Seniors Handicaps

From the start of this January, both men and women can have a competition handicap of up to 54

• What is a Handicap?

A handicap is a system to enable golfers of all abilities to compete on an equal basis.

Handicaps are divided into the following Categories:
o Category 1 Handicaps of 5.4 or less.
o Category 2 Handicaps of 5.5 to 12.4 inclusive.
o Category 3 Handicaps of 12.5 to 20.4 inclusive.
o Category 4 Handicaps of 20.5 to 28.4 inclusive.
o Category 5 Handicaps 28.5 to 36.4 inclusive
o Category 6 Handicaps 36.5 to 54 inclusive
A player’s Exact Handicap is his handicap calculated in accordance with the provisions of the System to one decimal place.

A player’s Playing Handicap is his Exact Handicap calculated to the nearest whole number (0.5 is rounded upwards).

Competition handicap
Regardless of handicap category, if you have completed three qualifying rounds in the year you are classed as having a competition handicap. This is indicated by a small ‘c’ in your handicap record. Competition handicaps are valid for the calendar year following the completion of the three qualifying scores. Many clubs require players to have a competition handicap in order to play in certain competitions and trophies. At Farrington you must have a competitive handicap to play in Senior Team Competitions. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have completed three qualifying rounds (or supplementary cards) during the year.

• Can I adjust my own handicap?
Clause 20.11 of the CONGU UHS requires a player to reduce their handicap downwards if they have returned scores in qualifying events that has reduced their playing handicap. They must do this before they play in another qualifying competition or match play event. Failure to do so would result in the player being disqualified from the competition for playing from a higher handicap than which they are entitled. Basically all Handicap Reductions are immediate.
To calculate your immediate reduction:
Subtract your net score from standard scratch for the course you played. This should produce a nett differential of below zero. Multiply this number by 0.1 for category 1, 0.2 for category 2, 0.3 for category 3 etc. This produces the number of shots needed to reduce your handicap. e.g. You are a category 4 player and have a net score of 67. The standard scratch is 71. Your net differential is 4 below zero. Multiply 4 by 0.4 and your reduction is 1.6. This change may be adjusted later when the competition scratch for the day is calculated. Handicap increases can only be made by the players Home Club.
Players must make every effort to maintain a handicap reflecting their current playing ability.

CONGU have made several directives which effect the way scores must now be reported to the Seniors Committee when a player takes part in Non-Qualifying Competitions at other clubs, Society Events and Non-Qualifying swindles at their own club.

It is now mandatory to return scores in the following circumstances:

1. If a player has played in a society event using his CONGU handicap under competition play conditions, then the score must be reported.

2. Clubs need to be made aware of a player's performances in swindles such as roll ups so that the handicap committee can use this evidence at the annual general review.

3. The individual club member now has an obligation under the CONGU rules to return scores from Open Non-Qualifying competitions at other clubs. As well as Non-Qualifying Stableford competitions this also covers 4BBB and Bowmaker team events.

To avoid being deluged with returns, it is only necessary to return scores when you (and your partner) are in the prizes or you perform better than your handicap.

So what does this mean for a Farrington Senior?
Basically you need to return a card with your score/s for the course you played, but only if you are in the prizes or have played better than your current handicap.
Please fill in your card fully e.g. SSS, name/s, date, tee colour, competition details, signature of marker etc. Either post in the competition box or hand to the Handicap Secretary.

What sanctions can the club impose if a player fails to meet their obligations?
A club may suspend a member's handicap under CONGU rule 24.1 if a player consistently fails to meet their obligation to maintain a handicap reflecting their current playing abilities.

How will these returned scores be used by the handicap committee?
It is expected that the odd above average score for a player will be ignored but evidence of regularly outplaying their official handicap will be used at the annual general review to inform about the change to their handicap.

You do not need to report results for Wednesday Competitions.

General Information
Farrington Seniors’ Handicap Committee: Roger Stone / Chris Liberty / Senior Captain / Senior Vice-Captain

Any of the above can be approached for advice on handicaps e.g. how to get your first handicap, the procedures for handicap adjustments on medical grounds, the implications of opting to submit supplementary cards etc. They will consider any request to adjust handicaps (either up or down) but you must realise that this can only be done within the strict rules set down by CONGU. Some of your questions may be answered by the guidelines set out below:

The committee keep a record on the computer of all your scores from qualifiers, but if you have additional evidence e.g. scores from home/away courses etc., please give them to any member of the committee so that they can be considered as evidence for changes to your handicap. The committee can not make handicap cuts on one isolated good score so you must provide compelling evidence of your improvement (e.g. two or preferably more good cards over a short period). The reported mandatory scores are also included.

So how do you first get a handicap?

Basically you must complete at least three rounds and get a fellow player who has a handicap to sign your card during a round of golf to ratify your score. You must make it clear which tees you use. These cards are used to determine your initial handicap.
Any fully completed and signed cards that you wish to be considered as evidence for obtaining a handicap should be submitted to any member of the Senior Handicap Committee.

How Can We Ensure Handicaps Are Reflective of Playing Ability?

