Golfers will consider the Handicap Index to be the most important element of the WHS. The Handicap Index will:
A Handicap Index is calculated from the best 8 scores from the last 20 rounds.
As a new score is submitted, a player’s Handicap Index will automatically update to the most recent 20 scores. A player’s Handicap Index will update promptly overnight after the submission of an acceptable score and be ready before the next time they play.
When the new system comes into play most golfers can have a Handicap Index generated, based on their existing records. For new golfers to gain their Handicap Index they will have to submit a minimum of 54 holes (using any combination of 9 and 18 holes). Their Handicap Index will be the lowest of their three rounds minus two strokes and continue to be built until the 20 scores are achieved.
A Soft Cap and Hard Cap will be implemented to limit any extreme upward movement of a player’s Handicap Index within a 365-day period. This has been introduced to act as a safeguard to prevent any handicap manipulation.
The Soft Cap will suppress movement by 50% after a 3.0 stroke increase over a player’s Low Handicap Index (see glossary of terms later in this toolkit). For clarity in this instance, a Low Handicap Index is the lowest Handicap Index a player has had during the previous 12-month period.
Caps only start to take effect once a player has at least 20 acceptable scores in their record. The Hard Cap will restrict upward movement on 5.0 strokes over the Low Handicap Index. Restricting the extreme upward movement of a Handicap Index will ensure that a player’s temporary loss of form does not cause the Handicap Index to move too far away from their actual ability.