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Should you have to put your handicap on your scorecard?

The body holding the WHS licence in the UK say clubs shouldn’t use a Local Rule making players responsible for putting handicaps on their cards

 

Handicapping chiefs in the UK have advised club competition committees NOT to use a Local Rule that makes golfers responsible for showing handicaps on their scorecards.

Until the start of this year, it was down to players in stroke play to ensure their marks were on their cards but that was changed in the 2023 Rules of Golf – with the onus now on committees.

It means a player can no longer be disqualified if they fail to enter their handicaps but clubs can use Model Local Rule L-2 to shift the obligation back onto entrants.

That Local Rule acknowledged that, in some circumstances “it can be difficult for the Committee to calculate players’ handicaps” – citing those that don’t have computers to help with administration or where they “don’t have access to a database of player handicaps”.

But with the main UK competition season set to get under way in the next few weeks, CONGU, who hold the licence for the World Handicap System in the UK and Ireland, have given their view.

In an update to guidance on the WHS Rules of Handicapping for England, Wales, and Ireland, they said their “recommendation is NOT to implement such a local rule”.

Where clubs decide to ignore that recommendation, and bring in the Local Rule, CONGU chiefs have advised that to avoid disqualification a player must put their Course Handicap on the scorecard.

That’s the number that reveals how many strokes a golfer would get for both competition and general play scores. In Ireland, recording the Handicap Index is a requirement.

CONGU say it’s still the committee’s duty to apply the handicap allowance for any stroke play competition but that, in practice, this will be done by software.

What do you think of these golf scorecard rules? Should club committees follow CONGU’s recommendation or should players be responsible for ensuring their handicaps are shown on their scorecards? Let me know with a tweet.

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