Gullane Golf Club

World Handicapping System

The World Handicapping System will be launched in Scotland one month from today (November 2nd 2020) and will provide golfers with a unified and more inclusive handicapping system. This will mean your handicap will be calculated differently to how it is now.

What are the key changes?

  • Your current handicap will become your handicap index, reflecting your demonstrated ability;
  • Your handicap index will be converted into a course handicap depending on the difficulty of the course and tees being played (difficulty of a course will be assessed by course and slope rating);
  • A handicap allowance is then applied to your course handicap depending on the format of play - this becomes your playing handicap;  
  • Handicap calculations will be more responsive and be average based (the best 8 scores from your last 20 rounds) rather than incremental.
  • This means rather than increasing by 0.1, the more responsive calculation method will allow you to increase in line with your demonstrated ability but not too fast due to safeguards (a capping mechanism) built into the system;
  • Handicaps will no longer lapse nor become ineligible for competitions;
  • CSS (Competition Scratch Score) will be replaced by PCC (Playing Conditions Calculation);   
  • Supplementary scores will be known as social or recreational rounds;
  • If your round is exceptional (7 shots better than your handicap index) it is subject to an exceptional score reduction.

What will remain the same?

  • Designation of your home Club to maintain your handicap index;
  • Only scores from individual stroke play formats will count for handicap in competition and in general play;
  • You should still pre register your intent to play a recreational round before play;
  • Maximum hole score will still be capped at net double bogey (for handicap purposes);
  • Maximum handicap of 54 for both genders;
  • Handicaps will be updated promptly;
  • Handicap allowances will be used based on the format of play;
  • New handicaps obtained by playing 54 holes (9 or 18 holes). 


Detailed information, Q&As, helpful summaries and handicap conversion tables for each course and tees are available below for those who would like further information on the World Handicapping System:

Scottish Golf FAQ Document

CONGU WHS Player Guide


Why a World Handicapping System

Golf's New Handicap System Explained

Gullane No.1 course handicap table

Gullane No.2 course handicap table

Gullane No.3 course handicap table


Stuart Bendoris

Golf Services Manager



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