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Connecticut Active Season Begins April 1: 3 Key WHS Changes for 2024

(March 20, 2024) – Introduced in January 2020, the World Handicap System was based upon three key principles: Be welcoming, provide a consistent measure of ability, and remain modern. Four years later, with the first revision to the WHS, those same principles apply to the main changes in effect, namely:

1) A lower minimum length for a golf course to obtain a Course Rating™ and Slope Rating™

Before 2024, an 18-hole course had to be at least 3,000 yards to receive a Course Rating and Slope Rating (or 1,500 yards for 9 holes).

With the 2024 WHS Revision, the yardage requirements have been 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®.

2) A new treatment of 9-hole scores

In 2023 and previous years, 9-hole scores were combined in the order posted to create an 18-hole Score Differential™. This meant that a 9-hole score could have been combined with another 9-hole score from days, weeks, or even months before – which at times led to volatile results.

Today, when a player posts a 9-hole score, it is 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.

3)  An updated approach for holes not played

Prior to 2024, when a hole was not played (due to darkness, for example), the score recorded was a net par.

With the 2024 revision, when 10-17 holes are played, an 18-hole Score Differential is 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 was previously), this will lead to more consistency.

For more information about the World Handicap System click here

*Editors Note: Article by the USGA

About the Connecticut State Golf Association

The Connecticut State Golf Association functions as an extension of the USGA and provides stewardship for amateur golf in Connecticut. Founded in 1899, it is the country’s oldest state golf association and conducts over 60 Championships, Qualifiers, and One Day Tournaments throughout the year.