World Handicap System – England Golf Update 16 September 2019

World Handicap System – England Golf Update 16 September 2019

I must say that England Golf are slow in coming forward with any information useful to Golf Clubs regarding the introduction of the World Handicap System.

They have introduced National WHS Workshops, but even information from these doesn’t seem to filter down to Club Members.

On 16 September 2019, England  Golf issued the following statement:

England Golf sign licence for World Handicap System ahead of November 2020 start date

 

The governing bodies of amateur golf in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales are delighted to announce they have signed the licence for the new World Handicap System which will come into operation on November 2, 2020.

As members of the Council of National Golf Unions (CONGU), England Golf, the Golfing Union of Ireland, the Irish Ladies Golfing Union, Scottish Golf and Wales Golf have been driving forces in planning for the new system in alliance with The R&A and USGA.

The current Golf Handicapping System maintained by CONGU will be replaced by WHS which will unify the six different structures presently in operation throughout the world of golf.

With one single, global system in place for the first time, golfers will be able to obtain and maintain a handicap index and use this on any course around the world.

In additiont they will be able to compete or simply play a casual round with fellow golfers anywhere on a fair and equal basis.

As well as encouraging players new to the sport to obtain a handicap with ease, the WHS will also modernise the game for those already well versed in the game of golf.

Under the new system a player’s handicap will be based on the average of eight best scores from their last 20 rounds.

WHS will also take into account factors currently not fully represented in the existing handicapping procedure through a course and slope rating system.

“We believe the introduction of the new World Handicap System will have a hugely positive impact for golf around the globe,” said England Golf CEO Nick Pink.

“Our team are working hard to deliver the transition from the current system to WHS and will continue to confer with the clubs, counties and our technology partners to ensure that everything runs to plan ahead of the start date.”

Sinead Heraty, Chief Executive of the ILGU said: ‘The Irish Ladies Golf Union and the Golfing Union of Ireland are delighted that the new World Handicap System will come into practice in November 2020.

“The transition from an incremental system to an averaging one will be period of great change, however once a planned education process is complete, the new system will make handicapping much more consistent globally.”

Pat Finn, CEO of the Golfing Union of Ireland added: “We look forward to meeting with our member clubs over the coming months to outline the World Handicap System. With CONGU adopting the system for Ireland and Great Britain from late next year we need to ensure golfers across Ireland are prepared for the change.”

Andrew McKinlay, Chief Executive of Scottish Golf, commented: “Following recent education seminars across the country, Scottish Golf is pleased to confirm that the new World Handicap System will be implemented on time on November 2, 2020. We believe that moving to a more unified handicap system will be beneficial to all golfers.

“The team at Scottish Golf will continue to liaise with, and support clubs across the country to ensure the transition between now and next year is as seamless as possible for everyone involved.”

The CEO of Wales Golf, Richard Dixon, is also delighted to mark another step on the road to WHS.

He said: “A lot of hard work has been going on behind the scenes in preparation for the launch of the World Handicap System and we are delighted that we have reached this key stage of the process.

“We are very excited about the positive benefits WHS will have to the game of golf in Wales and across the golfing world.

“The Wales Golf team look forward to working with our clubs, fellow home Unions, technology partners and the R&A over the next year to ensure that the transition is as seamless as possible for clubs and most importantly for golfers.”

CONGU, the United States Golf Association (USGA), Golf Australia, the European Golf Association (EGA), the South African Golf Association (SAGA) and the Argentine Golf Association (AAG) represent around 15 million golfers in 80 countries who currently maintain a handicap.

The aligning of all six handicapping authorities behind the WHS is a hugely significant step in the modernisation of golf across the globe.

WHS has been introduced under the auspices of the USGA and The R&A.

Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A said: “The R&A’s purpose is to ensure golf is thriving in 50 years’ time and the World Handicap System (WHS) is one of the key ways in which we can ensure the long-term health of the sport.

“We all want to encourage more people to take up golf and having a handicap which provides an accurate measure of playing ability is one of the best ways of achieving that.”

Further information about the new World Handicap System can be found on the England Golf website at https://www.englandgolf.org/article/world-handicap-system-whs and also via the R and A website at https://www.randa.org/WorldHandicapSystem

For details on England Golf’s educational workshops on WHS visit : https://www.englandgolf.org/handicaps-rules/whs-2020/whs-club-workshops/

I will post more information as soon as I hear any.

Tony

 

Submitting Non-qualifying Away Scores.

Reporting Non-qualifying Away Scores.

Some players seem a little concerned about England Golf’s decision to enforce CONGU Clauses 4.5b and 8.12 of the CONGU Unified Handicapping System and the effect it may have on their handicap.
– Clause 4.5b allows the Union to require a player to return to the Home Club information regarding scores in Non-Qualifying Competitions as provided by Clause 8.12.
– Clause 8.12 states that the player must provide to his Home Club information regarding scores in Non-qualifying Competitions.

In a statement made by Gemma Hunter, Handicap and Course Rating Manager of England Golf, players should not be overly concerned because the submission of theses away scores do not impact directly on their handicap.