Every player will endeavour to make the best score they can at each hole in every qualifying round and report all rounds for handicapping purposes.
Every Golf Club will, whenever possible run stroke play competitions as qualifying competitions, calculate a CSS and make all handicap adjustments strictly in accordance with the UHS
Every player will return a sufficient number of qualifying scores to provide reasonable evidence of their playing ability.
The CONGU Unified Handicap System 2008-11 has introduced a number of new clauses, which prescribe the way we handle handicaps, the significant clauses are:-

Clause 17.3 – Qualifying Scores / Qualifying Competitions
The declaration that a competition is a Non Qualifying Competition disqualifies all scores returned in that competition being used directly for handicap purposes. Performance in Non Qualifying Competitions is one of a number of factors to be considered in the Annual Review of Members’ handicaps.

Clause 19 - Stableford Adjustment

All stroke play scores shall be converted to stableford points for handicapping purposes.
Applies to Away Scores as well as scores returned at the Home Club.
It is imperative members submit all completed holes into the system as this may prevent an increase in handicap or in some cases result in a decrease in handicap.
How does it affect your handicap?
Even in medal play a no score or a 12 on 1 hole will do no more damage than a 0 on a stableford card. So in a medal it is possible to return a card with one or more disastrous holes yet remain in the buffer zone or even merit a handicap cut. One or more poor scores should not justify a Non Return card, because this will not automatically produce a 0.1 HCP increase. To protect your handicap you need to enter scores for every hole you play.

Farrington Annual Review of Handicaps

In January the Handicap Committee will use the computer to analyse the previous years records for all members and produce “The Annual Review Report”. The report is a list of all members who should be considered for a handicap change. It does this by producing a “Performance against Target” analysis. Don’t ask me how it does this!!!! The resulting figure, which is a mathematical comparison of the year’s competition results for each member, indicates whether they are eligible for an increase or decrease in their handicap and suggests the amount of the change. The committee uses this figure and a range of other evidence provided to them e.g. performances in non-qualifying competitions including Knock Outs, 4BBB Competitions, requests to raise handicaps on age or medical grounds etc. to inform them.
General Play Revisions of handicap are not subject to appeal as long as they are carried out within the CONGU rules..

EGU Central Handicap Database (CHD)

Every golf club will be given it’s own unique ID number and every club golfer will also be given his own unique ID number (10 characters long). Plastic cards with their own unique ID number will be issued to all members. This unique ID number will follow you if you move to another club as will all your qualifying handicap and competition records. The Central Handicap Database holds the records of every golfer in every club in England.

By going online members can use their unique ID number to:-
· View their current handicap
· View their complete record of competition scores
· Request handicap certificates
· There is an option to access handicap changes by SMS text

Clubs can view handicaps of any English Club Golfer from their name/dob and also find that golfers unique ID number.

In future clubs will almost certainly ask for your unique ID number when you enter Open competitions, as this will enable them-to:
· Establish if you have an active handicap (usually a requirement of entry)
· Simplify the entry of away players details into the computer and check on their handicap
· Automatically return your competition score to your home club for handicap changes

Qualifying Competitions

The majority of changes to Senior’s Handicaps are expected to take place as a result of taking part in qualifying competitions. Such competitions are the Wednesday monthly medal / monthly stableford, Senior Opens and other Farrington weekend qualifiers. The scores from any qualifier are entered into the computer and after comparing the score to the computer produced ‘Competition Scratch Score’ the computer applies a calculation and automatically adjusts handicaps. Any changes will be posted on the PSI.

REMEMBER: Reduction in Handicap is a reward not a penalty

What value do we put on a handicap?

An extract from the English Golf Union Website helps us to understand how we value a handicap.

“The way the CONGU system works is that a typical Category 1 player is expected to play about 2 strokes above his handicap on an average day. Category 4 players can expect a short fall of about 6 or 7. Put another way a player who finds that he plays to an average handicap of 28 will probably find that he has a handicap of 21/22.”

Supplementary Scores

1. There is no limit to the number of supplementary scores you can return.

2. Supplementary Scores are Stableford scores, which may only be returned at the Home Club of the player.

3. Supplementary Scores are available to all players.

4. The round must comply with the Rules of Golf and the completed card must be counter signed by a playing partner who has a recognised handicap.

5. Players must register their intention to take out a Supplementary Score before going out to play. To do this collect a stamped and dated score card from the Pro shop and enter your name in the Supplementary Card Book.

6. Play must be over a Measured Course under Competition Play Conditions. No CSS to be calculated. Changes of handicap to be against the SSS.

9. Supplementary Scores are for increase as well as reduction of handicap.

8. Stroke Play returns shall be subject to Stableford / Net Double Bogey adjustments (maximum net double bogey on any hole) in compliance with Clause 19 before the card is used for handicap adjustment.

9. Supplementary scores are recorded in your Player Handicap Record.

10. Players who have recently been awarded a CONGU handicap qualify immediately for the return of Supplementary Scores.

11. Remember a 0.1 increase should be applied when a player does not return a score after signing their intention to use the round for a Supplementary Score.

12. Returns may be subject to action under Clause 23 if ‘manipulation’ is suspected.

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