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World Handicap System

Black and White Star in Circle

Handicap rules
(World Handicap System)

Since the 2021 game season, the World Handicap System (WHS) has also been used in Germany and worldwide to calculate requirements for golfers. This means that a new principle for calculating the handicap has been introduced: While a handicap change was previously made “step by step”, derived from the previous handicap, the new handicap index is a weighted average of the most recent results, which is always recalculated when a new result was earned.

Conversion of the requirements applicable until the end of 2020

At the turn of the year 2020/2021, your previous handicap history sheet became the “Handicap History Sheet”. In order to determine the first target in the new WHS at that time, the average of your best eight results at that time, a maximum of four years ago, was calculated in a fixed procedure or an average of fewer results if in individual cases only fewer results were available in the last four years.

Calculation of the handicap index (HCPI) while the game is running

In the new system, the game results of the players are recorded twice: While the "Handicap History Sheet" records all your results, only the maximum of 20 results required for the average calculation of the handicap calculation are recorded in a parallel "Scoring Record" for you guided. After handicap-relevant tournament rounds or "registered private rounds" (RPR), the new results are transferred to your scoring record. If your scoring record shows 20 results, the oldest result (21st result) is dropped from the scoring record for each new handicap-relevant result. However, it remains in the Handicap History Sheet for documentation purposes. If the latest result is among your top eight, this will be taken into account in the new average calculation of your handicap index (formerly the handicap index). If your scoring record does not show 20 results, the entry of new results does not mean that no results are lost and an average is calculated from the reduced number of your results.

Handicap leadership

With the introduction of the WHS, your handicap will be kept on a server of the German Golf Association (DGV) in connection with your home club.

You can view your current handicap index at any time at You will also find your “Handicap History Sheet” (listing of all your results stored in the system) and your “Scoring Record” (presentation of your up to 20 most recent results, from which the up to eight best results are used to calculate your HCPI).


Last but not least, there is detailed information about the new WHS at Please register there so that you can even view your personal handicap data; your digital DGV ID card will also be kept there at the same time.

Game formats

In Germany, as in most parts of Europe, only individual tournaments (in the form of stroke play, stableford, maximum score, against par / bogey) are played handicap-relevant. There is also the option of playing handicap-relevant private rounds. For the latter, however, the lap must be registered beforehand, as you have been used to from the EDS laps up to now. The registered private round (RPR) is used equally to a tournament round for calculating the handicap index.


By the way: The calculation of your handicap index (runs in the background on the DGV server) is based on the so-called "weighted gross result", or GBE for short, (which often differs from the gross result actually played). Stableford points are no longer used for the handicap calculation, but strokes. However, this does not mean that Stableford cannot continue to be played / at the same time in the tournament evaluation (which is to be separated from it) or in the registered private round.

Weighted gross result and score differential

Regardless of whether the "fight for the prizes" is played according to Stableford or single stroke play, your result (for the HCPI calculation, ie "in the background") is displayed in gross stroke strokes. For the handicap calculation, however, not all of the strokes actually made that make up your result of the round are relevant. High gross numbers of strokes on individual holes are rated lower (solely for the HCPI calculation), as if the player had achieved a "net double bogey" there (e.g. who has two default strokes on a par 5 and an 11 plays, only a 9 is counted). That is comparable to the "0 points" at Stableford. From the fields reduced in this way, an overall result for the HCPI calculation, the so-called “weighted gross result” (GBE), arises. A so-called “score differential” is calculated from the GBE (again in the background, i.e. solely for the handicap calculation). Put simply, this is the difference between the GBE and the course rating of the course (taking out the so-called slope of the course).


And there we are back to the basic principle of the WHS: the average of the 8 best of the last 20 “Score Differentials” in your scoring record (reduced accordingly with fewer rounds) is your handicap index (formerly “master handicap”).

HCPI calculation and initial handicap for the game on the pitch

As in previous years, you as a player are formally responsible for ensuring that handicap-relevant results that you achieve reach the management of your home club.
Tournament results or results from RPR rounds are reported by your golf course to the DGV server for the calculation of a (possibly new) HCPI. This calculation happens for a short time until the next day; However, it cannot always be ruled out that an adjustment of your HCPI has not yet been calculated before the start of a next tournament or another RPR. Don't worry: once this is the case, the HCPI previously in the system will continue to be your regular specification for the time being.

Game season and handicap-relevant results

For the main season (May 1st to September 30th) as defined by the WHS, the rule applies that every tournament that can be played handicap-relevant according to its playing format must also be advertised as handicap-relevant. However, the fact that you are participating in a handicap-relevant tournament does not automatically mean that the result you achieved there has any effect on your handicap index at all. This is always only decided when comparing it with the results already available in your scoring record. If a newly played result is not one of the best that is used to calculate the HCPI, then it is ultimately not "handicap-relevant", even though it was played in a tournament that is principally handicap-relevant. In addition, what remains unchanged from the old handicap system is that if you have a handicap index of 26.5 or higher, you will only receive “HCPI reductions” anyway. There are only increases in this area if you have specifically requested this in general.

Source: WHS Update No. 4 June 24, 2021 German Golf Association eV

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