The reason for making players submit these away scores is to gather evidence on the performance of players playing Competitions away from their home club.

Over recent years, England Golf has been aware of a number of cases of players who protect inflated handicaps, only to repeatedly collect high-value rewards when playing in competitions away from home and at this stage it is
purely an information gathering exercise to provide clubs with evidence to support handicap reviews.

The ruling has been introduced for members of English golf clubs to stop what England Golf calls rogue players manipulating the system to their advantage.

Because it is difficult to identify individual players the new stipulation requires that everyone playing in non-qualifying competitions away from home must return their scores to their home club. Players who ignore this responsibility could even have their handicap suspended.

England Golf has introduced this clause of the CONGU handicapping system to provide clubs with evidence to support handicap reviews.

The new system will highlight players who, for example, take part in as many competitions as possible at home and whose handicaps creep up 0.1 on every occasion – but who repeatedly win prizes away from home. Similarly, it will
show up the players who play the bare minimum of competitions at home, but who are known for their away successes.’

Following a Continuous Assessment Report or an Annual Review, if there is suspicion over a player’s handicap and known playing ability then looking at a player’s submitted Non -qualifying scores may provide evidence that her/his current Handicap is not a true reflection of their playing ability and a Handicap adjustment is justified.

The new rule applies to all stroke play scores returned under competition conditions, including team events.
Individual scores or Team results must be returned in all Singles, Am-Am and 4BBB with the exception of Texas Scrambles, Foursomes and Greensome competitions, or casual social rounds.

Another comment by Gemma Hunter, states, “We’re not talking about a sleeve of balls. These are big prizes including luxury trips overseas, sets of clubs and electric trolleys. It’s essential to do this to protect the integrity of the system. We can’t sit back and let people manipulate the system, but without evidence clubs can’t take any action.

It’s not about recording every score in a Fourball Better Ball but returning the team score.

If the same individuals or teams keeping winning or coming near the top of leader boards at events away from home, that should at least indicate to their club’s handicapping officials that further investigations are required – and the only way to achieve that is by asking for all the scores
to be reported.

Social golf is not affected, but clubs are advised to be aware of performances in swindles which the handicap committee could take into account at the annual review.

England Golf also recommends that clubs which run non-qualifying open competitions should inform the prize winners’ home clubs of their scores.”

Individual scores or Team results must be returned in all Singles, Am-Am and 4BBB with the exception of Texas Scrambles, Foursomes and Greensome competitions, or casual social rounds, failure to return these scores by the
player could result in loss or suspension of handicap under clause 24.1.

If and when the New world Handicap System comes into operation these non-qualifying scores should be recorded automatically and rogue players identified by the Handicap Software ‘factoring in memory of demonstrated ability for better responsiveness and control’, which means it will pick up players whose recorded scores may indicate a playing ability different from that expected from their handicap, either better or worse.

You can download a copy of England Golf’s Recording of Non-qualifying Scores by clicking on the download button below:

Download “England Golf Recording of Non-qualifying Scores” Recording-of-Non-Qualifying-Scores.pdf – Downloaded 50 times – 215 KB

You can download a copy of England Golf’s Reporting Non-Qualifying Scores Q&A by clicking on the download button below:

Download “England Golf Non-qualifying Scores Q&A” Non-Qualifying-Scores-QA-2017.pdf – Downloaded 40 times – 256 KB

So enjoy your golf, but play fair and help root out these bandits.

Tony

Email: tony@my-golf.uk

Rules of Golf Blog: my-golf.uk

Can Shotgun Starts be Run as Qualifying Competitions?

I received a question recently as to the status of Shotgun Starts and whether they could be run as Qualifying Competitons for Handicap Purposes

Under the Rules of Golf, a Committee is at liberty to set any teeing ground where a player will start her/his round and can stipulate the order in which holes are to be played in that round, so covering split tee starts and shotgun
starts.

Under the CONGU Unified Handicap System Decision 1(g) Shotgun Starts may be played as Qualifying Competitions so long as the course being played conforms to Competition Playing Conditions

Definition: Competition Play Conditions
Competition Play Conditions prevail during Stroke Play, Par/Bogey and Stableford competitions over 18 holes and for competitions played over a Designated Nine-Hole Course under the Rules of Golf from Competition Tees.
Competition Play Conditions shall not prevail when the length of the course played varies by more than 100 yards (91 metres) from the length of the Measured Course.
Note 1: Special rules apply when the length of a Measured Course has been temporarily reduced or increased – see Clause 13.
Note 2: Special rules apply to Nine-Hole Qualifying Competitions – see Clause 22.

Decision: Dec.1(g) Status of a competition in which shotgun starts are employed or competitors are authorised by the Committee to start other than at the first tee.
Competitions in which competitors are authorised by the Committee to commence play elsewhere than from the first tee will be Qualifying Competitions for handicap purposes provided all other requirements of the
UHS are satisfied. This includes ‘Shotgun Starts’.

