2023 Update to the Guidance to the Rules of Handicapping as Applied to GB&I, England, Wales and Ireland.

The Guidance to the Rules of Handicapping as Applied to GB&I, England, Wales and Ireland has been updated for 2023. Version 1.7

The Guidance to the Rules of Handicapping as Applied to GB&I – Scotland Version 1.7 will be available soon.

The changes to note in this version, Version 1.7 are:

  • Directive added that scores for initial handicaps do now need to be pre-registered and reinforcement that such cards do need to be pre-registered.
  • Advice added that the Committee is responsible for the players handicap on the scorecard (unless a local rule to the contrary is in place). Added advice that the local rule is not recommended by CONGU®.
  • Removal of DQ sections for no or wrong handicap on scorecard.
  • Additional advice regarding the retention of scorecards.
  • Clarification of the situation of returning scores from outside GB&I until interoperability is in place.

Scores submitted from outside GB&I must be returned by the player to his/her home club as soon as possible after the round along with the PCC for the day played. This score can then be added to the players’ record. Until global operability is in place, any international score (outside of GB&I) with a known PCC value, that is being manually recorded is adjusted by an equal opposite value, changing the adjusted gross score.

  • Confirmation of the make-up of the Handicap Committee.

The Committee must be made up of at Least 3 people and most of these should be members (this is part of your affiliation requirement so it’s vital that it is in place all year round). This is a CONGU®/ England Golf Requirement and is not part of the Rules of Handicapping.

  • Definition of an Elite Golfer added.

CONGU® direct that the definition of an Elite Golfer is a male golfer with a Handicap Index of 0.0 or lower, or a female golfer with a Handicap Index of 2.0 or lower.

  • Removal of the reference to 4BBB and Match Play trial for Golf Ireland.

Golf Ireland have now abandoned their trial of accepting scores from Match Play and 4BBB formats and fallen inline with the rest of GB&I.

The acceptance of scores from 4BBB s is still under discussion and may be adopted by all UK Nations in the future.

  • Where there is local rule for a player to record handicap on card, Golf Ireland direct that Handicap Index is a minimum requirement.

Under the Rules of Golf (2023), unless an appropriate local rule to the contrary is in place, it is a Committee Responsibility to enter a players’ handicap on the card, and a player can no longer be disqualified by a failure to record a handicap on the score card. The CONGU® recommendation is NOT to implement such a local rule. In situations where the local rule has been implemented, the following advice applies:

To avoid a DQ under Local Rule the player must put his/her Course Handicap on the scorecard. This is expressed as an integer and represents the number of strokes the player receives for handicap purposes for both Competition scores and General Play returns. Golf Ireland direct that recording the Handicap Index is a requirement in Ireland.

  • Add Golf Ireland requirement for Handicap Index to be on the Card.
  • Add recommendation for Par + 5 for Maximum Score format.
  • Remove reference to Golf Ireland in Most Likely Score section.

You can download an updated version of the Guidance to the Rules of Handicapping as Applied to GB&I – England, Wales and Ireland Version 1.7 by Clicking Here or Clicking on the Download Button below:



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