What is the new Handicap Rule in Golf?
The newest golf rule for 2020 is the World Handicap System. This is a new way to calculate golf handicaps.
The Handicap Rule
The handicap rule is used throughout recreational golf as a relative measure of a player's skill. The handicap itself refers to the number of strokes given to a player to boost their score on any course. This system allows all players of different skill levels to play together and still have fun.
World Handicap System
Prior to the 2020 update, there were different methods of determining handicaps throughout the world. With the introduction of the World Handicap System (WHS) in 2020, however, there is now a standardized way for players to calculate their scores across the planet.
The basic method of determining handicaps is now based on course ratings. These measure the difficulty of a course relative to how (well or poorly) golfers are able to play it.
The next factor taken into account is a player's individual score. The new handicap only requires a golfer to have 54 holes of experience, but holistically takes the average of their best eight scores from their last 20 rounds.
Weather conditions of any given round are also taken into account, as they can have a huge effect on a player's score.
The maximum handicap in the WHS is a 54, allowing the worst players to miss up to an average of three strokes per hole on any given round.
The WHS evenly distributes a player's handicap strokes across all holes. There is also a new Net Double Bogey rule that limits the maximum score on any hole to two strokes over par (with the handicap taken into account).