The USGA and the R&A have unveiled proposals for a new World Handicap System, scheduled to be implemented in 2020.
The World Handicap System is designed to take the six handicapping systems that exist worldwide and align them under a new single system.
According to golf's governing bodies, the unified alignment will make it easier to obtain and maintain a handicap and to make the handicap more equitable among golfers of differing abilities and genders around the world.
“For some time, we’ve heard golfers say, ‘I’m not good enough to have a handicap,’ or ‘I don’t play enough to have a handicap,’” said USGA executive director Mike Davis.
“We want to make the right decisions now to encourage a more welcoming and social game.
“We’re excited to be taking another important step – along with modernizing golf’s rules – to provide a pathway into the sport, making golf easier to understand and more approachable and enjoyable for everyone to play,” he said.
R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers said the new handicap system should make the game more inviting.
“We want to make it more attractive to golfers to obtain a handicap and strip away some of the complexity and variation which can be off-putting for newcomers,” said Slumbers.