World Handicap System

The World Handicap System came in to effect in January 2020. The new system is similar to the current system by the fact that it is based on the Course & Slope Rating System presently used by the USGA.

Please click on the following links for further information:

WHS – Summary of Rules (PDF)

WHS – Reason for Change Document (PDF)

WHS – Full Rules Document (PDF – 114pages)

R&A – World Handicap System (Website)

USGA – World Handicap System (Website)


BGA Handicap Services

The Bermuda Golf Association uses a handicap system developed by the United States Golf Association known as the Golf Handicap Information Network (GHIN). If you are a member of the BGA your name will entered in the GHIN system and you will be allocated a GHIN number which will enable you to enter your scores. As a member of a golf club in Bermuda, you have automatic membership to the BGA, but if you are not a club member you may also join independently, and are encouraged to do so by paying an annual fee of $50.

Benefits of a Handicap

Even if you are not a serious tournament golfer there are still benefits to having an official handicap:

i) It provides a benchmark from which you can monitor your progress

ii) You can play friendly matches against your friends on an equitable basis using the many formats that are available

iii) If, on a special occasion, you do decide to play in a tournament you will have an official handicap in which to compete fairly.

History of GHIN:

The inception of GHIN began in the spring of 1980 when a Regional Golf Association wished to change its handicap service vendor. In an effort to provide a quality service to maintain handicaps, the USGA® was approached and asked to help in providing this type of service. GHIN was organized and developed by the spring of 1981 and provided handicap computation services initially for the Metropolitan Golf Association, in New York.

GHIN has now become the world’s largest handicap computation service. GHIN is provided through 62 State, Regional or National Golf Associations to over 10,000 clubs and approximately 1.9 million golfers. GHIN is maintained by the United States Golf Association® and the staff is composed of USGA employees.

Any USGA Handicap Index® issued through a Golf Association by a golf club is designed to allow golfers of differing abilities to compete on an equitable basis and thereby increasing the enjoyment they derive from a round of golf. A Handicap Index is revised throughout the golf season and is based on golfers’ scores, as well as the relative difficulty of the courses on which their rounds are played.