Golf Canada has joined the USGA and The R&A in working with golf’s handicapping authorities to develop a single World Handicap System for the sport.
More than 15 million golfers in over 80 countries presently have a handicap, a numerical index long used as a reference to gauge a golfer’s potential skill level. Handicaps are currently delivered through six different systems around the world.
The aim of the proposed handicap system is to adopt a universal set of principles and procedures that will apply all over the world.
Golf organizations from different parts of the world have also been engaged with the current handicap authorities for the past two years to help shape the proposed system, which takes into account the many different golf cultures and most common formats of play.
Research conducted to date has also reviewed systems and best practices inherent to handicapping, such as course rating and administration.
A joint committee led by the USGA and The R&A has been formed, including representatives from each handicap authority as well as the Japan Golf Association and Golf Canada. The joint committee plans to announce its proposal later this year.
“We have been concerned for some time that many golfers find the handicapping landscape to be complicated and can be frustrated when it is not always applied in the same way in different parts of the world,” said Martin Slumbers, chief executive of the R&A.
“We are working closely with the existing handicapping bodies to benefit from their insights as we try to formulate a system that will be easy to understand and can be applied consistently on a global basis. We very much appreciate their support for this initiative,” he added.
Roland Deveau, president of Golf Canada said a unified system offers equity and consistency.
“Canadian golfers who track their game at home or abroad through the Golf Canada Score Centre will enjoy the consistency of a global handicap platform that allows for equitable score posting methodology, including with respect to international net competitions, about which Golf Canada and our provincial associations receive numerous inquiries annually,” he said.