What will the new World Handicap System mean for Australian golfers?

Golfers around the world will soon play under a standardized handicapping system, but what will it mean for Australian golfers?

A new World Handicap System will take effect in Australia from January 30, 2020 meaning that you can take your handicap to any golf destination in the world.

But Australia has only recently overhauled its handicapping system, so you may be wondering if this will change have much impact on Australian golfers?

Luckily for us, it won’t have much impact as almost all of the new World Handicap System regulations are already in place in Australian golf.

Australia’s move to the current system over the past few years has been closely monitored by the world golf governing bodies who were always looking to implement a standard international handicapping system.

So what changes will there be to the current Australian handicapping system?

Golf Australia has been working hard to inform all Australian golf clubs on the changes ahead of the switch over in January 2020 and they’ve summarized the four changes here:

  • Bonus Reduction for Exceptional Net Score
    GOLF Link will apply an automated extra reduction to a player’s GA Handicap for any net score that is at least 7 strokes better than it.
  • Soft Cap
    In addition to the existing Hard Cap of 5 strokes, a Soft Cap is being introduced. The Soft Cap will take effect once a player’s GA Handicap increases to 3 strokes above its best point for the previous 12 months. Once in the Soft Cap zone, a player’s GA Handicap will only be allowed to increase by 50% of the calculated amount.
  • Adjustment made to Daily Handicap if Scratch Rating is different to Par
    This will make 36 Stableford points (or net par) the universal measure of a golfer playing to their handicap. As a result, it will become simple to conduct mixed-gender or multi-tee competitions. Examples of the adjustment: If Scratch Rating 73 & Par 70; 3 is added to the Daily Handicap calculation (ie 73 – 70 = +3). If Scratch Rating 68 & Par 70; 2 is subtracted from the Daily Handicap calculation (ie 68 – 70 = -2).
  • Transfer of 0.93 Multiplier
    The 0.93 Multiplier will be transferred out of the GA Handicap calculation and into the Daily Handicap calculation. Note: Our statisticians confirm this change will have no overall impact on the handicaps players play off (ie Daily Handicaps). This is because the slight increase it will cause to GA Handicaps (by being removed from the GA Handicap formula), will be the same as the decrease it will cause to Daily Handicaps (by being transferred into the Daily Handicap formula). As a result, there will be no overall impact.

Later in the year, all clubs will receive more information including posters from Golf Australia which will help translate the changes to club golfers.

But the takeaway message is this; while there are some minor changes, Australian golfers (unlike other parts of the world) won’t notice too much difference to the current handicapping system we already have in place.

2 thoughts on “What will the new World Handicap System mean for Australian golfers?

  • This is total nonsense. The system was flawed when in 2014 you took players handicaps which were obtained on their home course over hundreds maybe thousands of rounds and made them their GA handicap. Good, that was right and accurate. Then six months later you ‘Sloped’ all the courses and then applied that to their existing handicaps thus changing them forever and in most cases increasing their handicaps. Thus every player was playing off an inflated home handicap and instead of loosing shots on lower sloped courses were actually playing off the real handicaps. Now after all this time you are going back to exactly where is should have been for the last 6 years. NO one like this system, it is too slow to reign in player breaking their handicaps, we constantly have players breaking their handicaps by large amounts with no immediate reflection on their handicaps. This is hurting golf. It is an absolute necessity that handicap reduction must contain the % point system. and applied every round.

  • The new system seems complicated where as the previous one was straight forward.


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