In January 2020, the Handicap System moved to a single system that is modern, equitable, and provides portable handicaps for all golfers. The World Handicap System makes it easy for golfers to obtain a Handicap Index, use their Handicap on any course around the world, and compete with anyone else on a fair basis. Continue to learn more about the WHS using the resources below.

Three Key Changes Coming in 2024

Course Rating for Shorter Courses

Under the current system, an 18-hole course must be at least 3,000 yards to receive a Course Rating and Slope Rating (or 1,500 yards for 9 holes). Starting in 2024, the yardage requirements will be cut in half, to 1,500 and 750 yards, respectively. This is good news for golfers who regularly play par-3 and shorter-length courses and have wanted those scores to count toward their Handicap Index®. Inquiries about Course Ratings can be directed to Nelson Searcy (

WHS™ 2024 Treatment of 9-Hole Scores

Today, 9-hole scores are combined in the order posted to create an 18-hole Score Differential™. This means that a 9-hole score shot today could be combined with a 9-hole score from days, weeks, or even months before – which can lead to volatile results.

Beginning in 2024, when a player posts a 9-hole score, it will be combined with their expected Score Differential over 9 holes to create an 18-hole Score Differential for immediate use – with expected score based on the player’s Handicap Index at the time the round is played as well as a course of standard difficulty.

Full FAQs for Treatment of 9-Hole Scores Click Here >>

WHS™ 2024 Treatment of Hole(s) Not Played

At present when a hole isn’t played (due to darkness, for example), the score recorded is a net par. When the 2024 revision goes into effect, when 10-17 holes are played, an 18-hole Score Differential will be determined by adding the player’s Score Differential from the holes played to an expected Score Differential for the number of holes not played. Since a player’s expected score is not specific to a course or reliant upon the course’s stroke index allocation (as net par is today), this will lead to more consistency.

Full FAQs for Treatment of Hole(s) Not Played Click Here >>
Printable Infographic for Treatment of Hole(s) Not Played Click Here >>

Rules of Handicapping

For specific questions regarding the WHS, please email Nelson Searcy (