World Handicap System 2020 – Data Requirement 29 September 2020

World Handicap System 2020 – Data Requirement 29 September 2020

Well, just over 4 weeks to go before the World Handicap System launches in GB&I on Monday 2 November 2020.

It has been a difficult time for Golf Clubs to prepare for this launch, but I hope they have run through their WHS Checklist and have everything in place for a smooth transition.

In preparation for the launch of the World Handicap System (WHS) England Golf have sent communications to support all golf clubs with their transition to the WHS. This notice outlines the necessary steps to ensure that your Golf Club’s handicapping software and member data is prepared for launch on Monday 2 November 2020.

Golf clubs in England must provide two key pieces of information to ensure their members obtain a handicap index for the start of the WHS on 2 November.

    • A member’s email address
    • A member’s date of birth

*This information should be logged on golf club handicapping software systems by 5 October 2020 in preparation for it to be transferred across to the central WHS database.*

Without this information, golf club members will not receive a handicap index when the transition from the current CONGU handicapping system to WHS takes place.

It is advisable that every member has her/his own personal Email Address, this will help England Golf to identify and prevent duplicate CDH entries.

England Golf will be moving to a higher integrity level of handicapping for and on behalf of its affiliated members with the introduction of WHS.

The initial transfer of information is required to ensure player identification and to eliminate the duplication of handicap records.

Ongoing communication with affiliated members will be for handicap purposes and will be fully compliant with GDPR regulations.

Junior members without an email address of their own may use an email address of a parent or guardian. SafeGolf procedures as well as GDPR regulations remain of paramount importance in such cases.

If you are concerned about providing this information to England Golf and wonder why they require it and how they are going to use it, you can download a copy of the Data FAQs by clicking on the Download Button below:

Please co-operate with your Club as much as you can, they have a difficult job to do.

Stay Safe and Play Safe

Enjoy your golf,


World Handicap System 2020 – Videos

World Handicap System 2020 – Videos

With COVID-19 restrictions having made it impossible to hold Educational World Handicap System seminars at Golf Clubs I have placed in this post and on the My Golf Website a series of Videos produced by England Golf that may help you to understand the forthcoming Handicapping System due to be introduced on Monday 2 November 2020.

I hope you find them useful

WHS Video Part 1:

WHS Video Part 2:

WHS Video Part 3:

WHS Video Part 4:

Enjoy your golf

Stay Safe and Play Safe

Best wishes


England Golf Update After Government Covid-19 Regulations Change – 10 September 2020

England Golf Update After Government Covid-19 Regulations Change – 10 September 2020

England Golf says that the sport can continue next week, with a few precautions, after the government announced that groups must not exceed six people whilst socialising.

Golf can continue to be played but groups of more than six people, e.g. societies and roll ups, must remain in separate groups of under six people.

This means that larger groups should stay in smaller groups and not mix with others, with England Golf advising organisers to take special care in ensuring that different groupings do not merge.

The news won’t make too much of a difference to how clubs are already operating, although large society groups and groups on golf breaks will have to make some adjustments.

“From Monday 14th September, competitive and social golf can continue to be played in accordance with our existing ‘Play Safe, Stay Safe’ guidelines provided on course groupings do not exceed the new legal limit of six people,” England Golf said in a statement.

“Clubhouses may continue to accommodate multiple social groups provided each individual group is no larger than six people. Individual groups should not join up with others to form gatherings of more than six people and everyone must continue to follow government regulations on social distancing and sanitisation.

“Society and team event organisers should take special care to ensure different groups of up to six people from within their party do not merge to form larger groups before, during or after the round. Travel to and from golf venues should continue to be in accordance with government regulations.

Follow this link to read the England Golf Official Statement

England Golf have also updated their COVID-19 FAQs; of particular note are :

Q – What is the maximum group size permitted to gather?

A – Social gatherings of more than six people are illegal in England from Monday 14 September 2020. This applies both indoor and outdoor with a limited number of exceptions. Groups of six people may be made up of individuals from different household, both indoor and outdoor. Golf clubhouses are able to accommodate multiple social groups each containing up to six people, but these must not merge to form larger groups.

Q – Can society bookings still be taken by clubs?

A – Society bookings can still be taken and can still go ahead. However, both clubs/ facilities and society members must ensure that congregations are avoided and that no groupings larger than six are formed at any time from Monday 14 September.

Q – What are the regulations on the wearing of face coverings in the clubhouse, Professional’s shop and indoor areas of a golf facility?

A – From Saturday 8 August, face coverings must be worn by members of the public in all indoor areas of the club/ facility as well as in Pro shops. Coverings may be removed in bar and restaurant areas for the purpose of eating and drinking. There are some exemptions to wearing face coverings including children under the age of 11 and those with certain disabilities. Clubs should refer to government guidance to ensure compliance.

Follow this link to England Golf FAQs

Enjoy your golf and stay safe

Best wishes


World Handicap System 2020 – What You Need to Know

World Handicap System 2020 – What You Need to Know

Hope you all are keeping well and safe.

Just to let you know that I have updated the World Handicap System FAQs page with England Golf’s August 2020 updates.

