If you have a question about your handicap, that can't be answered by your Club Handicap Committee please feel free to submit an enquiry below: 

Handicap Update

Following a number of questions from club we would like to confirm the following: 

Supplementary Scores for Category 1 Golfers:

If a player in this category holds a `competition` handicap they are unable to return any supplementary score until 1st September and then only if they have not returned enough scores to maintain their competition handicap beyond the 1st Jan. ( as in the CONGU book Clause 21)

If a player in this category has lost his `competition` status they are entitled to return 3 supplementary scores to regain the `competition` status. Please note this is a digression for England Golf and has been missed out the CONGU book but is included in the software specification.

Preferred Lies:

In response to current weather conditions across the country England Golf is going to extend the period for preferred lies until 31st May 2016. 

The following local rule wording must be used:

’A ball lying on a closely mown area through the green may be lifted without penalty and cleaned. Before lifting the ball, the player must mark its position. Having lifted the ball, he must place it on a spot within 6 inches [150mm] of and not nearer the hole than where it originally lay, that is not in a hazard and not on a putting green.

A player may place his ball only once, and it is in play when it has been placed (Rule 20-4). If the ball fails to come to rest on the spot on which it is placed, Rule 20-3d applies. If the ball when placed comes to rest on the spot on which it is placed and it subsequently moves, there is no penalty and the ball must be played as it lies, unless the provisions of any other Rule apply. If the player fails to mark the position of the ball before lifting it or moves the ball in any other manner, such as rolling it with a club, he incurs a penalty of one stroke.`

Note: ’Closely Mown Area” means any area of the course, including paths through the rough, cut to fairway height or less.

Penalty for breach of Local Rule: Match play – Loss of hole; Stroke play – Two strokes

If a player incurs the general penalty for a breach of this Local Rule, no additional penalty under the Local Rule is applied‘

Note:Competition Play Conditions will only apply when the specified area is within six inches (150 mm). See Clause 15.3

Bunkers marked as GUR.

This has caused some debate within CONGU as to the impact of Bunkers can have on a competition retaining it qualifying status.

CONGU state that when `some bunkers` are out of play due to maintenance, and are marked as GUR an qualifying competition can be played.

What counts as some?

England Golf advise that if more than 50% of bunkers are out of play due to maintenance or weather conditions then the competition must be declared as a non-qualifier.

CONGU had previously suggested that all bunkers could be out of play but this is likely to have an effect on the SSS/CSS and this also goes against a ruling from the R&A re flooded bunkers ( See below)

Local Rule Providing Relief Without Penalty from Bunker Filled with Casual Water


May a Committee make a Local Rule allowing a player to drop out of any bunker filled with casual water, without penalty, contrary to Rule 25-1b(ii)?


No. The Committee may not make a Local Rule providing generally that flooded bunkers are ground under repair through the green, as such a Local Rule waives a penalty imposed by the Rules of Golf, contrary to Rule 33-8b.

However, in exceptional circumstances, where certain specific bunkers are completely flooded and there is no reasonable likelihood of the bunkers drying up during the round, the Committee may introduce a Local Rule providing relief without penalty from specific bunkers. Prior to introducing such a Local Rule, the Committee must be convinced that such exceptional circumstances exist and that providing relief without penalty from specific bunkers is more appropriate than simply applying Rule 25-1b(ii). If the Committee elects to introduce a Local Rule, the following wording is suggested:

“The flooded bunker on [insert location of bunker; e.g. left of 5th green]is ground under repair. If a player’s ball lies in that bunker or if that bunker interferes with the player’s stance or the area of his intended swing and the player wishes to take relief, he must take relief outside the bunker, without penalty, in accordance with Rule 25-1b(i). All other bunkers on the course, regardless of whether they contain water, maintain their status as hazards and the Rules apply accordingly.”

In a competition played over more than one round, such a Local Rule maybe introduced or rescinded between rounds.

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