of Par and SI values across all tees for each gender is recommended, once the Par for the main/master tee sets have been established.

Four Ball Better Ball

This will only apply to 4BBB Stroke Play competitions and would only apply if:

  • Teams net score is 6 or better than Par or 42 points
  • Players individual score counted on at least 9 holes
  • Players individual score is better than or equal to 36 points

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A player’s course handicap is currently calculated as an integer.

This is changing to an unrounded number which is then used in calculating the playing handicap based upon the handicap allowance.   


The way handicaps are applied in 4BBB and foursomes match play games is also being changed.  

Players will calculate their Course Handicap and then take shots from the lowest golfer. It is only at this point, they’ll work out the 90% allowance. 

In foursomes, it is 50% of the difference between each team’s combined Course Handicaps.

Other useful information on the WHS. 

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