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  • Writer's pictureOman Golf Association

Making Handicaps More Accessible

Golf is arguably one of the most inclusive sports that there is. By using different teeing grounds to suit a golfers ability and factoring in an official handicap it is possible for any golfer who plays the game to have a fair game against any other golfer, regardless of age, gender or ability.

In 2020 the most important element of this was made even more consistent when the World Handicap Scheme (WHS) replaced the previous 6 handicapping methods which were previously used around the world. For the first time ever, every golfer on the planet would have a consistent measure of their potential ability.

Historically only golfers who were members of golf clubs could obtain an official handicap, this often presented issues as it was quite common for golf clubs to only admit those who had a handicap as members!

It would be fair to say that the golfing landscape has changed significantly since then and there are an increasing number of golfers who do not wish to be a member of a single golf course, but instead would rather play a variety of golf courses. To accommodate for this many organisations, including the Oman Golf Association, offer the option for non-club-members to obtain and maintain an official handicap, and in doing so allow them to compete in competitions fairly against other golfers.

The World Handicap System has been devised to make the game more accessible, the requirement to gain an initial handicap index has been reduced to 54 holes and the maximum handicap index has been increased to 54.0 for both men and women. Most of the golf courses, including all of those in Oman, have been rated to allow golfers to select which tee is most appropriate for them in order to enjoy their game, red tees for the ladies and white tees for the men is not necessarily the case any longer.

These steps have all been made to attract more golfers to the game, and offering the option for all golfers to achieve an official handicap supports this. To find out more about becoming a member of the OGA and obtaining an official WHS handicap please visit


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