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Setting 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 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 - World Handicap System". 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 "1"
  • Setting #36, Maximum Handicap Index. Set to "50.4" for 18 hole leagues, 25.2 to 9-hole leagues.

The WHS uses the best 8 out 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.

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

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