Handicapping – Is a Handicap Valid When Leaving a Golf Club?

Is a Handicap Valid When Leaving a Golf Club?

Another recent enquiry, concerning handicaps was:

A. If you have entered the required competitions to have an active handicap at the end of 2018 but do not join a club in 2019 is your handicap valid. There is a difference of opinion at our club- some say it would be valid for 12months and some say once you are no longer a member of a club your handicap is no longer valid. Your answer please.

A. It is a confusing situation for many because although CONGU state that as soon as you leave an affiliated Golf Club you lose your Handicap, they do state that if you re-join your club or another club within a twelve-month period your handicap can be re-instated at your previous level and if it held ‘c’ status then this is valid for the remainder of the year in which you left/resigned and the following full calendar year.

So, if you leave your club your handicap is lost immediately you leave, and this will effectively prevent you from playing in any handicap competitions/events.

Although having lost your handicap, if it was competitive (‘c’) when you left or resigned, the ‘c’ status remains valid for the remainder of the calendar year of resignation/leaving and for the full following calendar year.

The relevant clauses from the CONGU Unified Handicap System Manual are:

CONGU Clause 24.7.

24.7 A player’s handicap is lost immediately s/he ceases to be a Member of an Affiliated Club or loses her/his amateur status.

CONGU Clause 26.1.

26.1 A CONGU® Handicap is lost when a player ceases to be a Member of an Affiliated Club. When a player resigns from a club and joins another there is often a time interval between the two memberships. If the handicap of a player is to be restored within twelve months of the date on which his handicap was lost, or suspended, it must be reinstated at the same handicap the player last held. In restoring the handicap of a player whose ‘c’ status handicap has been lost in such circumstances that ‘c’ status shall remain valid for the remainder of the calendar year of resignation and for the full following calendar year. In all other cases the player shall be allotted a new handicap after he has complied with the requirements of Clause 16.

When a player has transferred to a new club within the same jurisdiction that player’s CDH number transfers with him. Clubs must obtain that number from the player (even if there has been a period of time when the player was not a Member of either club) and must follow the guidance of the software provider(s) to ensure that the CDH number is transferred correctly. In Ireland, a player transferring to a new club obtains a new CDH number.

26.2 When restoring a handicap which has been lost or suspended for more than twelve months the Handicap Committee, in addition to proceeding as required by Clause 16, must give due and full consideration to the handicap the player last held (see Clause 16.3). A Category 1 handicap must not be allotted without the approval of the Union or Area Authority if so delegated.

England and Ireland delegate responsibility for approval of Category 1 restorations to their Area Authorities. `Scotland and Wales make no delegation under this clause.

If you have held a CONGU handicap and CDH number, that CDH ID number and handicap goes with you (in Ireland each club will issue a new CDH ID number), so make sure that the handicap secretary of the club you are leaving has removed you from that club’s database. It is your responsibility, when re-joining your club or joining another club, to provide information on your previous golf experience and handicap. Similarly, it is a responsibility of the club to request that information. All handicaps remain in place for the calendar year after the player attained it.

Otherwise a minimum 3 cards must be submitted. The committee must take your original handicap into account when allocating your new one.

Enjoy your Golf,

Tony

Email: tony@my-golf.uk

Rules Blog: www.my-golf.uk

Rules of Golf – Playing a Ball Incorrectly Dropped

Playing a Ball Incorrectly Dropped

A recent enquiry concerned whether a penalty was incurred when a player played a ball that had been incorrectly dropped.

Q. Having dropped the ball from shoulder height, I have then hit the ball. I think that could be a PENALTY. If you have dropped the ball from shoulder height and realise your mistake you pick up the ball and drop from the knee and then hit the ball, I think no penalty. Would this be correct please?

A. Under the Rules of Golf 2019 you are allowed to correct a mistake before a breach of rule happens, if this is done before you make a stroke at your ball then no penalty may apply.

If you do not correct your mistake before you make a stroke at your ball, then penalties may be incurred.

In the case mentioned the penalty that would be incurred would depend upon where the ball came to rest and was played from. So:

  1. Decide upon the appropriate relief area in which to drop your ball.
  2. If your ball is dropped incorrectly i.e. not from knee-height or within the relief area, you may lift your ball and drop it as many times as you like, until you drop it correctly
  3. If, however, you drop your ball incorrectly and then play it, a penalty is incurred and the level of penalty will depend on where the ball came to rest and was played from:
    • If your ball comes to rest within the appropriate relief area and is played from within the relief area then the penalty incurred is 1 Penalty-stroke, both in Match Play and Stroke Play
    • If your ball, however, comes to rest outside the appropriate relief area and you play it from that spot, you incur the General Penalty of 2 Penalty-strokes in Stroke Play or Loss of Hole in match Play

Enjoy your golf

Tony

Email: tony@my-golf.uk

Rules Blog: www.my-golf.uk

Rules of Golf – Tree Roots

Rules of Golf Concerning Exposed Tree-roots

A question was received recently concerning Tree-roots on a Golf Cou

Q. We have several mature tree areas where we have previously, under local rule allowed free drop when the ball has stopped against a tree root and is likely to damage the club or cause injury to the player if played from its resting place.