So the answer is yes, Shotgun Competitons can be organised as Qualifying Competitions.

England Golf Update on Golf World Handicap System – 2 May 2019

England Golf Update on Golf World Handicap System – 2 May 2019

Golf’s new World Handicap System (WHS) remains on track for implementation starting in 2020, according to The R&A

However, it is now  anticipated that England will not implement it until the Autumn of 2020.

The system is designed to bring the game of golf under a single set of Rules for handicapping and provide a more consistent measure of players’ ability between different regions of the world,

Education has begun with events being held in Singapore, South Africa, Great Britain and Ireland, Japan, Argentina, Brazil, Continental Europe, Canada, the Caribbean and the USA.

A secure resource portal, accessible via whs.com, has also been launched to provide national associations with a library of materials that they can use to help support their own education efforts.

Coinciding with this release, The R&A and the USGA are launching a social media video campaign to remind golfers of the eight key features of the new Rules of Handicapping and to reveal more details.  These features include:

  • Minimum number of scores to establish a Handicap Index and maximum Handicap Index of 54.0
  • Basis of calculation of Handicap Index
  • Acceptability of scores for handicap purposes
  • Course Rating and Slope Rating
  • Calculation of a Playing Handicap
  • Maximum hole score for handicap purposes
  • Adjustments for abnormal playing conditions
  • Frequency of updating a Handicap Index

Significant progress has been made in preparation for the rollout of the new system, which includes building a library of education materials, finalising the new Rules of Handicapping, release of the technical specifications and the continuation of testing. Many national associations around the world are busy ensuring that their golf courses are rated in accordance with the Course Rating System and working to update local software platforms so that they are ready to apply the new Rules of Handicapping.

While many countries will be ready to transition to the WHS early in 2020, given both the magnitude of the change for some jurisdictions and varying seasonality throughout the world, it is anticipated that some will need more time.

Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said, “There are many ways in which it is important for golf to modernise and become more appealing for people thinking of taking up the sport and handicapping is clearly one of them. The World Handicap System is a major new initiative for the sport which will establish a clearer and more consistent handicapping process for golfers throughout the world.

“We are working closely with national associations, as we do across all our core activities, to ensure they are fully prepared for the introduction of the new system as soon as possible after it becomes available for implementation.”

“The World Handicap System is the latest example of our work to make the game more welcoming,” said Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA. “Golfers throughout the world will be able to play equitably, measure their success and more fully enjoy and engage with the game. After working with national associations across the world on Course Rating throughout the past 30 years and now the World Handicap System, this monumental collaborative effort will benefit everyone in golf.”

Since its conception, the development of the WHS has focused on three key goals: to encourage as many golfers as possible to obtain and maintain a Handicap Index; to enable golfers of differing abilities, genders and nationalities to transport their Handicap Index to any course around the world and compete on a fair basis; and to indicate with sufficient accuracy the score a golfer is reasonably capable of achieving on any course around the world, playing under normal conditions.

The system has been devised following extensive consultation with the six existing handicapping authorities: Golf Australia, the Council of National Golf Unions (CONGU) in Great Britain and Ireland, the European Golf Association (EGA), the South African Golf Association (SAGA), the Argentine Golf Association (AAG) and the USGA. The Japan Golf Association and Golf Canada have also been closely involved in developing the new system.

Widespread support for the WHS was expressed in an international survey of 52,000 golfers with 76% in favour of the new system and a further 22% saying they were willing to consider its benefits. Focus groups were also held in different regions of the world to elicit detailed feedback on the features of the new system, which have contributed to the finalised Rules of Handicapping.

You may read the England Golf Autumn Presentation by clicking on the link below:

England Golf Update on Golf World Handicap System – 2 May 2019

Or Download a copy by clicking on the Download Button below:

Download “England Golf World Handicapping System Autumn Seminar Presentation” – Downloaded 0 times –

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

2019 CONGU Unified Handicap System Manual

Hello

Hope you all have enjoyed a wonderful Christmas and looking forward to a New Year of Golf.

Just a quick note to let you know that CONGU have just released their 2019 Version of the UHS Handbook.

You will be able to download a Player’s Quick Guide, Secretaries Quick Guide and a Full Version of the Manual if you click on Quick Guide to 2019 CONGU UHS.

Happy New Year and good golf!

Tony

Email: tony@my-golf.uk

Rules Blog: www.my-golf.uk

 

World Handicap System – 2020

With all the hard work and preparation under way for the introduction of the New Rules of Golf in January 2019, it is also time to give consideration to the World Handicap System to be launched in March 2020.

England really is the only country that has not embraced the use of Course Rating and Slope, unlike Wales, Scotland and Ireland,

Australia introduced it in 2014 and South Africa in September 2018, along similar lines to the USGA system.

It is now time for us to take a look at the System and what it may mean to Golfers in England.

As you may appreciate not all aspects of the System have been decided upon to date but you can get some idea of what we will be looking at by clicking here and visiting my webpage World Handicap System

Have a good weekend and enjoy your golf,

Tony