CONGU announce big changes to handicaps

CONGU has announced a number of changes to the handicap system

congu New CONGU Category Five And Six Handicaps Come Into Effect

The new CONGU revisions include changes to handicap allowances

CONGU and England Golf have announced a number of changes to the handicap system for 2016/17 that will take effect from 1st January 2016

CONGU changes explained


CONGU and England Golf have announced a number of changes to the handicap system for 2016/17.

The changes will take effect from the 1st of January 2016, and the highlights include:

New 28+ handicaps for men

It was agreed that no change would be made to the existing handicap category boundaries. However a new 'Club Handicap' will be introduced for clubs who wish to allocate a handicap higher than 28/36 for use in club run events. This handicap will only be valid at the player’s home club and cannot be used in opens etc.

CSS to include Cat. 4 players

The Competition Scratch Score for men will now to include Category 4 players in the same manner as Ladies CSS calculation.

Related: SSS and CSS in a nutshell

Nine hole qualifying scores

If you score better than, or within, buffer you will have 18 points added to create an 18 hole score. If your score returned is outside buffer, it will be doubled, while nine hole scores will also be included in the ESR process.

Continuous handicap reviews

A new process is to be introduced that will flag players who notch up seven consecutive 0.1 handicap increases, allowing their Handicap Committees to review and apply an immediate handicap increase if required.

4BBB handicap change

The allowance for fourball better ball has been increased from 3⁄4 to 90%.

Competition Status

Re-allocation of ‘c’ status handicap will require scorecards for 54 holes, in any permutation of nine and 18-hole scores. All Unions and Associations are to use ‘c’ Competition Handicap Status from 1st January 2016. Reactivation of ‘c’ status after a handicap is lost is now possible if a player with a Competition Handicap leaves club membership but re-joins within a period of 12 months.

Supplementary scores

Supplementary scores may now be returned at all GB&I clubs of which a player is a member, and are acceptable over nine holes for handicap categories of 2 and above, while there is no limit for handicaps 28/36 to 54.

Exceptional Scoring Reductions (ESRs)

The ESR table has been amended to reduce severity of reductions, and ESRs will only be applied based on a pair of exceptional scores.

Preferred Lies

Each National Union to have discretion to adopt a preferred lie period within their jurisdiction. England Golf will remain as the 1st of October to the 30th of April. Any clubs using preferred lies outside this period must be authorised by its County Union or Association.

Jake O'Reilly specilaises in equipment coverage, and joined the Golf Monthly team in 2013. Before this he graduated from the University of Huddersfield with a Sports Journalism and Media degree, and worked at a number of British golf magazines. Follow Jake on Twitter @jake0reilly