Your Questions Answered
Gender: the terms he/she, his/her etc are interchangeable in all answers]
Q: How can CONGU justify the use of full difference in Handicaps for matchplay? This has to favour the high handicapper. The old system of ¾ handicap was much fairer.
A. Click Here for answer
Do forms or categories of golf club membership such as ‘Handicap Only’ or ‘Competition Membership’ satisfy the intent of the definition of a ‘Member’ as contained in the CONGU Unified Handicapping System?
It is a matter for individual golf clubs to determine the nature of their categories of membership. However, forms or categories of membership such as ‘Handicap Only’ or ‘Competition Membership’ satisfy neither the spirit nor intent of the definition of a ‘Member’ as contained in the CONGU Unified Handicapping System and do not qualify for the allotment of a CONGU ® Handicap.
To satisfy the definition, ‘Members’ of a golf club should have a reasonable and regular opportunity to play golf with each other
including participating in Qualifying Competitions. Peer review is an essential component of the Unified Handicapping System.
Affiliated Clubs if, and when, considering the introduction of new or modified forms or categories of Membership can obtain guidance in regard to compliance with the definition of a ‘Member’ and eligibility for allotment of a CONGU® Handicap from their National Union / Association.
In addition, the Definition of a Member has been further clarified by inserting some minor amendments - these are indicated in red.
“A Member is an amateur golfer who is eligible to compete throughout the year in all Qualifying Competitions arranged by
Affiliated Club subject only to exclusion by virtue of one or more of the following:
(a) Restrictions imposed relating solely to the handicap of the players who may compete; or
(b) Restrictions imposed relating solely to the age or gender of the players who may compete; or
(c) Restrictions arising from category of club membership.
Notwithstanding the above, a Member must have the opportunity to compete in a reasonable number of Qualifying Competitions
at his home club
in a calendar year.
Under this definition a Member as defined by the UHS is not necessarily a member as defined by the constitution or rules of his Affiliated Club or Clubs”.
General Play Clause 23.b
This Clause permits the adjustment of a player’s handicap in ‘Exceptional Circumstances’ which is now clarified by the following FAQ.
Clause 23.7 of the CONGU UHS states that ‘In exceptional circumstances the Handicap Committee may adjust the handicap of a player in the period between Annual Reviews if there is compelling evidence that his Exact Handicap does not reflect his current playing ability’.
What are ‘exceptional circumstances’?
A. Circumstances that may be regarded as ‘exceptional’ include:
(a) Impaired golfing ability resulting from extended illness or injury.
(b) The need to correct a handicap that was allocated at an inappropriate level.
(c) The return of a series of good scores in Qualifying Competitions within a short timeframe by a hitherto infrequent competitor.
(d) A number of, probably three or more, good playing performances in Non-Qualifying competitions such as Mixed Foursomes, Four-Ball Better Ball events, Corporate or Society days by a player who otherwise may not participate with any regularity in Qualifying Competitions.
3. House / Social Membership
A Member holds a CONGU® Handicap. Her circumstances change and she converts to House Membership. When she reverts back to her original Membership will her Handicap still be valid?
No. When the player changed to House membership, (or any form of membership that did not allow her to play in a reasonable number of Competitions) her CONGU® Handicap was lost. However, if the player reverted to the old membership category within 6 months of the change the Handicap would be reinstated as it was. If the elapsed period is longer she would have to submit the number of cards required by the Club. The Club would take into account the previous Handicap and the time elapsed in allocating the new Handicap.
. Captain’s Day Visitors
hat is the status of a visitor’s score when she has been invited to play as a guest on Captain’s Day?
Provided the Qualifying Competition criteria are satisfied the score is Qualifying for handicap and the player’s score should be included in the CSS calculation.
5. Captains’ Away Days (and any form of Competition organised by a Club for its own members away from the home course)
What is the status of a player’s score returned following a Captain’s Away Day or similar competition?
scores are NOT Qualifying Scores for handicap purposes. They may however be recorded on a player’s Handicap Record and may be considered as part of the Annual Review or a General Play adjustment.
6. Aggregate Competition
What is an Aggregate Competition? May such Competitions be Qualifying Competitions?
