DEBATE: Is a '69 PLAYING HANDICAP' too many shots for a round of golf?

We wanted to ask our readers if the World Handicap System has been a success or a failure since it was first rolled out in 2020.

Matt Chivers's picture
Tue, 9 Nov 2021

DEBATE: Is a '69 PLAYING HANDICAP' too many shots for a round of golf>

The World Handicap System has certainly been a major talking point in club golf for the past 12 months or so, as regular golfers get to grips with the new system.

The WHS was implemented to allow golfers of different abilities to play on a fair playing field on any course, anywhere around the world.

You are given a handicap index based on the best eight scores of your last 20 rounds. As the other 12 scores are disregarded, your handicap index reflects the scores you get on your best day.

Every course has its own course rating and slope rating and it is the implementation of these new factors that have caused confusion and outrage amongst golf fans.

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You then use your handicap index and the slope rating of the course to calculate your playing handicap. It is a system that is very different to the previous one used in the United Kingdom.

We asked our readers what they thought of the WHS:

"Think if your playing regularly it gives you an accurate handicap. The old system you played against the field," one golfer commented.

"I like it. I play different courses a lot and is helpful for me," one golfer said.

"Not yet met a single player who believes this change has been positive I’m afraid," another player commented.

"I like it but it doesn't account for course conditions and I really think the general play option is just a charter for cheats to stick in higher scores to get their decent scores off the bottom of the table quicker," another person said.

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"Providing players submit all cards then it will work. Playing different courses does give a better system for handicap," one player commented.

"The old system worked why change it highest handicap was 28, not triple digits and you couldn’t sandbag like now," another golfer said.

There was certainly a mixture of positive and negative remarks to our question and it also threw up some interesting situations, such as the increased playing handicaps that people are given.

In one scenario, a golfer posted a situation in which their playing partner was given a playing handicap of 69, which means they could take up to 140 shots to play to their handicap in 18 holes.

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This could be an issue as there is essentially no limit to someone's playing handicap and a mark of 69 is arguably one that shouldn't be allowed on the golf course.

There were other comments that concerned people who have allegedly and deliberately submitted bad scores in order to take away their good scores from their last 20 rounds. You would hope that this is not the case at any club.

The WHS is young and it is still a fresh implementation by the R&A and USGA. There is no doubt that people will encounter more problems with it, however, it must be trusted and we must persevere.

It would be great if we keep the debate going, so head to our social media platforms on Facebook and Twitter and post your comments.

 

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