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To this point, the world has had a few different handicapping systems. Among the major ones, we had the USGA handicapping systems, with course ratings, slope, the 0.96 multiplier, best 10-of-20 system, etc. We had the CONGU system, which had the SSS (standard scratch score). Australia, AFAIK, was closer to CONGU but has spent the past several years quasi-converting to the USGA type standard. Well, scheduled for 2018, the world will see a unified handicapping system. The system is a blend of the two main handicapping systems, in that: Courses will have a scratch and bogey rating (i.e. course rating and slope). Courses will also track scores daily and adjust the scratch rating similar to how the SSS is done. For the latter, I think the slope remains the same, so even if no scratch players play on the given day, they'll be able to determine the "daily rating" for the course. This means that on days when the pins are tucked (say, a tournament) and the greens are super fast, everyone's higher-than-usual scores may not raise their handicaps as much as they have in the past. It also means that on days when the wind is howling, an 80 might get the same "differential" as a 76 on calm, warm days. I don't know too many of the details, just the broad strokes (no pun intended). The system seems to favor the USGA's current system, but I don't know if the 0.96 multiplier survives, if the 10-out-of-20 survives, etc. I am excited about the change, as I think it's been unusual to have two different systems (or more) in play for a number of years now. As a course rater I think the USGA's rating/slope system has a good amount of merit. It's not perfect of course for everyone, because not everyone plays the game exactly the same way, but it does a great job IMO of pretty fairly rating courses that are potentially fairly different. I'm starting this thread today so that we can point links, share ideas, thoughts, express opinions, etc. as more information about this change begins to come to light and eventually take hold.
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