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These two subjects are very closely connected, as the course ratings form the standard base against which handicaps are calculated.
The National Association (England Golf) has overall responsibility for handicapping and course ratings but it can delegate some of this responsibility to Regional Golf Associations (Kent Golf) or golf clubs.
For course ratings, these are undertaken by teams of local volunteer members, overseen by an approved county lead course rater. All ratings are undertaken in line with the USGA Slope standards and the data collected from course ratings is passed onto England Golf who maintain the data on the USGA CRS Platform and WHS Platform. Any proposed changes to courses should be discussed with the lead course raters in view of possible implications to your course ratings.
Handicaps are primarily the responsibility of the local golf clubs where the competitions are run. Returned score cards are collated daily and input into the WHS database overnight with amended handicaps being available before play starts the following day. There is a separate database that holds the club competition results. The maintenance of handicaps is the responsibility of club Competition and Handicap Committees, looking after the many competitions and also undertaking the annual handicap review due at the end of each year.
In all cases the County Secretary/Office should be the next port of call for queries, AFTER your club officers. The county has access to a wealth of information and experts, and in the vast majority of cases can provide answers to your more difficult questions.
IMPORTANT UPDATE - 25 April 2022
>> WHS Platform User Guide with Videos (Page 38 of the WHS Platform User Guide gives guidance on how to resign players. This is the process required when players leave your club as the correct membership data is then displayed on the WHS platform as well as allowing another club to pick up the player if/when they join another club.)