How Do I Find Out My Course Handicap? - World Handicap System

We explain Course Handicaps, Slope Rating and Course Rating in relation to the World Handicap System

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The World Handicap System is almost upon us here in the UK and Ireland, and there are a few key terms that you will come into contact with along the way.

The first is Handicap Index, which will be your handicap, decided from the eight best scores from your last 20 rounds.

Related: Have you got your Handicap Index yet? England Golf website goes live

However, just because your Handicap Index is 'X', that doesn't necessarily mean that you receive 'X' amount of shots when you play.

The number of shots you receive in each round will be decided by your Course Handicap.

To get your Course Handicap, you must look at the conversion table on the 1st tee of each golf course you tee it up on.

It will be your Handicap Index multiplied by the course's Slope Rating divided by 113 - you don't need to remember this as there will be an easy converter document on the 1st tee.

The formula is - Handicap Index X (Slope Rating ÷ 113) = Course Handicap

What is Slope Rating?

The course's Slope Rating indicates the difficulty of a golf course for a ‘bogey’ golfer (20 handicapper for a man, 24 for a woman) relative to a scratch player.

So essentially, the difference in difficulty of the course between a scratch and bogey player make up the Slope Rating.

England Golf describes it as:

The course rating indicates the number of strokes the scratch golfer is expected to take from a set of tees under normal playing conditions.

The course is also rated for a ‘bogey’ golfer and it is the relationship between the two ratings which indicates the slope rating.

Each course will have differing Slope Ratings from each sets of tees.

The Slope Rating of a golf course can range from 55-155.

Elliott Heath
Elliott Heath

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He has also covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as three Open Championships including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 4-6. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Honma TR20

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

2 iron: Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x