Yes, some of it is down to you! Steve Carroll explains what you need to do to be in line with the Rules of Handicapping
We just turn up and play. We check our handicaps on the scorecard and run through the app to see the damage we’ve done during our round the following day.
Outside of pre-registering and returning a scorecard, our interactions with the World Handicap System may not go too much further than grumbling about the number that’s won this week’s Stableford.
But did you know that, just like the Rules of Golf, players have got certain responsibilities for handicapping when they play a round?
Appendix A of the Rules of Handicapping may not be your idea of bedtime reading, but there are 10 key things listed there that all players need to carry out in order to comply with regulations.
Most of these you’ll do just by playing golf in the right way, but there may be a couple that surprise you…
Player responsibilities under the Rules of Handicapping
1. Act with integrity by following the Rules of Handicapping. Don’t use the rules, or circumvent them, “for the purpose of gaining an unfair advantage”.
2. Have only one handicap index from a single scoring record, which is managed by your home club.
3. Ensure each golf club where you are a member knows of “all other golf clubs that they are a member of” and which you have designated to be your home club.
4. Before you play your round, “in an authorised format of play” of course, make sure you know your current handicap index, tell your handicap or competition committee of any problems with that number, and hand in any “outstanding scores yet to be submitted or posted” to your scoring record. You also need to make sure you’re aware where you are either giving or receiving strokes during a round.
5. Attempt to the make the best score possible at each hole.
6. Where you can, make sure all your acceptable scores are submitted for handicap purposes. That includes scores from “outside the player’s home jurisdiction”. You need to do that before midnight on the day you played and in the “correct chronological order”.
7. Submit acceptable scores to provide “reasonable evidence of… demonstrated ability”.
8. Gone to a new club? Make sure you give your new golfing home full details of your previous playing history, your handicap index, memberships, and “any other information relevant” to your playing ability.
9. Play by the Rules of Golf.
10. Certify the scores of fellow players – also known as: mark, make sure their scores are correct, and sign their cards.
Do you follow all the player responsibilities in the Rules of Handicapping? Were there any of the 10 that surprised you? Why not let me know with a tweet.