Golf may be looking at a way to mitigate the ‘blast and gouge’ approach of big hitters in the professional game but it takes a while to adapt to those who innovate in the way of Bryson DeChambeau.

For us mere mortals who occasionally pick up a club, there are changes coming though which will make the idea of the golf handicap a more dynamic calculation.

It has been in the works for a long while and the new World Handicap System will come into place for all amateur golfers on Monday, November 2nd.

It will unify the six different handicapping systems that have grown up over the last 30 years or more into a single system and will enable golfers of different abilities to play and compete on a fair and equal basis, in any format, on any course, anywhere around the world.

In essence, the new system will be based on taking eight rounds from the last 20 as the basis for calculating ability. New handicaps can be gained from only 54 holes played and the maximum handicap will rise to 54, for both genders, to encourage more players to gain a handicap and test their own levels of improvement.

Education Campaign

Over the coming six weeks, an education campaign will begin to help golfers in Ireland learn and adopt the new handicap system.

This will be undertaken through the Golfnet website www.golfnet.ie/whs, on social media, through club communication officers, direct mail and with GUI and ILGU media partners in Irish Golfer.

“The World Handicap System transforms how golf handicaps are calculated and the new system should make the process of obtaining and administering handicaps much simpler,” said Mark Kennelly, CEO of Golf Ireland.

“It’s a modern, progressive and more equal way of ensuring that we provide all golfers with a consistent measure of playing ability.”

A secure login area on the Golf Ireland website (which will replace Golfnet) will allow club members login to view their playing history and a smartphone app will be launched in early 2021.