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WHS™ 2024: Reduced Minimum Course LengthFAQs on the reduced minimum course length for a course to obtain a Course Rating™ and Slope Rating™


Beginning in 2024, courses as short as 750 yards (9-holes) and 1,500 yards (18-holes) will be eligible for a Course Rating™ and Slope Rating™.


The following FAQs have been developed to explain how shorter length courses are being integrated within the World Handicap System™:


What is the new minimum length requirement be for a course and/or set of tees to be issued a Course Rating and Slope Rating?

The World Handicap System has approved a low-end limit for courses to be issued a Course Rating and Slope Rating of 1,500 yards for 18-holes or 750 yards for 9-holes. This is a reduction from the previous minimums of 3,000 yards for 18-holes and 1,500 yards for 9-holes.

As a result, more than 600 additional golf courses (mostly par-3 courses) now qualify for a Course Rating and Slope Rating if desired.


What are the benefits of this change?

Scores will be acceptable for handicap purposes at shorter length golf courses and the Handicap Index® can be used to determine a Course Handicap™/Playing Handicap™ for both casual rounds and competitive events at these shorter courses.

Also, as these courses are often played by either beginners or golfers with shorter hitting distances, it provides these players with the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of maintaining a Handicap Index.

Lastly, the change accommodates the growing number of short courses being built and shorter tees that are being added at full length courses.


How does a course that is now eligible get scheduled for a rating visit?

Any golf course interested in obtaining a Course Rating and Slope Rating is encouraged to contact their local Allied Golf Association. A facility is not required to have an authorized golf club for its course to be rated. If the course has frequent play by golfers with a Handicap Index, then it should be rated by the AGA.