The World Handicap Authority (WHA) have been closely monitoring the implementation of the World Handicap System since 2020 and on the back of feedback recently received, the WHA is now bringing forward a number of changes which are to be implemented in Scotland by April 2024 at the latest.

MCLGA do not hold your handicap, so please contact your club if you have any questions. Here is a summary of changes – more details available on the Scottish Golf website: Handicapping – Scottish Golf.   

Course Handicap – Change in Calculation: Introduction of Course Rating minus Par

The method by which a player’s Course Handicap is calculated will change from 2024. It is an adjustment for the difference between the Course Rating and Par of the course being played. It will be implemented as part of the Course Handicap Calculation to give players the number of strokes required to play the course.

9-Hole Scores: New Method for Scaling up Score

Currently, the 9-hole score is scaled up to an equivalent 18-hole differential by adding net pars for the remaining holes plus one additional stroke (which is applied to the first hole not played) or 17 points in Stableford format. The new method being introduced in 2024 endeavours to provide a more accurate prediction of what the player would have scored on holes not played by using an expected score differential rather than net par, and should, therefore, result in a more accurate Handicap Index®.

Four-ball Scores are Acceptable for Handicap Purposes

As of 1 April 2024, scores from four ball (such as Strokeplay, Stableford and Par/Bogey) will be acceptable for handicap purposes in GB&I. These additional and popular formats of play will allow more scores to be returned for handicap purposes based on some specified criteria.  Note: this is for competition play only and will not apply to match play.


2024 World Handicap System Update