FAQs

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  • Can a competition be qualifying if we are using preferred lies?

    Medal Play conditions will apply not withstanding the application of a Local Rule for preferred lies during the period from 1st October to 30th April. Preferred lies may be used during that period but are not mandatory upon clubs during any part thereof. Outside that period Medal Play conditions will not apply if preferred lies are in operation unless the consent of the Union or Area Authority has first been obtained.
     

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  • Can we play a qualifying competition when all bunkers are marked as Ground Under Repair (GUR)?

    No, CONGU states that a qualifying competition may stand if some but not all bunkers are classed as GUR, clubs must ensure that the correct local rule (25/1b-ii) has been applied.

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  • 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:

    • Category 1 Handicaps of 5.4 or less.
    • Category 2 Handicaps of 5.5 to 12.4 inclusive.
    • Category 3 Handicaps of 12.5 to 20.4 inclusive.
    • Category 4 Handicaps of 20.5 to 28 inclusive.
    • Category 5 Handicaps 28 to 36 inclusive (Ladies Only)

    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).

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  • 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. All handicap increases can only be made by the players Home Club.

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  • Can my handicap lapse?

    If you are a member of a Club in England your handicap cannot lapse if you fail to submit a stipulated number of qualifying scores per year. All that is required to retain a handicap is that you continue playing membership of an affiliated Golf Club.

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  • Who can give me a Handicap?

    CONGU Handicaps can only be administered by the Handicapping Committee of an Affiliated Club. An Affiliated Club is a Club affiliated to a Union or Area Authority which pays to the Union and Area Authority a specified annual capita fee in respect of each eligible Member.

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  • Should my Club have a Handicap Committee?

    Absolutely. The CONGU UHS (Clause 6.3) requires a Club to have a Handicap Committee that comprises of at least 3 people the majority of whom shall be members. The day to day running of handicaps within a Club may be performed by a single person e.g. Club Secretary/Manager.

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  • Should the Club have a Mixed Handicap Committee?

    There is no requirement under the CONGU UHS to do so. It is however recommended that although each section of the Club may look after their own handicaps a mixed Committee should meet at least once a year to ensure a unified system of handicapping within the Club.

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  • What is CONGU?

    The Council of National Unions (CONGU), came into existence at a conference held in York on 14th February 1924. The conference was convened by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews as a means of enabling the representatives of the Golf Unions of Great Britain and Ireland to formulate a definitive system of fixing Scratch Scores and to arrive at a uniform system of handicapping based on Scratch Scores.

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

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  • What are the Stroke Allowances for Competitions?

    For 2016 onwards

    Match Play
    Singles Full Handicap Allowance
    Foursomes ½ the full difference between aggregate handicaps of either side
     Four-Ball 90% difference between handicaps taken from the lowest handicap
    Greensomes Lower handicap x 0.6 plus high handicap x 0.4

    Bogey or Par
    Singles Full Handicap if Competition is to be Qualifying
    Foursomes ½ of the aggregate handicap of the partners
     Four-Ball Each partner receives 90% of full handicap

    Stroke Play
    Singles Full handicap if competition to be a Qualifying Competition
    Foursomes ½ of aggregate handicap of the partners
     Four-Ball Each partner receives 90% of full handicap

    Stableford Competitions
    Singles Full handicap if it to be Qualifying.
    Foursomes ½ of aggregate handicap of partners
     Four-Ball Each partner receives 90% of full handicap

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  • What is a CSS?

    A CSS (Competition Scratch Score) is the SSS after it has been adjusted due to scores returned in the competition. Handicaps are then adjusted if the nett differential is higher or lower than the CSS.

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  • What is a SSS?

    A SSS (Standard Scratch Score) is the score in which a scratch golfer is expected to return in ideal conditions. The SSS may differ to the par of the course.

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  • What is the CONGU Unified Handicapping System?

    The CONGU Unified Handicapping System was prepared by the British Golf Unions Joint Advisory Council in 1925 at the request of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews and has been in operation throughout Great Britain and Ireland since the 1st March 1926.

