BY FREEMAN MAKOPA
THE Zimbabwe Golf Association (ZGA) has confirmed that it will be adopting the World Handicap System (WHS) next year.
A golf handicap is a measure of an amateur player’s ability to play golf. It allows players of all abilities to compete against each other equally and this is aimed at providing golfers across the world with a unified and more inclusive system for the first time.
Zimbabwe Golf Association president Mufaro Chivonivoni said in preparation of the WHS launch, courses in Zimbabwe are being rated by a visiting delegation accredited to the United States Golf Association and R&A.
“In preparation for the launch of the WHS, the courses in Zimbabwe are currently being rated by a visiting delegation accredited to the United States Golf Association and R&A. The rating process is expected to be completed on November 26. An extensive education program for all golfers countrywide will then follow as the implementation date approaches,” he said.
Chivonivoni said the changes in handicapping were meant to improve the sport.
“The changes in the rules of handicapping come immediately after the introduction of modernised rules of golf in 2019. All these initiatives are being done to modernise the sport of golf and make it more attractive. Zimbabwe adopting all these changes ensures that the rules of golf played in the country are in conformity with the current international standards.”
ZGA also hopes the change will assist in their current efforts to increase the number of people playing golf in Zimbabwe and improve the viability of golf courses across the country.
More than 20 countries from across the world will start using the system in January next year while others are expected to follow during the course of the year.
The whole Sadc region has adopted this system and the countries are at different stages of implementation.
The formation of a WHS was first conceived in 2011 between the different international golf bodies, and a key objective of the initiative was to develop a modern system, enabling as many golfers as possible to obtain and maintain a handicap.
Golfers will be able to transport their handicap globally and compete or play a casual game with players from other regions on a fair basis. There are more than 15 million golfers across the world who have official handicaps.