Nigerian golfers can breathe a sigh of relief as the Nigeria Golf Federation (NGF) will for the first time officially unveil the World Handicap System (WHS) that will provide golfers in the country with a unified and more inclusive handicapping system.
The WHS initiative which is the outcome of painstaking efforts of the NGF president, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, and members of board of the federation, will provide all golfers with a consistent measure of playing ability, and their handicaps calculated in the same way whether they are in Nigeria or any part of the world.
The WHS is developed by the United States Golf Association (USGA) and Royal and Ancient (R&A) in close collaboration with existing handicapping authorities. It enables golfers to transport their handicap index globally and compete or play a casual round with players from other regions and clubs on a fair basis.
The 10 golf clubs already rated in Nigeria in preparation for the launch are: IBB International Golf and Country Club, Abuja, Ibadan Golf Club, Ikoyi Club 1938, Abeokuta Golf Club and Kaduna Golf Club.
Others are Rayfield Golf Club, Jos, Ibori Golf Club, Asaba, Lakowe Lakes Golf Club, Lagos, Port Harcourt Club 1928 and Ikeja Golf Club.
Runsewe harped on the key features of WHS to include allowing flexibility in the format of play and allowing both competitive and recreational rounds for handicap purposes.
In addition, he said that the WHS will enable an average based calculation of a handicap taken from the best eight out of the last 20 scores and a calculation that considers the impact that abnormal course and weather conditions might have on a player’s performance each day.
Other features include timely handicap revisions, a maximum handicap limit of 37 for men and 46 for ladies that will encourage more golfers to measure and track their performance and a consistent handicap that is portable from course to course and country to country.
Runsewe highlighted the desire of NGF to work for golf and support the growth of the sport in the country as well as the development and management of sustainable golf facilities as the country rates and migrates all golf courses and clubs to WHS.