    On the 21st March 1960 the British Golf Unions Advisory Council changed its name to the Council of National Golf Unions (CONGU) comprising representatives of England Golf, The Golfing Union of Ireland, The Scottish Golf Union, The Welsh Golfing Union and The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.

     The present scheme was adopted in 1983 based on the system used by The Australian Golf Union and amended editions have been published on the 1st January of the years 1986, 1989, 1993, 1997 and 2001, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016.

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  • Can we play qualifying competitions using winter tees and greens?

    Clause 13.1 of the CONGU UHS allows a Club to run qualifying competitions if there are temporary tees and not more than two temporary greens in play. The adjusted length however must not vary by more than 100 yards from the courses official measured length.

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  • How do I get a CONGU Handicap?

    To obtain a handicap a player must be a member of an affiliated golf club and shall submit such number of cards over 18 holes as his Home Club requires, but not less than three, at his Home Club (preferably over a Measured Course) each of which shall be signed by a person acceptable to the Handicapping Committee. Any score of more than 2 over par at any hole shall be amended to 2 over par. After these adjustments have been made an Exact Handicap shall be allotted equivalent to the number of strokes by which the best of the submitted rounds differs from the Standard Scratch Score. The Handicap Committee may allot a player an initial whole number Exact Handicap less than the best score if it has reason to consider that a lower handicap is more appropriate to the player’s ability. In exceptional circumstances a higher handicap may be allotted than that indicated by the best score.
    When a player fails to return cards justifying an Exact Handicap of 28.0 he may, at the discretion of the Handicap Committee, be given an Exact Handicap of 28.0. The players Playing Handicap shall equal the Exact Handicap allotted. An Affiliated Club may refuse to allot a handicap until a specified standard has been attained.

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  • Should my Club be running qualifying competitions through the winter?

    This all depends on the condition of your course. If the conditions of a qualifying competition can be met (measured course, not more than 2 temporary greens etc) then qualifying events may be played. Clubs should not run qualifying events when the condition of the course i.e. frozen greens does not allow for the proper playing of the game. The CONGU UHS does not require all events to be qualifying under these conditions.

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  • How do I become a member of the England Golf Member Benefits programme?

    If you are a member of a golf club, you can become a member of England Golf Member Benefits for free by going to www.englandgolf.org/members and signing up to 'Your EGU'. You will then receive a membership card through the post with your lifetime ID on it. This ID will allow you to track your handicap online.

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  • What benefits do I receive as a member of England Golf Member Benefits?

    By registering free online for England Golf Member Benefits, you receive a unique handicap ID on. This ID is specific to you and means you can take it to other clubs when playing golf instead of having a handicap certificate. You also are eligible for a number of discounts and offers with great brands such RAC, Golf Monthly and Your Golf Travel. You are also entered into our free weekly prize draws. For a full breakdown of benefits go to www.englandgolf.org/members.

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  • Do I have to pay more than one England Golf affiliation fee if I am a member at more than one golf club?

    No, You are only required to pay an England Golf affiliation fee at your nominated home club.

    The England Golf affiliation fee is payable annually (once per subscription year) by all members in a playing category of membership.

    The fee is payable for ALL categories of membership with the exception of non-playing or social members and includes Full, Senior, Junior, Honorary, Country, Overseas, 5 day, Individual Corporate members and also members who may take advantage of flexible pay and play arrangements which gives them membership benefits but not necessarily through paying an annual subscription.

    The requirement for an affiliation fee to be paid is NOT linked to whether the member has or wishes to have an official handicap. With regard to juniors it is deemed that the fee is only payable when the junior is given playing rights. Juniors who pay a nominal fee for nursery-type coaching would not be expected to pay a fee.

    It is recommended that all affiliated clubs itemise affiliation fees separately on invoices to members as a disbursement exempt from VAT. Fees so collected should be paid over to County Unions/Assocaitions in accordance with their collection timetable which is normally, but not universally, 1 January each calendar year.

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  • Where can I find information on the Equality Act 2010?

    View and download our guidance document, Equality Act 2010 and Golf, which also includes frequently asked questions for golf clubs and members. 

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  • Do current captains have to pay a membership fee in the England Golf Captains scheme?

    No, as the current captain of an affiliated club you are entitled to a complimentary year's membership.

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