Astbury Golf Club

Astbury Golf Club

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The course is open. No buggies. The winter tee mat will be in use on the 5th.
Thank you. (updated 26 October at 06:48)

In preparation for the upcoming World Handicapping changes, we've developed an unofficial tool, that takes a look at the forthcoming World Handicapping System (WHS) and helps you get used to the ideas behind it.  It uses the WHS terminology of Handicap Index, Slope, Course Handicap, Playing handicap to help get you used to how the scheme is expected to work. Once the terms are familiar press the button to try it out... 

AGC Handicap Gizmo

Before You Use The Gizmo Here's Refresher On WHS Terminology. 

1. Handicap Index will become the measure of what you are likely to score on a course of Standard  Difficulty. If you think about it, for most players, your current UK Handicap is really a measure of how you can play at your home club. We all know that some home clubs are more difficult than others so two players on the "same" handicap from different courses might be of quite different standards. At present we should really be saying something like I am 14 handicap at Astbury and the other person would say I am 14 handicap at Birkdale. But we don't currently have a mechanism for making an adjustment between the two. Your HANDICAP INDEX is different from what we currently think of as your playing handicap. When you play you will use a Course Handicap - that takes account of how hard the course is that you are playing on, and your Handicap Index will be used to calculate it. (See 4 below). When the scheme is fully up and running your Handicap Index will be based on the best 8 scores from your last 20 rounds and will be recalculated every time you submit a new singles score (from any course).

2Slope. The WHS approach addresses the variation in difficulty of courses by rating how difficult a course is compared to a "standard one". This rating is called The Slope and it's a number between 55 and 155. Astbury is, for instance, slope 131 for men, 126 for Ladies and 129 for seniors. Birkdale is 138 for Men - so it's harder. {Try not to think about why they are such wierd numbers just yet!}.

3. Standard Course. The SLOPE is an indicator of how difficult a course is compared to the "Standard Course" - The slope of "the Standard course" is 113. With this standard set then everyone's handicap index will be based on that "same course standard" ( i.e. as if we all played on a course of slope of 113). That means, when using handicaps, we are now talking about the same measure and we can compare handicaps between players from different clubs. That measure is the Handicap Index. For home courses with a SLOPE >113 ( like Astbury) you can expect your Handicap Index to be lower than your current EGU Handicap, but don't panic yet, because you don't play your golf using your Handicap Index, you use your Course Handicap - see below. 

4. Course Handicap. Now that we have Handicap Index standardised ( based on the course with Slope 113) we can look how it varies depending which course you are about to play and how hard that course is.  So when playing a course you will need to work out your Course Handicap ( on the course you are about to play).

Course Handicap is calculated based on

    a) your Handicap Index and

    b) The Slope of the course you are about to play compared to the standard Course. i.e. is it harder or easier.

5. Just like current handicaps your Course Handicap  needs to be calculated every time before you play, because your Handicap Index can change based on your results of recent games. Note that in the new scheme everyone's Handicap Index will be held, by the EGU centrally. Also so will your most recent scores. We will produce an update on this once we have absolute clarity on how that part will work and what it means to you.

6. And, for those of you still following all this, when playing most of your golf at your home course, your Course Handicap will be pretty close to your current EGU handicap. Which is what you would expect really isn't it? But if you invite someone from another course to play at your home course then their course handicap needs to calculated to balance out any differences between the two home courses. This means two players from different courses can play on the same day, on the same course, more fairly.

Once you are used to this terminology then you can use the Astbury Gizmo to :-

  • * Get an estimate of what your Handicap Index might roughly be now - Ahead of the new scheme really starting in November
  • * Investigate course slope details all round the world - many have already been rated .
  • * See what you would "play off" on any course in the world.

When the scheme gets introduced for real, the club's handicap software will manage much of this and your handicap index will be calculated by the handicapping system after every score returned and will vary.



More “WHS Resources