The USGA and 5 other national golf associations around the world are codifying their handicapping systems into a single, "World Handicap System" (WHS) in 2020. For the USGA, this change occurs January 1st. For our friends across the pond, it looks like this will happen at the end of 2020, most likely November 1st. Below outlines the Current USGA formula vs the new World Handicap System.
Equitable stroke control limits how many strokes a player can take on a hole for handicapping purposes. The player still writes down their actual score, but for calculating handicap, the score on the hole is adjusted down. Currently, the USGA has a graduated system, where your maximum amount per hole is based on your current course handicap for that round. The higher your handicap, the higher the allowed maximum is. Here's the current system in more detail:
The current handicap system limits male golfers to 36.4, and 40.4 for women. Note that the player's course handicap can exceed this amount, and it only applies to the player's handicap index, and not the course handicap. If the slope for the tee box the player is playing is greater than 113, then the player's course handicap max exceed the maximum handicap index.
The USGA uses a 96% multiplier when calculating the player's hadnicap index.
A player's "course handicap" is calculated based on the tee box the player is playing. The formula is
Handicap Index * Slope / 113
In addition, if multiple tee boxes are being used, then the course handicap is adjusted further based on the different in course rating of the tee box for the player, and the "default" tee box that you set up for your course.
This graduated system of Equitable Stroke Control is going away, and will be replaced with a single limit for all players of Net Double Bogey. Here's a guide on how to set up ESC in Golf League Tracker. The Net Double Bogey option is now available for you to set up for your league.
The maximum handicap index (NOT course handicap) will be raised to 50.4 (for 18-holes) for all players, men and women alike. Since most golf leagues are 9 holes, which would translate to 25.7 index. Note that the USGA and the World Handicap system does not have a maximum course handicap. A course handicap is calculated from the player's handicap index based on the tee box the player is assigned to.
The 96% mutiplier will be eliminated in the WHS, and 100% will be used.
The calculation of the course handicap (which will be called the "Playing Handicap") is slightly different. The new formula will be
(Handicap Index * Slope / 113) + Course Rating - Par
for the tee box being played by the player. This has almost the same effect as adjusting for the tee box used, but is applied every time the Playing Handicap is calculated.
Golf League Tracker is be ready for the World Handicap System coming in 2020. Please contact support if you need help setting your league up for the new system.