You can read more by clicking HERE.

Despite the COVID-19 Pandemic England Golf have reassured us that the new World Handicap System will be rolled out in Great Britain & Ireland on Monday 2nd November 2020.

Know the Score Logo

They have embarked on a ‘Know the Score’ campaign to educate Golf Club Committees and Golfers on aspects of the new World Handicap System and issued every Golf Club with a Digital Education Toolkit, a copy of which you can download by clicking on the Download button below:

From that date your handicap will be based on the average of your best 8 scores from the last 20 rounds, and will vary depending on the difficulty of the course being played, as described below.

Next season your handicap will be known as your “handicap index”,

No more Qualifying Rounds, Buffer Zones or 0.1 increases.

If you don’t have the full 20 scores at transition your handicap index will still be allocated and continue to be developed by the same process as an initial handicap. The more cards you put in this season the better your “handicap index” will reflect your current playing ability. Don’t forget you can put in as many supplementary scores as you like.

If you can look at your own handicap record on your club website you may see it now shows your last 20 scores which will be used to calculate your “handicap index”. Later in the year your record should also show your “handicap index” alongside your current handicap so you can see how they compare . For most golfers there will be little difference.

Your “handicap index” will not lapse as long as you are a member of a golf club. Annual reviews by the handicap committee will still take place .You should note that unlike some other parts of the world the system in GB&I will not require all your social golf rounds to be pre-registered and count for handicap purposes.

Wherever you play you will use your “handicap index” to work out your “course handicap”. This is done simply by looking at a chart which will be available by the first tee (Apps and online calculators will also be available to prepare in advance!)

Your “course handicap” will vary depending on the difficulty of the course you are playing on ( known as its “slope rating”) The system is designed to enable us to compete or play recreationally with anyone else on a fair and equal basis .

Put simply, on a more difficult course than your Home Course your “course handicap” will be higher, on an easier course than your Home Course your “course handicap” will be lower. This will make matches fairer.

It is a good idea to begin to familiarise yourself with the changes before next season. There is a wealth of information available on the England Golf website including an excellent and straightforward “Rules of Handicapping Player Reference Guide” which is available at the bottom of this page or on the My-Golf website.

The main reasons for the Handicap changes are to bring the calculation of all handicaps, worldwide, into line so that they are comparable wherever you play. A typical home example is when you have a 20 handicap at your Home Club and you play another 20 handicap golfer from another Club, where the course may be a lot more difficult than your Home Course.

Under the new World Handicap System all handicaps (Handicap Indexes) will be based on a golfer playing a Standard Course which will be the same one for ALL golfers.

This will be a lot fairer allowing all golfers to play with or against each other on an even playing field (or Golf Course!)

A second reason for introducing the World Handicap System is that the current CONGU Handicap System, with its Buffer Zones and 0.1 increases etc., gives an indication of your playing potential and is not a true representation of your current playing ability. We all know only too well that if we get cut following a good round, it is difficult to play to our new handicap. Under the new WHS, with it being an average based system your handicap will not see-saw so much and in some cases may not be affected at all depending on your most recent scores recorded.

A third reason is that there will no longer be any Qualifying or Non-qualifying Competitions. There will no longer be Competition or Non-competition Handicaps, you will not have to submit a minimum of 3 scores in order to maintain your handicap, so long as you remain a member of an Affiliated Golf Club you will ne er lose your handicap indx.

The system will also have a mechanism (Capping) to ensure that your handicap does not go up or down too quickly within a 12 month period, unless you do record an exceptional score at some time; but, again this is dealt with sympathetically.

Although all this sounds quite daunting there is no real need to be overly concerned, all calculations should be performed by your Golf Club’s Handicap Software and in terms of day to day playing, in all honesty, not too much changes; all you will need to know is your Course Handicap or, if you are playing in a Competition, your Playing Handicap, before you start each round because these change depending on which Golf Course, Teeing Area or Competition Format you are using.

All Golf Clubs will provide a Course Handicap Table, in the ProShop, Clubhouse, First Tee or Mobile App from which you can determine the Course Handicap before you play, but during your round, and following it, there are no noticeable changes, just enter your score according to your Golf Club’s required procedure, as you do currently, and you will be notified of any change to your Handicap Index overnight.

  1. Course Rating, Bogey Rating and Slope Rating

Course Rating replaces Standard Scratch (SSS) and represents the score that a scratch golfer (Handicap 0) is expected to achieve on the course.

Bogey Rating represents the score that a Bogey golfer (Handicap for Men around 20 and for Ladies around 24) is expected to achieve on the course.

Slope Rating is the relative difficulty of a course from a specific set of tees for a bogey golfer compared to a scratch golfer, as described on the  Course Rating, Bogey Rating and Slope Rating Pages

The Slope Rating of a Course of standard playing difficulty, used in the calculation of every golfer’s Handicap Index worldwide, is 113

  1. Acceptable Scores

Singles Competition Rounds and Social Scores in Authorised Formats may be submitted for handicap purposes, as described on the Acceptable Scores page.

  1. Handicap Index

A measure of a player’s demonstrated current ability calculated against the Slope Rating of a golf course of standard playing difficulty, as described on the Handicap Index page.