An Aggregate Competition is a Strokeplay Competition where the completed scores of players are aggregated to form a “team” score.
Provided that the players constituting the “team” do not play in the same group such scores may be Qualifying provided that all other Qualifying Competition criteria are met. (Revised)
7. Preferred Lies
etween 1st May and 30th September does a Ladies’ Section have to ring the GUW Office even if the Men have put up a notice advising that preferred lies are in operation?
If the competition is being played on the same day, no (provided that permission had been received from the GUW).
If the competition is on a later date, yes. However, if the Men had been given an ongoing exemption (which will usually be time-limited) to cover specific conditions, within the ongoing period no separate application would be necessary
8. Scores from Non-Qualifying Competitions
A player plays in an away Non-Qualifying Competition and returns a good score. Is the player responsible for reporting the score to their Home Club?
Yes. The GUW requires players to return to their Home Club information regarding scores in Non-Qualifying Competitions. This information, in conjunction with other information, may only be used to adjust handicaps as part of the Annual Review or General Play procedures.
9. Validating Handicap Certificates
Do Handicap Certificates have to be Validated Annually?
A Yes. They should also be amended whenever a change in the Exact Handicap produces a change in the Playing Handicap.
[In the past the WLGU provided Handicap Certificate Cards and the GUW has decided to extend this option to all golfers in Wales who have a current CONGU handicap].
10. Computerised Sheet of Handicaps
an a computerised sheet of all the names of players from one Club be accepted at Open meetings in place of Handicap Certificates?
o. However, correctly printed out validated computer-generated CONGU® Handicap Certificates should be accepted.
11. Handicap Increase
Following a round in an Away Qualifying Competition may a player who plays above the Buffer Zone and knows that the 0.1 increase will trigger an increase in Playing handicap ring a member of the Handicap Committee of their Home Club to have the increase confirmed over the telephone?
No, she must report the score on the Away Scores Sheet of her Home Club as soon as practicable and wait for the score to be included on her handicap record.
12. Player Returns an Incorrect Score in a Qualifying Competition
In an Away Competition a player returns her card to the organising Committee and leaves the Club. The Committee subsequently discovers the addition is incorrect (or Stableford points incorrectly calculated). What should the Organising Committee do?
The Committee should inform both the player and the player’s Home club of the
13. Scores from Abandoned Away Competitions
Is a player obliged to return Scores from away Qualifying Competitions that have been Abandoned or designated Reductions Only after the CSS calculation?
Yes, even scores that are above the player’s Buffer Zone. In Abandoned Competitions the CSS is deemed to be the SSS. When the CSS calculation determines that the Competition is Reductions Only a CSS of SSS+3 shall be used to calculate decreases.
A player is obliged to return ALL scores from Away Qualifying Competitions. Handicap Committees should also ensure that such scores, when reported, do appear on the player’s Handicap Record.
14. Informing Players of Annual Review / General Play Changes
When players have their handicaps adjusted, either as a result of the Annual Review or by the General Play procedure, is it in order simply to post a list on the board rather than contact the players individually?
Technically, yes. However it is considered preferable to inform each player individually by letter, stating the reasons for the change, before any list is posted.
15. Player Responsibilities in respect of Reposting Nett Double Bogy (NDB) Adjustments.
What are a player’s responsibilities for reporting NDB adjustments.
For Competitions organised by a player’s Home Club such amendments will be done automatically by the handicapping software, or the Handicap Committee.
For Away Competitions, or Open Competitions organised by approved Committees at the Home Club (eg GUW or County events) the following shall apply:
Competitions run Manually
The player should try to confirm with the Organising Committee that an NDB adjustment applies and, if possible, get a copy of the card so that any adjustment can be verified to the Home Club.
Competitions run using handicapping software
The player should confirm that adjustments are being made automatically and that the scores are being returned indicating the reduction that applies. Even so, the player should report the score and adjustment to their Home Club.
Note 1: failure to report a score on the grounds that a player did not know the NDB adjustment to report will not be accepted as a reason for an away score not appearing on a handicap record.
Note 2: As prestige events generally publish gross scores unadjusted the score used for the end-of-season audit will not usually indicate the NDB adjusted score. Where a
NDB adjustment applies it is suggested that the player obtains a copy of the card and retains it to justify any large difference in the score on a player’s record and that on the official result.
