KGU welcomes new world handicap system


Kenya Golf Union (KGU) has welcomed the new World Handicap System (WHS) designed to bring the game of golf under a single set of rules for handicapping.

The new system, commented Kenya Golf Union (KGU) chairman Lucas Maranga, is also envisaged to provide a more consistent measure of players’ ability between different regions of the world.

“It remains on track for implementation starting in 2020,” said Maranga.

Maranga added that education has begun with events being held in Singapore, South Africa, Great Britain and Ireland, Japan, Argentina, Brazil, Continental Europe, Canada, the Caribbean and the USA.

He added that a secure resource portal, accessible via, has also been launched to provide national associations with a library of materials that they can use to help support their own education efforts.

Coinciding with this release, The R&A and the USGA are launching a social media video campaign to remind golfers of the eight key features of the new Rules of Handicapping and to reveal more details.

These features include minimum number of scores to establish a handicap index and maximum handicap index of 54.0, basis of calculation of Handicap Index, acceptability of scores for handicap purposes, course rating and slope rating,  calculation of a playing handicap,  maximum hole score for handicap purposes, adjustments for abnormal playing conditions and  frequency of updating a handicap index.

Maranga added that significant progress has been made in preparation for the rollout of the new system, which includes building a library of educational materials, finalising the new Rules of Handicapping, release of the technical specifications and the continuation of testing.

“Many national associations around the world, KGU included, are busy ensuring that their golf courses are rated in accordance with the Course Rating System and working to update local software platforms so that they are ready to apply the new Rules of Handicapping. While many countries will be ready to transition to the WHS early in 2020, given both the magnitude of the change for some jurisdictions and varying seasonality throughout the world, it is anticipated that some will need more time,” he said.

Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said: “There are many ways in which it is important for golf to modernise and become more appealing for people thinking of taking up the sport and handicapping is clearly one of them. The World Handicap System is a major new initiative for the sport which will establish a clearer and more consistent handicapping process for golfers throughout the world.

“We are working closely with national associations, as we do across all our core activities, to ensure they are fully prepared for the introduction of the new system as soon as possible after it becomes available for implementation.”

“The World Handicap System is the latest example of our work to make the game more welcoming,” said Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA. “Golfers throughout the world will be able to play equitably, measure their success and more fully enjoy and engage with the game. After working with national associations across the world on Course Rating throughout the past 30 years and now the World Handicap System, this monumental collaborative effort will benefit everyone in golf.”


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