We have felt that in line with our duty of care responsibility this rule should apply even when a ball is on a root in the rough.

Can we still apply this as a local rule?

A. Under the old Rules of Golf, the Committee was mistaken in adopting a Local Rule for relief from Tree Roots in the Rough. The Committee was only allowed to make a local rule giving relief from Tree Roots if an abnormal condition existed. Generally, it was considered that the existence of exposed Tree roots was not an abnormal condition and the premise that you play the course as you find it and the ball as it lies prevailed. Relief would have been available only under the Unplayable Ball Rule. However, if the tree roots encroached onto the fairway/closely-mown area of the course the Committee could have been authorised to make a Local Rule providing relief under Rule 25-1 (Abnormal Ground Conditions), for exposed tree roots when a ball lies on the fairway/closely-mown area. The Committee may have restricted relief to interference for the lie of the ball and the area of the intended swing.

Under the new Rules the Committee can choose to treat exposed tree roots in the fairway as Ground Under Repair from which free relief is allowed under Rule 16.1b.

The R&A, however, now recognise that in some circumstances, where exposed tree roots can also be found in the rough close to the fairway that they can treat such roots, within a specified distance from the edge of the fairway, as ground under repair form which again free relief may be obtained under Rule 16.1b.

Reference to this, and a wording for an appropriate Model Local Rule Under Committee Procedures, Local Rules 8F-(F-9), is copied below.

8F – F-9

Relief from Tree Roots in Fairway

Purpose. In the unusual situation where exposed tree roots are found in the fairway, it may be unfair not to allow the player to take relief from the roots. The Committee can choose to treat such tree roots in the fairway as ground under repair from which free relief is allowed under Rule 16.1b.

In some circumstances where exposed tree roots are also found in short rough close to the fairway, the Committee can also choose to treat such tree roots within a specified distance from the edge of the fairway, (for example four club-lengths or in the first cut of rough) as ground under repair from which free relief is allowed under Rule 16.1b.

In doing so, the Committee can choose to limit relief to interference with the lie of ball and the area of intended swing.

Model Local Rule F-9.1

“If a player’s ball is at rest in a portion of the general area cut to fairway height or less and there is interference from exposed tree roots that are in a part of the general area cut to fairway height or less, the tree roots are treated as ground under repair. The player may take free relief under Rule 16.1b.

[But interference does not exist if the tree roots only interfere with the player’s stance.]

Penalty for Playing Ball from a Wrong Place in Breach of Local Rule: General Penalty Under Rule 14.7a.”

Model Local Rule F-9.2

“If a player’s ball is in the general area and there is interference from exposed tree roots that are in a part of the general area cut to fairway height or less [or in the rough within specify number of club-lengths of the edge of the ground cut to fairway height or less] [or in the first cut of the rough], the tree roots are treated as ground under repair. The player may take free relief under Rule 16.1b.

[But interference does not exist if the tree roots only interfere with the player’s stance.]

Penalty for Playing Ball from a Wrong Place in Breach of Local Rule: General Penalty Under Rule 14.7a.”

Enjoy your Golf,

Tony

Email: tony@my-golf.uk

Rules of Golf Blog: www.my-golf.uk

Rules of Golf Quiz – Intermediate Level

Hope everyone is getting to grips with the new Rules of Golf and not finding them intimidating.

To help you further in learning the Rules I have produced a second quiz which is pitched at a higher level for you.

You can access the quiz by clicking on Rules of Golf Quiz Number Two

At the moment there are only nine questions; I will be adding more over the next few days.

My time was taken up producing the Guide to the Rules of Match Play.

Have fun.

Tony

Email: tony@my-golf.uk

Rules Blog: www.my-golf.uk

15, The Boundaries, Lympsham, Somerset, BS24 0DF

Rules of Match Play 2019

Well I hope everyone had a good Christmas and is looking forward to a New Year of great golf, under the 2019 Rules of Golf.

Because many clubs play Match Play, especially in regular Knockout Competitions, I have published a Rules of Match Play page on the My Golf Rules Blog.

There are a number of differences between Stroke Play and Match Play rules, which you must be aware of if you do not want to incur penalties or lose a match.

Certain specific rules governing match play are so different from those governing Stroke Play that combining the two formats is not recommended and in the previous Rules of Golf was not permitted.

The R&A and USGA have however recognised that groups of players, although entered into one competition often like to play a separate cometiton within their group.

The R&A and USGA have therefore included in the New Rules of Golf guidelines for dealing with these events.

You can read the Rules of Match Play on the Webpage or download your own PDF or Microsoft Word Copy from the page, by clicking on the download button below.

Enjoy your golf, and have a great New Year

Tony

Email: tony@my-golf.uk

Rules Blog: www.my-golf.uk

15, The Boundaries, Lympsham, Somerset, BS24 0DF