One Women & Golf reader shares her experience of the World Handicap System as a single figure golfer.

We’ve talked a lot about the World Handicap System over the past few months. And something that keeps coming up is that the new system seems to have impacted mid to lower handicappers more than anyone else.

So this week, we hear from one Women & Golf reader who has a Handicap Index of 6.5. She shares her experience and tells us what she thinks can be done to address some of the issues a lot of golfers seem to be facing.

She told us:

I’ve always played all club competitions, many opens and lots of pairs events with my husband because we like competing. It's lovely to win but it's not the be all and end all. For me it's about playing well and experiencing other courses. 

Now I've more or less given up on club competitions.

Ladies nine-hole competitions are being won with 26 points – unheard of before WHS. Medals are being won by mid to high handicappers shooting net scores of seven or eight under par. Fourball better ball open competitions are won with an excess of 50 points. 

Low handicappers just can't compete unless they have a rare, absolutely outstanding round.

I've just decided to submit most cards at my home club and work on my handicap. I'm not brave enough yet to submit cards from courses I visit because I want my handicap to go down ­– not up. But that in itself is an issue with the WHS; it can be easily manipulated.

We all know golf is about a lot more than just stablefords and medals. And we know there are a lot of golfers who would rather not play competitively at all.

But if more and more players are moving away from competitions, it does start to raise questions about the need to be a member at a club at all.

What I think we need to quite urgently do is find a solution that suits everyone; a space to compete fairly and a space to just play friendly golf if you’d prefer.

The two used to sit side by side pretty harmoniously before the WHS, and I’m sure there is a way to achieve that under the new system.

Because if we don’t, we run the risk of turning a huge segment of players away from the game. Like our reader says:

As a low handicapper, it's soul-destroying.

And it creates animosity.

So, what’s the solution?

“More gross competitions, handicap limits on competitions and compulsory submission of cards in all rounds”, our reader told us.

We’ve discussed before whether submitting every general play card could be a solution to the issues some players face with the new system. And I really do think it would go a long way to ironing out some complaints for the simple reason that the more cards a player submits, the more accurate their handicap is.

That may limit the number of competitions being won with usually unthinkable scores. And it may also remove some of the animosity because there can be no question that someone has manipulated the system.

What do you think? Share your thoughts by emailing me at [email protected].