Rule 1 covers the fundamentals of handicapping, including:
The World Handicap System includes the Rules of Handicapping and the Course Rating System. Its purpose is to enhance the enjoyment of the game of golf and to give as many golfers as possible the opportunity to:
This is achieved by:
In order to use the World Handicap System, an Association must be authorized by the USGA and The R&A. Within its area of jurisdiction, an Authorized Association may:
The following trademarks and service marks are owned or licensed by the USGA and The R&A; all rights reserved:
World Handicap SystemTM, WHSTM, Handicap Index®, Score DifferentialTM, Low Handicap IndexTM, Course HandicapTM, Playing HandicapTM, Course RatingTM, Bogey RatingTM, Slope RatingTM.
Any organization that is not authorized to use the World Handicap System is prohibited from using these marks or any part of the World Handicap System. This includes the Course Rating System and the handicap calculation formula, except when the organization provides handicapping products or services to a golf club through an Authorized Association.
Players, Handicap Committees and Authorized Associations all play an important role in ensuring the Rules of Handicapping are being implemented and administered appropriately.
The main areas of responsibility for each key stakeholder are:
A player is expected to:
In order to obtain a Handicap Index that can be administered in accordance with the Rules of Handicapping, a player must be:
By returning a score for the purpose of obtaining or maintaining a Handicap Index, the player acknowledges that the use of their scoring record will be available for:
A player must designate one golf club as their home club, to be responsible for maintaining their Handicap Index. When a player is a member of more than one golf club, the player must ensure each golf club knows the details or which other golf clubs they are a member of and which golf club they have designated as their home club.