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Worldwide Golf Handicap System to Debut in 2020

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If one goes to the USGA site and looks at what is offered on the worldwide handicap system, due to debut in less than a year, the information is a bit vague.  This leads me to believe there continues to be negotiations and tweeks to the formula being proposed.  The article shared by @Rulesman from the Australian golf association had the most details, as far as I could see.

What we know (or think we know) - Changes from the current USA system

1. Currently the formula takes the 10 best differentials of the most recent 20.  The new formula will be the best 8 of 20. That will tend to lower handicap indices initially.

2. Currently a player needs at least five 18 hole differentials (or the equivalent combination of 9 hole differentials) in order to have a USGA index.  This will change to three (54 holes).

3. The current maximum indices are 36.4 (M) and 40.4 (F).  The new maximum will be a course handicap (not index) of 54.

4. Currently there is no adjustment for varying playing conditions. In 2020, there will be an adjustment made to differentials scored on days when the conditions are considered to be abnormally difficult.  The details are missing but it is thought the adjustments will be relatively small.

5. Currently, the ESC is based on a player's course handicap.  There is a table that displays the ESC for each range of course handicaps.  The new ESC maximums will be based on what a player's "net double bogey" would be.  In the past a player with an 8 course handicap just took double on whatever hole they experienced a disaster.  Now one needs to consider the hole's handicap rating.  As an "8" course handicapper, when the easiest hole on the course is a par 4, take a 6 (no strokes so net double is 6).  Hardest hole is a par 4, take a 7 (1 stroke given so a net double is 7).  This is a bit more complex so entering scores into the computer "hole by hole" might allow the computer program to figure out where you get strokes and what the ESC should be.  If one calculates ESC manually, knowing the hole's handicap ranking will be mandatory.

5. The article from Australia talked about a "soft cap" of "3".  The USGA talks about a "memory".  Essentially, there will be a system that compares one's lowest 12 month index against your current index.  If your current index is more than 3.0 higher than the 12 month low, you will be adjusted down.  The adjustment will be 50% of the difference between your 12 month low +3 and the computed index (clear as mud?).  An example is best.  Bob's 12 month low index is 12.5.  The latest index computation shows him to be 17.3.  That is more than 3.0 higher than his 12 month low so his index is adjusted down.  17.3 - 12.5 = 4.8      4.8 - 3.0 = 1.8       1.8 x .50 = .9   Bob's adjusted index is 16.4   (12.5 + 3.0 + .9). I think I have this right but absolutely check me on this item.

6. The article from Australia talked about a "hard cap" of 5.  I take that to mean that a player's current index can never be more than 5.0 higher than his/her 12 month low.

7. Again, the Australian article states that the ".93" factor will remain unchanged.  In the USA the formula uses a .96 "bonus for excellence".  If the Australian article is correct AND the formula is the same worldwide, we will have a .93 "bonus for excellence".

As our club's handicap chairman I have a keen interest in all this.  No doubt there will be some changes and new wrinkles before 2020.  If anyone comes across new information, be sure to share it here.  Thanks!

 

 

Edited by bkuehn1952

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34 minutes ago, bkuehn1952 said:

If one goes to the USGA site and looks at what is offered on the worldwide handicap system, due to debut in less than a year, the information is a bit vague.  This leads me to believe there continues to be negotiations and tweeks to the formula being proposed.  The article shared by @Rulesman from the Australian golf association had the most details, as far as I could see.

What we know (or think we know) - Changes from the current USA system

1. Currently the formula takes the 10 best differentials of the most recent 20.  The new formula will be the best 8 of 20. That will tend to lower handicap indices initially.

2. Currently a player needs at least five 18 hole differentials (or the equivalent combination of 9 hole differentials) in order to have a USGA index.  This will change to three (54 holes).

3. The current maximum indices are 36.4 (M) and 40.4 (F).  The new maximum will be a course handicap (not index) of 54.

4. Currently there is no adjustment for varying playing conditions. In 2020, there will be an adjustment made to differentials scored on days when the conditions are considered to be abnormally difficult.  The details are missing but it is thought the adjustments will be relatively small.

5. Currently, the ESC is based on a player's course handicap.  There is a table that displays the ESC for each range of course handicaps.  The new ESC maximums will be based on what a player's "net double bogey" would be.  In the past a player with an 8 course handicap just took double on whatever hole they experienced a disaster.  Now one needs to consider the hole's handicap rating.  As an "8" course handicapper, when the easiest hole on the course is a par 4, take a 6 (no strokes so net double is 6).  Hardest hole is a par 4, take a 7 (1 stroke given so a net double is 7).  This is a bit more complex so entering scores into the computer "hole by hole" might allow the computer program to figure out where you get strokes and what the ESC should be.  If one calculates ESC manually, knowing the hole's handicap ranking will be mandatory.

5. The article from Australia talked about a "soft cap" of "3".  The USGA talks about a "memory".  Essentially, there will be a system that compares one's lowest 12 month index against your current index.  If your current index is more than 3.0 higher than the 12 month low, you will be adjusted down.  The adjustment will be 50% of the difference between your 12 month low +3 and the computed index (clear as mud?).  An example is best.  Bob's 12 month low index is 12.5.  The latest index computation shows him to be 17.3.  That is more than 3.0 higher than his 12 month low so his index is adjusted down.  17.3 - 12.5 = 4.8      4.8 - 3.0 = 1.8       1.8 x .50 = .9   Bob's adjusted index is 16.4   (12.5 + 3.0 + .9). I think I have this right but absolutely check me on this item.

6. The article from Australia talked about a "hard cap" of 5.  I take that to mean that a player's current index can never be more than 5.0 higher than his/her 12 month low.

7. Again, the Australian article states that the ".93" factor will remain unchanged.  In the USA the formula uses a .96 "bonus for excellence".  If the Australian article is correct AND the formula is the same worldwide, we will have a .93 "bonus for excellence".

As our club's handicap chairman I have a keen interest in all this.  No doubt there will be some changes and new wrinkles before 2020.  If anyone comes across new information, be sure to share it here.  Thanks!

 

 

Good luck with that!     Wow.  

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@bkuehn1952, I don't think there's still much negotiating going on. The UK and some other places are just working to get courses rated.

Also, I think the 0.96 thing is going away entirely. That's one of the reasons they've reduced the 10/20 to 8/20. But the individuals I asked about that weren't 100% certain, but they said they were almost sure.

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