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Handicapping Corner

10 JUN 2022

Handicapping Corner – World Handicap System


Your Handicap Committee provided the below information to help better understand the purpose of the World Handicap System.

Golf is a global game with a single set of playing rules, a single set of equipment rules and a single set of amateur status rules.

After working closely with the existing handicap authorities and national associations, the USGA and The R&A produced a single set of handicapping rules that apply worldwide to all golfers.

The vision to create a World Handicap System, incorporating a single set of Rules of Handicapping and a Course Rating System, began almost a decade ago during a meeting involving representatives from each of the six existing handicapping authorities - the USGA, Golf Australia, the Council of National Golf Unions (CONGU), the European Golf Association (EGA), the South African Golf Association (SAGA), and the Argentine Golf Association (AAG) - along with The R&A.

The World Handicap System has three main objectives:

  1. to encourage as many golfers as possible to obtain and maintain a handicap;
  2. to enable golfers of differing abilities, genders and nationalities to take their handicap to any course in the world and compete on a fair basis;
  3. to indicate with sufficient accuracy the score a golfer is reasonably capable of achieving on any course around the world, playing under normal conditions.

We are confident that the Rules of Handicapping meet these objectives, that golfers will find them to be inclusive and fair and that handicap administrators will find them to be a modern, adaptable code that can be consistently applied.

The Rules of Handicapping are jointly governed by the USGA and The R&A on a unified basis throughout the world. The administration and oversight of handicapping in each country will continue to be the responsibility of national associations or other authorized bodies which will help ensure the system operates effectively and responsively at the local level. The Rules of Handicapping also give those authorized organizations certain discretion to adapt the system to fit their own golfing cultures.


Please contact any of your committee members if you have questions, need clarification, or have suggestions.

2022 Handicap Committee Members:

Nancy Cloutier -

Gail Deitz -

Steven Sotnick -

Amarjit Singh Tathgur -

Trevor Ellis -

Michael Walsh -

Brian Gore -



Brian Gore, Handicap Committee Chair