Editor Emma Ballard speaks to James Luke, Head of Handicapping and Course Rating at England Golf, about the updates coming to the WHS and Course Rating in 2024

Earlier in November it was announced by The R&A and USGA announced the first update to the World Handicap System (WHS) as part of an ongoing review of the Rules of Handicapping and Course Rating System with a continued emphasis on accuracy, consistency and equity.

Important updates will include:

  • Inclusion of Shorter-Length Golf Courses Within the Course Rating System
  • Use of an Expected Score for a Hole Not Played
  • Playing Conditions Calculation Adjustments Made More Frequent
  • Enhanced Guidance on Conducting a Handicap Review

The updates have already generated a lot of discussion amongst golfers and in particular, W&G's Charlotte has talked about the potential positive impact it could have.

Today, we're joined by James Luke, Head of Handicapping and Course Rating at England Golf, to discuss the changes coming in 2024 and to answer questions sent in by Women & Golf readers.

It's a half hour discussion that covers a lot of ground from better understanding the updates, to the role handicap committees can play in making competitions fairer, to making the sport more equitable.

Do take a listen (via the video above) and let me know if you have any more questions - email Emma.

W&G Q&A Series

We previously spoke to James back in June as part of our Women & Golf Q&A Series in June. You may be interested to take a listen as it covers other ground around the WHS and Course Ratings:

First, we find out how Luke has settled into the role at England Golf after starting there in January and find out more about the recent WHS app update which has allowed for cross-border scoring in GB&I.

Then we dive straight into an area which we believe is a real women's golf issue at club level, course ratings and why not all tees are rated for women. James explains at length about the course rating process and why not all tees are rated for women.

We move through W&G reader questions which focus on competitions, cheating, general play scores, capping competitions, stroke index when women play against men, the role of the handicap committee and the length of golf courses.

England Golf has a large amount of resource around Handicapping and Course Rating - find out more here.

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