14. Reporting Nett Double Bogey Adjustments when card does not have Stroke Indexes
In National Championships and some other prestige events the scorecard does not contain Stroke Indices. A player has an 8 on a Par 3 hole, clearly an NDB adjustment would apply, how does the player determine what it should be?
The player should obtain a copy of the card, if possible, and allocate the Stroke Indices as they apply on the Club’s scorecard and then calculate the NDB adjustment.
16. Competition Scratch Scores (CSS) for Qualifying Competitions run Concurrently
How many CSS’s should be calculated for Qualifying Competitions run concurrently?
If the competitions are played on the same day over the same course all using the same format (both Strokeplay, both Stableford etc) and are played from the same tees, one CSS shall be calculated if practicable. However if different tees or formats are used a separate CSS shall be calculated for each competition.
Note: A Competition played with separate handicap or age divisions shall be deemed one competition for CSS calculation purposes
17. Competition Scratch Score for a Single Competition where Competitors play from Different Tees (including Mixed Competitions)
A club runs a Competition where all players play for the same prizes but the players play from different tees, should two CSS’s be calculated?
No, the club should adjust the handicaps of the players playing the course with the higher SSS upwards to account for the difference in the SSS’s and calculate one CSS for the competition. For mixed competitions the handicapping software should allow such a calculation to be made.
18. Handicap Increases in 36 hole Competitions
A player enters a 36 hole competition, has a bad first round and does not go out for the second round. Should the player’s handicap be increased by 0.2?
No, handicap adjustments are based on the score returned over each of the 18 holes
and, as such, each are treated separately for handicapping purposes. Thus, although the player entered the competition as a 36 hole event for handicapping purposes he withdrew from the second round and therefore no increase 0.1 should be applied to the second round. Similarly the CSS calculation for round 2 should only include those players who actually played in that round.
19. Player with Two Handicaps
A player who is a member of two Clubs has an exact handicap of 12.4 at Club A and 14.2 at his second Club. Which is correct?
A. A player can only have one CONGU® Exact handicap so the situation should not arise. As a member of a Club with a handicap when she joined the second club she should have nominated which of the two was to be her Home Club for handicap purposes and this Club would be responsible for maintaining her exact handicap. At the other club she would be an Away player for handicap purposes and she must only be allocated a Playing Handicap but not an Exact Handicap. She should then report changes in her playing handicap to Club B which have resulted from changes in the Exact Handicap at Club A. She is also required to report all scores returned at Club B to Club A for inclusion on her handicap record.
20. Overseas Scores
What is the status of a score returned in an event organised by an organisation outside the jurisdiction of CONGU?
It depends entirely on the event and the organising organisation:
Events organised by Clubs affiliated to other Handicapping Organisations
Such scores should not be used directly to adjust handicaps but may be recorded on a player’s record for use as part of the Annual Review or General Play procedures
Events organised by, or on behalf of, a National Association
The scores should not be regarded as Qualifying unless they are from events approved by the GUW as Qualifying Competitions for handicap purposes. Such competitions will normally have a CSS (or CSA) calculated.
Scores from University / Collegiate events.
Scores from collegiate events cannot be used directly to adjust handicaps. If a player wishes to have such scores considered for adjustment the full season’s playing record should be submitted to the GUW. The Union will decide whether the scores warrant an adjustment being applied
Player holding handicaps under both CONGU and
Q. A player who is a member of a Club affiliated to an EGA country in addition to a CONGU Club plays 5 months a year in Europe, and the remaining 7 months in Wales, competing regularly in Qualifying events at both Clubs. When the player returns should his Club adjust his handicap so that the player’s CONGU Exact handicap is the same as their EGA Index?
No, any adjustment should be based on the player’s EGA course handicap not the EGA Index. The player should bring back the complete EGA Handicap Record. This will detail the player’s EGA Index and the Slope of the course regularly played. The equivalent to the CONGU Exact can then be calculated by multiplying the EGA Exact by (Course Slope/113). If the result is within 2.0 strokes of the CONGU handicap held before the player left no adjustment should be made.
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