Handicap Information

Dear Members,

I hope you will find these notes useful and informative. If you have any questions please contact Maureen Harman, Berkshire Handicap Advisor at handicapadvisor@bclga.co.uk.


The first port of call for all handicap queries should be directed to the Club/Ladies Handicap Secretary. Each Handicap Secretary should have a copy of the CONGU Unified Handicapping System 2012-15 book which should be referred to for queries. If a satisfactory answer cannot be found, please contact handicapadvisor@bclga.co.uk. If you have access to the CDH you can also open an enquiry through that channel which will be directed back to the County Handicap Advisor. If the County Handicap Advisor needs further advice it will be taken to the Regional Handicap Advisor and ultimately England Golf.


The Annual Review of Handicaps should be completed by 28 February 2015. Once the Annual Review Report has been run from the computer software the Handicap Committee should meet to discuss the recommendations. Individual playing records should be available and all evidence considered before any alterations are made (see Clause 23, pages 42-45 in CONGU Handicapping book). Once the Committee makes its recommendations, each player affected should be notified. It should not be a case of asking a player if she would like her handicap increased or decreased. In fact, not acting on recommendations which leave players with handicaps that are too low could well affect every other handicap in the club, due to the potential impact on the CSS. This is particularly relevant in Qualifying Competitions with small fields. Increases recommended in the Annual Review Report should be implemented unless the Handicap Committee has good reason (e.g. performance in Non Qualifying Competitions, match play etc.) not to apply an adjustment.


It is very difficult for a Handicap Secretary to know if someone's playing record contains all of their Qualifying scores, particularly Away scores. Most individuals now have access to their playing record through the club's software so there is no excuse for uncertainty. On occasion, when you know of players who have competed in opens, county or national competitions please check records to ensure all scores, in all rounds, have been returned.


It is suggested that some Clubs do not always apply ESR as all software applications currently allow the user to decline the additional reduction. It is strongly advised that all Exceptional Scoring Reductions are accepted. See pages 45-46 of CONGU Handicapping book.


There is now a tool on the England Golf website for calculating handicap allowances for Mixed Golf. This tool was recently uploaded to the website and uses an Excel spreadsheet to calculate the allowance. Enter "Mixed Golf" in the search box on the EG website to find the page quickly.


The use of CDH numbers on entry forms for Open competitions should be encouraged. However, this can cause a problem when the organiser of the Open does not have access to the CDH. If any organisers would like these details please contact handicapadvisor@bclga.co.uk


Around 10,000 players responded to the recent handicap survey and the findings are available on the England Golf website.


Statistics are showing that the maximum handicap should be around 42. The Handicap and Course Rating Committee are discussing whether the maximum CONGU handicap should be increased to encourage more new golfers to play in competitions or to reflect their true playing ability.


The EG technical Committee are currently looking at developing an application so that the CONGU manuals are available on tablets and phones.


You should have received information about some regional handicapping seminars to which all club handicap secretaries are invited and you are strongly encouraged to attend. These will be interactive sessions focusing on key issues faced within clubs, guidance using the CDH, an introduction to the new Course Rating system and an opportunity to put questions to the experts. The nearest sessions to Berkshire are April 27th at Leatherhead GC in Surrey and April 28th at Magnolia Park GC in Buckinghamshire. If you have not received details about these sessions - registration, cost, times, etc. please contact secretary@bclga.co.uk


In 2016 the golfing year will revert to starting on 1st January in line with all the different Handicapping Authorities.

The Four Ball (better ball) match play allowance will be for the lowest handicap to concede strokes to the other players based on 90% difference between full handicaps.

Handicap Advisor
February 2015

Further Information

County Handicap Advisor
Terri Wright
July 2015 - Congu Handicapping Changes for 2016
May 2015 - Handicap Presentation
2014 CONGU Handicapping Changes
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