What you need to know about the new CONGU handicap changes, which came in to effect on January 1.
The news was announced in October that CONGU were ending club and disability handicaps to make way for a new maximum competition handicap of 54, relaxing of supplementary scores rules and introducing 9 hole competitions to count towards handicap scores.
However, now that the rules have come in to effect, we thought it was time for a refresher of the new CONGU handicap changes.
"In view of the proposed introduction of the World Handicap System (WHS) these changes have been kept to a minimum and take into account some of the options likely to be adopted in the WHS, principal of which is to encourage players to submit more scores to their handicap record," CONGU's website says.
So what are the new CONGU handicap rules?
Maximum handicap changed to 54.0
The biggest news is that as of January 1, a new Category 5 for Men and Category 6 for both Men and Women has been introduced, meaning that there will now be a maximum competition handicap of 54 for all golfers (replacing the old competition handicaps of 28 for men and 36 for women). Upward adjustment for all categories will remain at 0.1 and downward adjustments for Net Differentials below Buffer Zones will be 0.5 for Category 5 and 0.6 for Category 6.
The change comes as a direct result of the retirement of Club & Disability Handicaps – which CONGU say were removed due to their 'low impact'.
"After 1st January 2018 Handicap Committees can increase handicaps above the current limits of 28.0 and 36.0, and they will also increase above those limits automatically as a result of above Buffer Zone returns in Qualifying Competitions and Supplementary Score submissions."
Other CONGU Handicap Changes
Supplementary Scores – Relaxation of the rules to allow an unlimited number of score submissions per year and removal of the restriction of one per week. However, the restriction on Category 1 players will remain in place.
Mixed Tee Competitions – Reinforcement of the single CSS Adjustment Calculation. Having a single CSS adjustment for two or more competitions will provide a more equitable value when one of the competitions has a very low number of players. To overcome the technical IT implementation issues, the approach agreed will be to enter all scores into a single competition (and so a single CSS Adjustment Factor is calculated) with a facility within the software to allow the results to be separated for each group of competitors.
9 Hole Competitions – CONGU have introduced the option of 9-Hole Medal Competitions and 9-Hole Open Competitions. For handicap purposes, the 9-Hole Medal scores will be converted to Stableford and will appear as stableford on the players handicap record.
For the full CONGU changes, visit their website here