Starting 1 January 2020, the World Handicap System™ is introduced, but implementing will take place during the year 2020, depending on the country or region.
The World Handicap System (WHS) unifies the six existing handicap systems and provides every player in the world with a consistent measure of ability. The WHS enables players of different abilities, from anywhere in the world, to play with or compete against others on a fair basis.
It is still unclear however, if or when the new world handicapping system will be implemented in Thailand, because the new world handicapping system will bring about several issues for Thailand.
Firstly, most Thai golfers and expat golfers in Thailand do not belong to a golf club. This creates the issue of how will Thai nationals and foreign expats that do not belong to a club go about obtaining and maintaining their handicaps, will they need to become members of golf clubs to have the opportunity to have a worldwide officially recognised handicap? This could have a huge negative effect on the state of golf within the country and ramifications for the many golfers and clubs.
Secondly and perhaps the most worrying thing about the proposal is the need to have a designated organisation within each country to implement the system and ensure the integrity and application of the system within the country.
The only organisation in Thailand that can issue any kind of official handicap at present is the Thai Golf Association (TGA) so an obvious choice for this responsibility would be this organisation, but the question is wether the TGA is capable of coping with this task.
Therefore the universal handicapping system, although a wonderful idea and a long time coming, would be difficult to integrate into the Thai golfing culture as certain requirements simple cannot be met here in Thailand.
The golfing culture in Thailand would simply not change or keep pace with the rest of the world in handicapping terms and it is not likely that the universal handicapping system will have any kind of impact on golf handicapping here in Thailand.
For the Cha-Am Golf Club, there is nothing else to do than wait and see what initiatives the TGA will take. Until that time, our club will apply the 36 handicapping system for larger tournaments and we encourage our members to maintain their handicap in their home country, as far as that is not Thailand.
Posted by Paul Graff
Sources: https://www.usga.org https://birdie.in.th/en/blog/news/world-golf-handicapping-system---impact-on-thailand--163
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