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The New World Handicap System: An Essential Guide

Beginning in January 2020, the new Rules of Handicapping will be introduced in the United States. Read on for five things you need to know about this new system, according to the USGA.
 
The Handicap Index Calculation is Changing
Your number will be based off your 8 best scores out of the past 20. This change will be minor, but you may see a change in your handicap index in January, even if you haven't played recently.
 
Your Course Handicap Will Change
Slope rating, course rating and par will now all be used to determine your course handicap. This will allow you to play from different sets of tees without any adjustment.
Net Double Bogey will Replace ESC (Equitable Stroke Control)
The maximum hole score for handicap purposes will be limited to net double bogey (par + 2 + any handicap strokes you receive).

You'll Have More Responsive Handicap Index Updates
Your handicap index will update the day after you post a score. On days you don't submit a score, no update will take place.
 
Safeguards Have Been Added to Protect Your Handicap Index
The system will account for abnormal playing conditions, limit extreme upward movement of a handicap index, and reduce a handicap index when an exceptional score is posted.

Want to Learn More?
For more information on the new World Handicap System, visit the USGA at usga.org/whs.