And, England Golf warn, it could count as one of your best eight under the World Handicap System. Steve Carroll explains

Golfers who fail to return a ‘card’ under the World Handicap System can be hit with an automatic penalty score that could count as one of their best eight.

England Golf are recommending a sanction of Course Rating + Course Handicap for those players who don’t have a valid reason for an ‘unsatisfied score intent’.

In an update to clubs, the governing body has introduced a new system to help handicap committees and club managers deal with the workload of chasing those who register an intent to put in a score for handicap and then don’t submit it.

When WHS came into effect in England a year ago, it gave players an opportunity to submit scores outside of competition, known as general play.

It is the responsibility of golfers to make sure they pre-register and then submit their scores but, in their note to clubs, England Golf revealed “we have seen this isn’t always the case”.

That can leave an unsatisfied score intent in a player’s record, which has then had to be dealt with by handicap committees chasing the individual concerned and applying a penalty score.

Handicap chiefs at Woodhall Spa have now brought in some automated features around the submission of general play scores either through the My England Golf app or through club software systems.

Club handicap committees will no longer have to “track and chase players for non-submission of scores in general play”, the update revealed.

“Where players fail to submit scores following automated reminder emails, a penalty score will be automatically applied.”

Clubs will get reports on which players have received automatic penalty scores, which will allow them to adjust or remove the score if needed.

They will also be able to identify players who pre-registered a round in the My England Golf app but then delete it.

“As part of this process, they are asked to provide a reason for deleting the score and it would be to the committee to review the Delete Score Intent Report, review the reasons and, should it be required (not a valid reason), apply a penalty score,” the update continued.

“We would recommend Course Rating + Course Handicap unless the committee wish to apply something different.”

What this means is that once players pre-register an intent to score, they are completely responsible for ensuring it is submitted. If they don’t, and fail to provide a ‘valid reason’, they will be hit with an automated penalty score.

The onus will also be on golfers to justify deleting a score and committees will then decide whether they accept that or apply a penalty score.

In Scotland, an automatic penalty score is applied if a player fails to submit a score and committees then have the option to investigate further.

Need more information on the World Handicap System?

Visit our dedicated WHS page where you will find everything you need to know and details of how to contact us if you have any more questions.

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Steve Carroll

A journalist for 23 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former captain and committee member, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the national Tournament Administrators and Referee's Seminar. He has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying and the PGA Fourball Championship. A member of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap.

Handicap: 10.9

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