Explaining the WHS – No returns and 0.1 increases

What happens to my Handicap Index when I fail to submit my score? (NR)

Over 100 federations have successfully transitioned to the new World Handicap System (WHS) – a milestone achievement in creating a modern handicap system for all golfers everywhere.

Launched in January 2020, the WHS provides golfers with a unified and more inclusive handicapping system for the first time. Developed by The R&A and USGA in close coordination with existing handicapping authorities, the WHS provides all golfers with a consistent measure of playing ability.

The WHS continued its roll out to Great Britain and Ireland in November in 2020 and, so far, the system has been well received by both federations and golf club administrators, with players also seeing the benefits.

Feedback from across Great Britain and Ireland has identified five topics where golfers and clubs would benefit from further information and The R&A is offering further guidance on the below areas:

  • No Returns and 0.1 Increases
  • 20 Score Record
  • Mixed/Multi Tee Events
  • Playing Conditions Calculation
  • 95% Handicap Allowance and Equity

Understanding No Returns and 0.1 Increases

What happens to my handicap index when I fail to submit my score (NR)?

If the scorecard is not discoverable:

  • A ‘penalty’ score may be posted to your scoring record
  • Depending on where you live in GB&I, the penalty score may be posted automatically (which can then be overridden by your Handicap Committee, if appropriate) or it may be posted manually

If the scorecard is discoverable:

  • Your Handicap Index no longer simply increases by 0.1; the available hole scores are still taken into account – even if the scorecard is not complete
  • On holes that have been started but not completed – the hole score is recorded as a Net Double Bogey
  • On holes that have not been started for a valid reason – a hole score of Net Par is recorded
  • A Score Differential will be calculated on this basis and added to your scoring record and considered within a ll future Handicap Index calculations

Whenever a player fails to submit a score from an authorised format of play, the Handicap Committee should investigate the reason why, and take appropriate action.

For more information, The R&A have put together a handy explainer video which can be viewed here.