  1. Course Handicap & Playing Handicap

Course Handicap is the number of handicap strokes a player receives before Handicap Allowances, on a specific course and a specific set of tees.

Playing Handicap is the Course Handicap adjusted for any Handicap Allowances. It represents the actual number of strokes the player gives or receives for the round being played under a given format.

See the Course and Playing Handicaps page.

  1. Transition Handicaps

In order to move from CONGU to WHS handicaps, all players’ current Handicap Records will be reprocessed using the WHS principles, as described on the Transition Handicaps page.

  1. Definitions

New terminology explained on the Definitions page.

  1. Further Information 

Click for further information about the WHS on the R&A website

and FAQ’s from the England Golf Website

and a series of short videos on specific aspects of the system

Below is a series of images that may help those of you who would like more detail and help you to further understand the WHS now you are aware of some of the new terms and definitions, or you may download a copy by clicking on the download button at the bottom of the page.

Enjoy your golf

Stay Safe and Play Safe


Compulsory Wearing of Face Coverings in Golf ProShops from Friday 24 July 2020

Compulsory Wearing of Face Coverings in Golf ProShops from Friday 24 July 2020

England Golf COVID-19 Guidelines Update – 22 July 2020

On Wednesday 22 July 2020, England Golf updated their CoVID-19 Play Safe Framework on the wearing of face coverings in Golf ProShops following the UK Governments Guidelines.

To make reading easier England Golf have highlighted changes to their Play Safe guidelines in Blue.

From Friday 24 July it is mandatory for customers to wear a face covering inside a shop. This will apply inside stand-alone professional shops where a fine of up to £100 may be imposed on anyone breaking this rule.

There are some exemptions to wearing face coverings including children under the age of 11 and those with certain disabilities.

If the professional shop is located within a clubhouse and forms an integral part of that building, then there may be some discretion in the requirement for face coverings to be worn. Please check latest government advice.

You can download a copy of the England Golf Play Safe Framework for Players by clicking HERE.

Stay Safe and Play Safe



Rules Golf:


National Organisation Affiliation Fees

National Organisation Affiliation Fees

Personal Liability Insurance

It’s great to see so many of you out there playing golf, not just regular golfers but new golfers and some coming back into the fold.

I thought I would steer away from COVID-19 for a while and let you know something that not many of you may know about.

During the early part of Lockdown some members of golf Clubs cancelled their subscriptions and some Golf Clubs, to help their cash flow approached their National Organisations requesting a possible refund of affiliation fees.

Some, like Scottish Golf and Wales Golf, offered help:

Scottish Golf announced that it was inviting clubs to apply for a refund of up to 25% on their total 2019/20 affiliation fee invoice as part of an immediate financial commitment of more than half a million pounds.

Golf clubs in Wales were being given a five-month affiliation fee ‘holiday’ by the country’s national governing body to help offset estimates losses of £5.6million brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The way in which affiliation fees are collected does differ between nations and there are differences between the nations as to how the affiliation fee is spent which makes many golfers ask the question are affiliation fees good value?

In England, the situation with England Golf is, and this is my only experience:

As part of your club membership subscription you pay an annual affiliation fee to your National Golf Organisation, in the case of England this is England Golf. This will be £9.50 in 2020.

The following explains how England Golf uses the fee to benefit both you and the game of golf.

  1. Obtain your handicap and authoritative advice: England Golf administers the CONGU handicap system and calculates and assign members’ handicaps, as well as adjudicate on queries.
  2. Experience first-class competitions: Over 6,500 England Golf members of all ages and abilities compete in their 55 club, regional and national championship events every year.
  3. Invest in elite amateur performing at the highest level: England Golf provides the very best coaching, competitive opportunities and funding for 150 regional and 50 national squad players.
  4. Protect players and the sport’s reputation: England Golf keeps our sport safe, managing all safeguarding and disciplinary cases for the amateur game.
  5. Help golf clubs thrive and grow: England Golf supports golf clubs to get more people playing golf. Last year this work introduced an additional 250,000 people to the game, which resulted in 17,000 new memberships.
  6. Get great golfing benefits and discounts: Every England Golf member can take advantage of their ever-growing range of their exclusive offers, discounts and prize-draws by registering with our My England Golf programme.

Amongst these benefits is one that Golf Clubs do not always tell their members about and that is Personal Liability Insurance

As of 1 July 2019, every member is provided with £10m personal liability insurance as part of their affiliation to England Golf.

England Golf is working with specialist insurance broker Bluefin Sport to provide this cover, which is underwritten by Allianz.

It provides personal liability insurance for golf club members in the event that they are held liable for injuring someone or causing serious property damage at a golf facility.

The cover is provided for members playing at any club in the UK. There is no excess in respect of personal injury claims, and just a £500 excess in respect of damage to third party property.

In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak all golf clubs should be aware that insurance provided free to members via the England Golf affiliation fee is not valid during this period of course closure.

You can read the Insurance FAQs by clicking here or downloading a copy by clicking on the button below:

Enjoy your golf and Stay Safe and Play Safe