World Handicap System causing a golfing wave

The beautiful East Devon Golf Club

The beautiful East Devon Golf Club - Credit: East Devon Golf Club

Local golfers have returned to East Devon courses with a new World Handicap System, which is designed to make golf easier to understand and give golfers a handicap which is portable around the globe. 
However, as Sidmouth Golf Club manager Tim Aggett explained, it is going to take time for golfers to work out the new process. 
“WHS is definitely perceived as more complex than its predecessor the Council of National Golf Union scheme,” said Aggett. “I’m fairly sure that once golfers begin to play away from their home course, more often they will see the impact of Slope Rating and how it amends the handicap to the course to be played before you start rather than after you finish. 
“We’ve had nearly 40 years and handicaps changing after every competition based only on that competition. Now it only changes when one of your best eight scores is affected, because you’ve done something better so your handicap goes down, or replaced a counting one dropping out with something worse, in which case it goes up. 
“It is a change, and we don’t like change.  
“The allowances being different for various formats hasn’t gone down well, especially where folk have been used to getting their full playing handicap for individual competitions and now get 95% of their course handicap.  
“At Sidmouth, that’s a real problem because SR isn’t that much above 113, so at most handicap ranges they end up with what they started from. Once they start playing courses with SRs over 125/130, it will make more sense. 
“Losing the four months since the introduction of WHS to lockdown is a major factor. Without that, by the time we started this spring/summer season, everyone would likely have been on top of it. Now it’s going to take this year for golfers to understand they need to watch their handicap on the My England Golf site/app if they’re going to know how it’s going to change. 
“And the real truth?  
“For most it won’t matter. Best thing to do is just go play, have fun, and let the administrators worry about the maths.” 

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