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Common Handicap Formats

Golf League Tracker has several options for handicaps, but there are some common settings which most leagues customize for their own use.  This article describes what to change for specific formats. To learn more about the differences in these formats, take a look at my blog post on the subject: https://www.golfleaguetracker.com/glthome/cms/blog/whs


World Handicap System

The World Handicap System has arrived starting in 2020. You have two options when configuring the WHS in Golf League Tracker. Note that whatever your league is set up for (9 or 18 holes) is the handicap which will be calculated. Golf League Tracker does not combine 9 hole scores into an 18-hole score for handicapping purposes.

World Handicap System (Custom)

You can configure Golf League Tracker to use whatever number of scores you like using the World Handicap System (Custom) selection by changing the following settings:

  • Setting #7, Automatic Handicap Calculation, set to "Automatic"
  • Setting #112, Handicap Calculation Type, set to "World Handicap System (Custom)"
  • Setting #38, Handicap Percent, set to "1"
  • Setting #36, Maximum Handicap Index. Set to "54.0" for 18 hole leagues, 27.0 to 9-hole leagues.

The WHS uses the best 8 out of 20 18-hole rounds, which you can set up (see the "official" way below), however most leagues do not use the most recent 20 scores because it's usually not practical for 9-hole weekly leagues.  I recommend using the best 4 out of 6 scores.  To do that:

  • Setting #71, Number of Most Recent Rounds to Calculate Handicap, set to 6
  • Setting #40, Number of High Rounds to Throw Out, set to -33. This means 33% of the high scores get tossed. This works great when a player has < 6 scores as well.
  • Setting #53, Number of Low Rounds to Throw Out, set to 0

All other settings should be left as the default value, so be sure to check your current values against the default to make sure they are set properly.

In addition, a new "Net Double Bogey" maximum has been enacted for the WHS.  Take a look at this article on how to set up ESC: https://www.golfleaguetracker.com/glthome/cms/help/how-to/equitable-stroke-control

World Handicap System (Official)

When set to the "official" WHS setting, the system will automatically use the best number of scores according to the WHS rules (e.g. best 8 out of 20, best 7 out of 19, all the way down to a minimum of 3 scores). Other settings are ignored so as to follow the official WHS rules, and are noted in each setting whether it will be ignored or not.

  • Setting #7, Automatic Handicap Calculation, set to "Automatic"
  • Setting #112, Handicap Calculation Type, set to "World Handicap System (Official)"
  • Setting #38, Handicap Percent, set to "1"
  • Setting #36, Maximum Handicap Index. Set to "54.0" for 18 hole leagues, 27.0 to 9-hole leagues.

You also need to set up the Net Double Bogey maximum for the Equitable Stroke Control. Take a look at this article on how to set up ESC: https://www.golfleaguetracker.com/glthome/cms/help/how-to/equitable-stroke-control


USGA Pre-2020 System

The World Handicap System has arrived starting in 2020.  You can configure Golf League Tracker for this format by changing the following settings:

  • Setting #7, Automatic Handicap Calculation, set to "Automatic"
  • Setting #112, Handicap Calculation Type, set to "Course Rating/Slope - Pre 2020". This setting affects how the player's course handicap is calculated for the given tee box they are assigned to.
  • Setting #38, Handicap Percent, set to "0.96"
  • Setting #36, Maximum Handicap Index. Set to "36.4" for 18 hole leagues, 18.2 to 9-hole leagues.

The USGA used the best 10 of 20 18-hole rounds, which you can set up, however most leagues do not use the most recent 20 scores because it's not practical for 9-hole weekly leagues.  I recommend using the best 4 out of 6 scores.  To do that:

  • Setting #71, Number of Most Recent Rounds to Calculate Handicap, set to 6
  • Setting #40, Number of High Rounds to Throw Out, set to 2
  • Setting #53, Number of Low Rounds to Throw Out, set to 0

Note that Golf League Tracker will not drop any rounds until the required number of rounds has been reached, in this case, 6.

The USGA also had a graduated "Equitable Stroke Control" system which limits how many strokes a player can count on a hole.  Take a look at this article on how to set up ESC: https://www.golfleaguetracker.com/glthome/cms/help/how-to/equitable-stroke-control


Calculating vs Par

Some leagues decide to calculate their handicap against par of the course. Given the new changes to handicapping recently, I do not recommend this method. One of the major advantages of setting to the World Handicap System, or the old USGA system is that the difficulty of the tee box is used in calculating the handicap, which also allows a player to move from one tee box to another either between seasons or even mid-season if so desired (for example, some leagues allow moving up a tee box based on the age of the player).

However, you can still set it up against par if so desired:

  • Setting #7, Automatic Handicap Calculation, set to "Automatic"
  • Setting #112, Handicap Calculation Type, set to "Par". When set to par, the player's handicap index is not converted to a course handicap when playing.

I also recommend the following settings:

  • Setting #71, Number of Most Recent Rounds to Calculate Handicap, set to 6
  • Setting #40, Number of High Rounds to Throw Out, set to 2
  • Setting #53, Number of Low Rounds to Throw Out, set to 0

What Doesn't Golf League Tracker Support?

Golf League Tracker doesn't support two parts of the World Handicap System Calculation

  • PCC - Playing Conditions Calculation
  • Softcap/Hardcap