Saunton Golf Club


England Golf have produced a series of short videos which provides a useful oversight to the changes.  To help us understand how our handicaps will change   Click here to watch the first video

Further information will be posted over the coming weeks - 


Your new Handicap Index will be calculated from the best eight scores from the last 20 rounds.
As a new score is submitted, a player’s Handicap Index will automatically update to the most recent 20 scores. A player’s Handicap Index will update promptly overnight after the submission of an acceptable score and be ready before the next time they play.

How to obtain a Handicap Index?
When the new system comes into play most golfers can have a Handicap Index generated, based on their existing records.  For new golfers to gain their Handicap Index they will have to submit a minimum of 54 holes. Their Handicap Index will be the lowest of their three rounds minus two strokes and continue to be built until the 20 scores are achieved.

The maximum Handicap Index for any player is 54.  To obtain a recognised Handicap Index a player must be an affiliated member of a golf club.

How to safeguard a Handicap Index?

A Soft Cap and Hard Cap will be implemented to limit any extreme upward movement of a player’s Handicap Index within a 365-day period. This has been introduced to act as a safeguard to prevent any handicap manipulation.
The Soft Cap will suppress movement by 50% after a 3.0 stroke increase over a player’s Low Handicap Index. For clarity in this instance, a Low Handicap Index is the lowest Handicap Index a player has had during the previous 12-month period.

Caps only start to take effect once a player has at least 20 acceptable scores in their record.  The Hard Cap will restrict upward movement on 5.0 strokes over the Low Handicap Index. Restricting the extreme upward movement of a Handicap Index will ensure that a player’s temporary loss of form does not cause the Handicap Index to move too far
away from their actual ability.

Click here for a short video on how your handicap will be calculated


Before any player starts their round they must convert their Handicap Index into a Course Handicap. The Course Handicap will determine the number of strokes a player will receive for any set of tees on a course. 

How to work out a Course Handicap?

England Golf will provide Course & Slope Rating tables to all golf clubs. Tables will be positioned in conspicuous locations around the club to make it simple for golfers to find prior to beginning their round.  Golfers simply have to choose the tees they are playing off that day and cross reference their Handicap Index on the Course & Slope Rating table to ascertain their Course Handicap. It really is as simple as that - they’re then ready to get out on the course and play!

In time, Course Handicap Tables will be available via an App and club handicap software so golfers can view their Course Handicap remotely priorto a round. Should any golfer wish to calculate their Course Handicap manually the formula is as follows:

Handicap Index x (Slope Rating / 113) = Course Handicap (rounded) 


What is Slope Rating? 

Slope Rating is the number which indicates the relative playing difficulty of a course for Bogey Golfers, compared to Scratch Golfers. It is the difficulty comparison between a Bogey Golfer and a Scratch Golfer from the same set of tees.
(In simple terms it is the combination of the Course Rating and the Bogey Rating, which allows us to calculate the Slope Rating of a set of tees)
The use of Slope allows a player’s Handicap Index to be portable from course to course and country to country. It also enables acceptable scores from any rated golf course in the world to be submitted for a player’s handicap purposes.The Slope Rating is a key component in calculating the number of strokes each player receives to play a particular golf course.  Each set of tees will have a Slope Rating value between 55 and 155

Click here to watch a short video on Slope Ratings

What is Playing Handicap?

Playing Handicap is a stroke allowance that is implemented in order to maintain the integrity of the WHS when used in competition. It allows golfers to compete on a level playing field, regardless of their Handicap Index. The Course Handicap converts to a Playing Handicap for competition purposes only and changes depending on the format of play.

The four most important aspects of Playing Handicap to remember are:

It is only used for competition purposes
It ensures equity to calculate competition results (via Handicap Allowances)
Golfers do not need to do anything to calculate it (it is generated before their round)
Golfers should continue to play in the mindset of their Course Handicap in competition rounds

 How is Playing Handicap calculated?

Course Handicap x Handicap Allowance = Playing Handicap

Hopefully, you found last week helpful when we told you all about Playing Handicap and how it affects golfers. We now continue along our timeline and move into explaining General Play and Competition Rounds and how they count towards your WHS index.

Click Here for a short video on Playing Handicap

What is an Acceptable Score?

After the completion of a competition round, a player has to submit their scorecard as soon as possible in order for their Handicap Index to be updated. Preferably, scores should be posted at the venue being played and on the same day, as this will be when a player’s Handicap Index will be updated. If this is not possible, players may post scores utilising the technology available at their golf club.

How to verify a score?

In order to verify a score and for it to count towards a player’s WHS index, some basic rules should be followed:  

Play in accordance with The Rules of Golf

Use an authorised format of play
Play nine holes to post a 9-hole score
Play at least 10 holes to post an 18-hole score
Play with at least one other person
Play on a course with a current Course Rating and Slope Rating    

How your score counts towards the WHS?

Acceptable formats of play for submitting a score towards a player’s Handicap Index include any pre-registered general play ‘social’ scores and all individual competition rounds, both 9 and 18 holes, whether played at home or away courses. Non-acceptable formats of play include a player’s individual score from fourball better ball or other match play events.

Click Here for a short video on Acceptable scores

For more information visit

The Handicap Committee Role

Every golf club is required to have a Handicap Committee. They play a vital role in maintaining the integrity of the WHS. Handicap Committee members should have a good working knowledge of the new WHS. The Handicap Committee role can be summarised as follows:

Record, maintain & update Handicap Index of the members

Notify members of any changes to their Index

Ensure all acceptable scores are uploaded

Responsible for reviewing the Handicap Record

Click here to view the  E ngland Golf WHS Privacy Notice

Slope Rating Certificates

For our East Course Slope Rating Certificate, please click  here.

For our West Course Slope Rating Certificate, please click  here.

Course Handicap Conversion Charts

For our East Course Handicap Conversion Chart for each set of tees, please click  here.

For our West Course Handicap Conversion Chart for each set of tees, please click  here.

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