Handicaps and Rules
England Golf have just announced some CONGU CHANGES for 2018 (www.congu.co.uk)
Changes to the CONGU UHS System have recently been announced. In view of the proposed introduction of the World Handicap System (WHS) these changes have been kept to a minimum and take into account some of the options likely to be adopted in the WHS, principal of which is to encourage players to submit more scores to their handicap record.
The changes, which come into effect on the 1st of January 2018, are:
Retirement of Club & Disability Handicaps – As a result of their low impact these have been removed and replaced by a new Category 5 for Men and Category 6 for both Men and Women, providing for a maximum handicap of 54.0 for all golfers. Players will be able to maintain a Competition Handicap in all six categories. Upward adjustment for all categories will remain at 0.1 and downward adjustments for Net Differentials below Buffer Zones will be 0.5 for Category 5 and 0.6 for Category 6.
After 1st January 2018 Handicap Committees can increase handicaps above the current limits of 28.0 and 36.0, and they will also increase above those limits automatically as a result of above Buffer Zone returns in Qualifying Competitions and Supplementary Score submissions.
Supplementary Scores – Relaxation of the rules to allow an unlimited number of score submissions per year and removal of the restriction of one per week. However, the restriction on Category 1 players will remain in place.
Mixed Tee Competitions – Reinforcement of the single CSS Adjustment Calculation. Having a single CSS adjustment for two or more competitions will provide a more equitable value when one of the competitions has a very low number of players. To overcome the technical IT implementation issues, the approach agreed will be to enter all scores into a single competition (and so a single CSS Adjustment Factor is calculated) with a facility within the software to allow the results to be separated for each group of competitors.
Definitions – Confirmation that cards submitted for Initial Handicap Allocation are included in the definition of Qualifying Scores for handicap purposes. Accordingly a player whose handicap is allocated on the basis of such submitted scores under Clause 16 will automatically be allocated a Competition Handicap status.
9 Hole Competitions – Introduce the option of 9-Hole Medal Competitions and 9-Hole Open Competitions. For handicap purposes, the 9-Hole Medal scores will be converted to Stableford and will appear as stableford on the players handicap record.
Handicap Adjustments – Confirmation that the adherence to Appendix M (Guidelines for Handicap Reviews) is mandatory, not optional.
There will be no new hard copy of the CONGU® Manual, but an updated online version will be available on the CONGU® website, where a full summary of the changes will also be posted.
This document represents the substantive changes for 2018 – other changes, which are largely for clarification purposes, will be highlighted in the online documentation.
R&A World Handicap Survey.
Following the recent press statement confirming the development of a World Handicap System (WHS), the R&A and USGA are to embark upon some market research and advocacy work around the world to gather insights and feedback directly from golfers and other Club stakeholders on the key principles of the WHS, as well as some of the detailed proposals.
The research will be twofold:
1. Quantitative research – taking the form of an online survey in many countries around the world
2. Qualitative research – taking the form of focus groups in 6 key markets around the world.
England Golf will be hosting one of these Focus Groups and you will be asked during the survey if you would be willing to take part, if this is of interest please sign up and participants will be selected at random by the R&A.
This is a great opportunity for all golfers, irrespective of ability or handicap experience to have a say in the WHS. We are looking to get the views of Club Managers, Handicap committee members, Club Owners and PGA professionals as part of the survey, so please feel free to share amongst your club officials and your membership.
To take part, please follow the link below.
There are a couple of changes to both Handicapping and the Rules of Golf which came into place on 1 January 2017. Firstly, England Golf have announced that they are enforcing Clauses 4.5b and 8.12 of the CONGU Unified Handicapping System. These require players to return all scores in Non Qualifying Competitions. It is hoped that this initiative will provide clubs with more information regarding the true ability of players, especially those who play a lot of their golf away from their Home club. This will give Handicap Committees more information on a player’s performance when carrying out the Annual Review.
England Golf has produced an information document regarding these changes and a couple of templates for clubs to use; one for players to record their Non Qualifying scores and a second for Open organisers to report scores to clubs. Copies of these documents have been forwarded to all Bedfordshire Ladies Handicap Secretaries. For Open Competition organisers - Scores Return Form. For individuals to keep a record of your NQ away scores - NQ Open Return Form.
Players will need to know that they now have a responsibility to report away scores in all AM/AM, 4BBB and team competitions. Clubs will need to let their members know of this change and how they can report their scores from Non-Qualifying competitions back to their Home Club. This can be something as simple as having a book or log in the Pro Shop or a central email address they can use. Players who do not return these scores will be held accountable. Clubs will need to hold on to this information for the current golfing year and one previous golfing year.
Although the responsibility to report scores back to the Home Club is the player’s, England Golf also requests that clubs return the scores of the top 5 places in Open competitions to the player’s or team’s Home Club.
Scores from outside the CONGU handicapping system, Texas Scrambles, Foursomes and Greensome competitions are not required to be reported.
Work towards a Worldwide Handicapping System is progressing well. I hope to get further information soon and will pass it on when I hear any news.
The R&A and USGA have announced a new Local Rule which eliminates the penalty for a golfer who accidentally causes a ball to move on the putting green. This Local Rule can be adopted by clubs for their own competitions, and will be adopted by The R&A and the USGA in all of their championships, qualifying competitions and international matches. This Local Rule has also been incorporated into the 2017 England Golf Hard Card. There is more news on the on the R&A web site.
Finally, I would like to offer Rules Seminars to ladies’ sections of Bedfordshire clubs. I can offer two formats:
- A clubhouse based session with some introductory information followed by an informal quiz; or
- A practical session out on the practice ground with demonstration of rules situations.
Please contact me if you are interested in having such a meeting at your club.
BLCGA Handicap Advisor
LATEST ON RULES FOR THE FUTURE
The R&A and USPGA have been working on a fundamental change to the Rules of Golf that will come into place on 1 January 2019.
The latest England Golf Women's Newsletter can be downloaded HERE
England Golf Q&A on recording Non - Qualifying Scores HERE