It was another false start as the much awaited World Handicap System failed to take off today with Kenya Golf Union, KGU, citing delay in the processing of handicap indices by Club Systems International-the software partners.
KGU has set 12th February 2021 as the new date when the system will go live in all the country’s 36 golf courses that were rated.
Today’s postponement marks the third time KGU has missed the implementation deadline, increasing anxiety in the golf circles regarding the complexity of WHS. The 4th February migration date was set last week as KGU blamed the delay on “inconsistency with the women slope rating for golf courses in altitudes higher than 5,000 feet” which affected 31 golf courses in Kenya.
“After a lot of consultation between the two golf governing bodies, United States Golf Association (USGA) and The R&A, we have this week managed to get the correct slope rating for women golfers. This, even though is a great achievement for Kenyan golf, has had the inadvertent effect of delaying the creation of handicap indices for our golfers,” said Ben Omuodo, Chairman KGU, in a statement sent to clubs.
Omuodo expressed confidence that his team will meet next week’s deadline and disclosed that all the course rating certificates and electronic course handicap conversion charts have already been delivered to clubs.
“We realise that the delay in the migration to the World Handicap System has raised some disquiet among golfers. We would like to assure them that the Union is doing all that it can to get the system done properly and that we do not leave any Kenyan golfer behind in the process,” he noted.
WHS was launched in January 2020 in USA, South Africa and several countries in Europe and was initially scheduled to be launched in Kenya in September 2020. After missing last year’s global migration deadline, the union had hoped to switch to WHS from 1st February 2021.
The new handicap system will provide golfers with a “unified and more inclusive” handicapping system, unifying six handicapping systems. Developed by The R&A and USGA, it provides golfers a Handicap Index, which is a measure of their ability, and a Course Handicap which reflects the difficulty of the golf course being played. The player Handicap Index is calculated based on the average of the best scores for eight rounds from the most recent 20 submitted rounds of golf. It has a maximum handicap limit of 54.0, regardless of gender.