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Scottish Golf Moves on World Handicap System

Scottish Golf

As part of the ongoing work on the World Handicap System integration, Scottish Golf has announced that it is working alongside other CONGU jurisdictions, The R&A and the WHS Interoperability Group, on a new pilot scheme.

The pilot scheme aims to develop and improve functionality of the World Handicap System for golfers and golf clubs and provide a greater connection between the operating systems of national associations.

This pilot scheme will provide a blueprint that allows the platforms to ‘speak’ to each other and allow greater connectivity between national associations in the future.

  • Phase 1 of the pilot will give all clubs in Scotland the ability to look up the Handicap Index of a player from England, Wales and Ireland.
  • Phase 1 went live in February 2022, all clubs should have the ability to look up handicap indexes from all other GB&I jurisdictions.
  • Phase 2 of the pilot will focus on the ability to automatically transfer scores from WHS-approved software providers for competition rounds played and submitted at clubs in England, Wales and Ireland to a player’s Scottish record and vice-versa.
  • Scottish Golf has announced that Phase 2 is now live and we have provided all WHS-approved ISVs with the updated API documentation.

Golfers can of course continue to submit their scores from all jurisdictions directly via the Scottish Golf App. Scores from over 36,000 courses worldwide can be submitted via this functionality.

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Scottish Golf says that this update will be welcomed by all golf clubs and golfers in GB&I who enjoy playing their golf across multiple jurisdictions. It sent thanks to its clubs for their patience as it works through connecting to even more WHS jurisdictions.

Playing Conditions Calculation (PCC)

Also announced was a change to the WHS Playing Conditions Calculation (PCC). The data provided by Scottish Golf and partners at CONGU (England Golf, Wales Golf, Golf Ireland and The R&A) has been pivotal in seeing the calculation change to become more effective. Scottish Golf welcomes the change and will continue to provide feedback and data to help ensure this is on the agenda for continued review.

Jurisdictions have been given until 24 January 2024 to complete the change, but Scottish Golf has taken the decision to implement the change straight away and will start the development work with its provider immediately.

Update from the World Handicap Authority (WHA)

Furthermore, Scottish Golf says that analysis of scoring data provided from 24 countries around the world indicate that a change to the rounding method used within the current PCC algorithm would increase the instance of an adjustment for abnormal conditions by an average of 5%. For example, in countries where an adjustment for PCC only occurs on average 10% of the time on eligible days, this change will increase the average to about 15%.

This small change, recently approved by the Handicap Operations Committee, is in response to feedback from National Associations that the current PCC algorithm is too conservative.

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