National versions of WHS

The purpose of introducing the World Handicap System ( WHS ) is to unify handicap handling in all countries around the world. However, the system allows for minor differences adjusting the system to local golfing cultures. All National Golf Associations have decided what options will apply within their territories (handicapping jurisdictions).

List of these options includes:

  • Formats of play acceptable for handicap purposes (stoke play, Stableford, Par/Bogey competition, match play, Maximum Score, organized competition, general play)
  • Requirement of pre-registration of general play rounds (yes, no)
  • Number of played holes required for an score to be acceptable for handicap purposes (18 holes, 9 holes, minimum of 10 holes, less than 9 holes)
  • Number of submitting scores prior to establishing a Handicap Index
  • Ratification procedures for the upward adjustment of Handicap Index
  • Separate procedures of increasing a Handicap Index for high handicap players


The only significant difference from the global rules was introduced by the CONGU countries: in United Kingdom and Ireland. In these countries the Course Handicap is calculated differently. See more details on Course Handicap page and in CONGU edition of Rules.


Rules of Handicapping WHS in English

WHS rules

Many National Associations have translated the Rules of Handicapping into local languages and issued them in a version adapted to the rules established in their territory. Examples of local editions that can be downloaded from official websites of golf associations and/or golf organizations are shown below:


Menu path:

update: February 2021