The handicap is golf’s way of measuring the playing level of each golfer.
Yes, it is a figure, which indicates the average number of strokes a player hits in a round of golf.
To be exact, your handicap figure will tell us how many strokes over par you need to finish.
If your handicap is 0, that’s because if the par for a course is 72, you will hit that exact number of strokes.
Why is it so important?
When it comes to competition, players are classified into different categories according to their level of play. This ensures that the competition is balanced.
The mark used to make these distinctions is the handicap.
And how is it calculated?
Until June 8th, 2020, Spain used the EGA (European Golf Association) handicapping system.
The disadvantage is that the system was only valid in Europe.
After that date, with the aim of unifying the world criteria for such an important and global term, the WHS (World Handicap System) was established, which had come into force on 1 January of the same year.
What is the aim of the new system?
- To meet the needs of today’s golfers. This is also the aim of the New Rules of Golf 2.019.
- To help players obtain and maintain their handicap.
- That you can compete on an even and fair playing field, in any format, anywhere in the world. Organizing categories and adapting to the needs of clubs, golfers, and golf authorities, as well as cultural differences.
- Facilitating the evaluation of large-scale data to help plan strategies for the development of the sport.
- It is more flexible and helps to be more accurate because it allows the computation of scores from tournaments and training matches.
- Allows for daily handicap reviews and updates.
However, it is true that this new system has made the calculation of the new handicap much more complicated.
We must apply a formula and consider a series of data that was not relevant before.
Regarding the course, we need to know:
- The Course Rating (CR). It indicates the difficulty of the course, and this is done with the average number of strokes made by players with a handicap equal to or less than zero.
- The slope of the course (Slope Rating, SR). The relative difficulty of the course for a bogey player, who is a player with a handicap of 18.
For the player, the details are:
- The current handicap (Handicap Index, HI), which is calculated according to the last results (Score Differential, SD) achieved. The formula is:
HI = (Sum of the best 8 SDs of the last 20)/8.
- The handicap of the game (HJ). The handicap assigned to each player for the course where he will play. It is calculated from the Slope Rating and the current Handicap with this formula: HJ = (HI* SR)/113 + (CR – PAR)
Lost among so many formulas and data?
Luckily, nowadays there are several websites that do this calculation for you.
All you must do is enter the results you are asked for and click on the button.
Here are the three that we like the most:
3 programs to calculate your handicap in golf.
Description: The best thing to do to understand the new, is to know what we are replacing. In this program, you can look at the old EGA system to calculate the handicap.
Functions: It consisted of tables that calculated your handicap immediately after a tournament.
- Exact handicap.
- VAL of the course.
- Slope of the course.
- Stableford points.
And you click on calculate. The result was your handicap and the variation suffered.
We show you how to do it now, and you will be glad that tools like this one, that calculate it for you, exist.
Description: It is a complete assistant created to improve the game in a simple way.
One of them, a free golf GPS application, with a database of more than 35,000 courses worldwide.
It allows you to record your shots and those of your partners.
And the WHS Calculator, which calculates your handicap and tracks its evolution.
Functions: The calculator is simple.
Fill in your scores in the table. One line per match.
You can enter up to 20 lines, add matches (each new line deletes the last line in the row).
Once you have enough data to have a first calculation (i.e. at least 3 matches), you can click on the button “Calculate WHS” and you will see your world handicap.
The Rating and Slope values for each golf course can be found on the website of each golf federation: United States (USGA) and Spain (ES-RFEG).
Description: Before you start, you should know that to do the calculation, you need to enter the results of your last 20 cards.
You can use the website of the Royal Spanish Golf Federation, which collects this data.
Functions: You must enter the data of the last 20 cards, as you know. And there is no minimum, you need to fill in all the lines.
The required data is:
- Course value: from the start played.
- Course slope value: You can consult this and the course value on the RFEG website. Select in the section “Course Card”: the course and gender to have the data (course value and slope) of the 18 holes of the tee bars from where the tournament was played.
- ASC: measures the difficulty of the tournament day (course conditions, weather conditions, etc.). This data can be left at 0 if you don’t know it, although it helps a lot to know if the calculations are close to reality.
- Adjusted gross score: the total gross number of strokes for the round, counting a net double bogey on each hole as the worst score.
Click on the “Calculate World Handicap” button and you will get your final score.
Important: The value shown is an estimate, using the average of the best 8 of the 20 results entered.
Whatever your handicap, as always, the important thing is that you enjoy playing golf.