The following  summary of changes are effective from April 1st 2024 – more detail is available from your club and on the Scottish Golf website Handicapping – Scottish Golf

Most significantly there will be a change in the way your Course Handicap is calculated (no change to Handicap Indexes themselves)

  • Currently across GB&I, the 18-Hole Course Handicap is calculated using the Slope Rating of a golf course: Course Handicap = Handicap Index x (Slope Rating/113)
  • The new calculation from 1st April 2024 for 18-Hole rounds will be: Course Handicap = (Handicap Index x Slope Rating/113) + (Course Rating – Par) (explained below)2. Introduction of Course Rating – Par

If the Course Rating (CR) is Higher than Par, you will receive additional strokes, however if the CR is lower than the par, you will lose strokes.

  • For example, a set of tees with a Course Rating of 72.5 and Par 71 would result in 1.5 shots added to a player’s CH.
  • A set of tees with a Course Rating of 69.5 and Par 71 would result in 1.5 shots taken off the CH

When will “Expected Score” be used?  Rule 3.2b

  • Scaling up of 9-hole Competition or General Play Score.
  • Hole not played and player unable to complete their round – player pre-registers for an 18-hole score and is unable to complete their round for a valid reason.

The scaling up of a 9-Hole Score or Incomplete Score is not new, this has been in place since WHS was introduced however, the method by which the score is scaled up is changing. Improvements have been made to the method used to handle “holes not played,” which will now be based on your expected score rather than a score of Net Par (as it currently is). This new method will produce a 9-hole or 18-hole Score Differential that more accurately reflects the playing ability of the individual golfer.

Fourball Scores Acceptable For Handicap Purposes

Currently only scores from certain singles formats of play are permitted within GB&I.  This will change from 1 April 2024, a player’s individual score from a pairs four ball (such as Strokeplay, Stableford and Par/Bogey) will be added to the list of mandatory scores returned for handicap purposes in GB&I.

New Minimum Length of Golf Course

  • In response to requests from around the world, the updated WHS will include a new minimum length of a golf course, to be eligible for a Course and Slope Rating.
  • This supports one of our key principles: For the WHS to be as inclusive and accessible as possible.

The new limits are: 1500 yards for an 18-hole golf course 750 yards for a 9-hole golf course

Playing Conditions Calculation (PCC)

This means that a high score on a tough day may still count as a good score and be used in the calculation of a player’s updated Handicap Index (one of the best 8). Any adjustment for PCC is included in the score differential calculation, to better reflect the player’s actual performance on the day, given the conditions.

Handicapping changes effective April 1st 2024 – summary