On November 2nd, the World Handicap System (WHS) came into effect in Ireland alongside the other Home Unions of England, Scotland and Wales.

While the previous CONGU Handicapping System was an incremental one, the WHS is an averaging system based using the best 8 of the last 20 scores on your record. This new system will provide maximum enjoyment for all by enabling all golfers, from anywhere in the world, to play and compete with others on a fair basis.

At this point, all handicap records have been transferred to the new WHS system, which will replace Golfnet. There are still some anomalies to be ironed out which we will try to rectify during the month of November – hopefully below points will answer a lot of peoples questions. If you have any questions please email – further updates will be sent during November.

Here are some things you will need to consider in preparation for the new system.

Do I need to do anything to transfer my handicap to the new WHS?
No, your handicap records will be automatically transferred and your club has been given access to the WHS platform in advance.

As the site comes online, which is likely to be during the afternoon or early evening on 2nd November, you will be able to create a new WHS system account. You will do this using your eight-digit CDH number and 4-digit PIN, both of which are printed on the rear of your GUI/ILGU Member Card. This will allow you to view your handicap index and further details of where to create this account will be shared on November 2nd.

If your PIN is missing from the back of your card, you can look it up on Golfnet or ask your Handicap Secretary to get it for you from Golfnet.

If you have lost your card then your club must order a new card for you so email your club and they can order one for you.

What if my handicap has changed significantly?
Don’t panic!

It is likely that your handicap index will change from your current CONGU handicap. This change is not an exact science as the data from an old system (CONGU) has been used to calculate new WHS Indices. While this has been done as accurately as possible, there will be some anomalies.

The Handicap Index you view on November 2nd will fluctuate as you begin to submit eligible scores under the new system.

However, if you feel that your handicap index is significantly inaccurate there is a recommended process to follow:
1. Members should first address their query to their Handicap Secretary/Committee.

Your club knows you and your playing ability. In the vast majority of cases your club will be able to make an adjustment to your Handicap Index and resolve the situation for you quickly. It must also be noted that this transition has been a huge effort for your club Handicap Secretary/Committee, all of whom are volunteers. We ask that you consider this workload when asking for your query to be addressed.

2. If the Handicap Secretary/Committee cannot answer the query, the Handicap Secretary should forward it to the ILGU Handicap Advisor or GUI Handicapping Convenor/Branch Office.

3. If the Handicap Advisor/Convenor/Branch cannot answer the query it should be forwarded to for the attention of the National Handicap Committee.

4. If necessary, Golf Ireland will refer the query to the WHS Committee.
The process of accurately assigning scores to courses/tees has been challenging. Scores from the old system were never linked with a course/set of tees. So, we’ve had to apply a set of rules to try to map scores to courses in the new system. Whilst this process has worked for the vast majority of scores, there are some scores that have been assigned to courses/tees other than those played on the day. In cases where this has a material effect on the calculation of the WHS Index, we’re working with your Handicapping Committee to apply a fix. Please bear with us over the coming weeks, while we complete this process.
How do I use my new WHS Handicap Index?
You will now have a handicap index which you can use in any club worldwide. Your handicap index will determine your Course handicap for a specific set of tees. Course difficulty is a significant factor. In simple terms, your handicap in Charleville may be different than that in Fermoy, Lahinch or for example a course in Spain. This system will cater for course difficulty.

Also, your handicap in Charleville for blue markers may be different than that off white. The attached sheets will allow you to determine your course handicap from your handicap index for whatever tee you play off in Charleville. To determine your handicap please see the example below and the associated tables (attached):

In the attached document – page 2 is the course handicap rating for the white tees – A player with an index of 18.1 (see left side of sheet) playing on white tees will have a handicap of 19, that same player if playing off the blue tees (See page 1) will have a course handicap of 20. Also included is Handicap Table Red Tee (Page 3).

In summary the main change is that now your handicap is all about handicap index and using the course tables to determine your playing handicap on a given course. Point ones, buffer zones, C.S.S are all a thing of the past.

More information on the World Handicap System can be found at

Kind Regards,

Men’s and Ladie’s Handicap Committees