In January 2020 South Africa and the SADC countries, along with the rest of the world, will be going live with the World Handicap System.
The only significant changes to our current system will be that your Handicap Index will be calculated using the best 8 score differentials out of the last 20, with no reduction percentage, and the maximum score allowed on a hole when calculating your Adjusted Gross Score for Handicapping purposes will be Net Double Bogey ( i.e. net 2 over par or zero Stableford points).
The current handicap calculation takes the best 10 of your last 20 scores x 0.96, so the effect of the change to the best 8 score differentials out of 20 is that Handicap Indexes (HI) will adjust downwards more quickly and go out more slowly. It is expected that this change will lower the average Course Handicap (CH) by about 0.5 of a stroke.
The change to Net Double Bogey (zero Stableford points) as the maximum score allowed on a hole, will have the effect of increasing the average Handicap Index by the same amount of about 0.5 of a stroke. So the net impact, over time, will be very minor.
When the WHS is introduced there will also be other changes, including a Playing Condition Calculation (PCC), a revised exceptional score calculation and a cap on increases in handicaps during a year. These changes will be addressed in the Club training sessions due to the technical nature of these calculations.
We will, of course, together with the R&A and the USGA, be communicating all these changes in more detail to you through structured club and golfer education and training sessions, to ensure that the World Handicap System Rules are well understood by everyone before going live.
GolfRSA is of the view that it would be better to introduce, after club training, the change to the maximum score per hole of net double bogey, (zero Stableford points) and the best 8 of 20 scores by Q4, 2019.
This would mean there with be little or no change to handicaps when the WHS is introduced on 1 January 2020 and it will also mean the Playing Conditions Calculation will be more accurate when introduced.