01506 652 232 (Bar & Catering) 01506 630 505 (Membership Enquiries only) bathgategolfclub@outlook.com

World Handicap System

World Handicap System Introduction

As many of you may be aware Scottish Golf are adopting a new handicapping system. This is to fall in line with the way the rest of the world work out their handicapping.The way your handicap is worked out will change quite dramatically moving forward.

Match and handicap are currently working out the best way to communicate the information required to you the members. There are two formulas required and at first glance it all looks very tedious. Match and handicap will start to send out information in the coming days. In the meantime I would urge all members to visit the Scottish golf website where there is plenty of information on the changes. I would also encourage members to sign up for the Scottish Golf app.

The new changes come into force on November 2nd.

All future correspondence on handicapping will be done through club e-mails.

Although the following is quite specific and technical we believe that the software providers will help golfers know their handicaps. 

Some main points to consider:
(1) Sign up to the Scottish Golf app
(2) Know your CDH number (Central database of handicap) available by e-mailing the office or a copy is in the pro shop.
(3) We will offer further details as time progresses. If most of your golf is played at Bathgate then the changes will hardly be noticed.

Here are some of the important terms which you should become familiar with;

  • Players will be awarded a Handicap Index (this replaces your existing exact handicap) and is based on the 8 best scores from their last 20 qualifying scores dating back three years. If a player has not submitted 20 scores, their H.I will be based on a proportionate number of scores.
  • Every golf club has a Course Rating which indicates the difficulty of a golf course for scratch players under normal course and weather conditions. This is similar to the current course standard scratch (SS). Bathgate has been allocated a course rating of 70.9 white tees, 68.5 yellow and 69.7 red.
  • Each course also has a Slope Rating which indicates the relative difficulty of a golf course for players who are not scratch players compared to those who are scratch players. Bathgate has been allocated a slope rating of 125 white tees, 121 yellow and 123 red.
  • All golf courses are different with varying degrees of difficulty, so before you play at any course, your Handicap Index will be converted into a Course Handicap.
  • Your Playing Handicap represents the actual number of strokes the player receives for the round being played. It is calculated from the Course Handicap and adjusted for any handicap allowances or restrictions within the Terms of the Competition.
  • The Playing Conditions Calculation (PCC) is a statistical calculation that determines if conditions on the day of play differed from normal playing conditions to the extent that they significantly impacted players’ performance. This is similar to the current CSS.

Calculating Your Handicap for Play:

Playing Handicap

  • One significant change to the new system is that your playing handicap on any given day will change depending on how difficult or easy the course is that you are playing. This means that if you play an easier course, your Course Handicap may be lower, and if you play a more difficult course, your Course Handicap may be higher. Here’s how it works;

Course Handicap

  • The Course Handicap calculation converts a Handicap Index into the number of strokes a player receives to play a course which has a Course Rating and Slope Rating. Your Course Handicap is worked out by multiplying your Handicap Index by the Slope Rating of the course you are playing divided by 113 (which is the slope rating of an average course).
  • Each golf club will display a conversion table, specific to each set of tees on their course, for easy reference to convert your Handicap Index into a Course Handicap.

The R&A have provided everyone with a simple calculator to help players calculate their course handicap when playing at different courses.

See attached


  • If you are playing in a competition, you would then use your Course Handicap to calculate a Playing Handicap as most competition play will not use 100% handicap allowance.
  • The Playing Handicap calculation enables equity amongst players of all handicap levels within different formats of the game.
  • Your Playing Handicap is worked out by multiplying your Course Handicap allowance for a competition (for an individual stroke play or stableford your Handicap allowance is 95%).

Playing Conditions Calculation (PCC)

  • Whether you are playing in a competition, or for a Supplementary Score, the new system will have a built in Playing Conditions Calculation (PCC) which will determine whether playing conditions on the day differed from normal conditions to the extent that an adjustment is needed to compensate.
  • The PCC will generally be performed once a day and requires at least eight acceptable scores to determine if an adjustment is required.
  • If significantly more players than anticipated attained their expected score, conditions are determined to be easier than normal and if significantly fewer players attained their expected score, then conditions are determined to be harder than normal. This is similar to the premise of the current CSS, but the PCC will be applied for ALL scores recorded on the day, not just competition play.

Score Submission

  • Scores must be submitted on the same day and your H.I. Is updated every day at midnight

Player responsibilities

Now that we have covered some of the different terminology which is the new World Handicap System will bring on 2nd November we will take you through what you need to do as a player.

On any given day when you are playing a qualifying round of golf, whether that is a competition,or for a Supplementary Score, you should check your Handicap Index beforehand.

Scottish Golf advise that the best way to do this is by downloading the Scottish Golf App or accessing their website. If you have not registered for either, you can do so by completing some personal details and using your CDH number (which is usually 10 digits and starts 400 for Scottish golfers). It is strongly recommended that all members download this app.

It may also be possible to view your Handicap Index via HDID, but this has yet to be confirmed as an option by Scottish Golf.

By using the above, you can also use a handy calculator which will advise what your Course Handicap for the day will be, depending on which set of tees you are playing from.

If you don’t want to use the online calculator, conversion charts will be on display in the clubhouse.

Before you start your round, you should write your Handicap Index and your Course Handicap on the scorecard. The next batch of scorecards will have specific boxes for these two figures.

At the end of the round, you enter your scores into HDID as normal, and the system will automatically apply the relevant handicap allowance for the competition.

Therefore, as illustrated above although the new system will take some time to get used to, the responsibilities of the player before their round are minimal.

You keep your score in the same way you always have, the main difference is that up you have to retrieve your Handicap Index before doing any calculations.