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Golf News - New!

news iconAlthough it is just early in January it is only eleven weeks to the first Minto competition of the 2018 season. You may not yet be aware that there are some changes to handicapping rules for 2018 which are set out in the formal notification of changes from CONGU (Council of National Golf Unions] below. 

In particular, golfers should be aware that competition handicaps will now be permitted to rise to 54 for both Gents and Ladies with handicap bands classified in six categories as follows:

Handicap Category

Exact Handicap

Playing Handicap


Plus to 5.4

Plus to 5


5.5 to 12.4

6 to 12


12.5 to 20.4

13 to 20


20.5 to 28.4

21 to 28


28.5 to 36.4

29 to 36


36.5 to 54.0

37 to 54

The other key change is the freedom for Category 2 players and above to submit an unlimited number of supplementary score submissions every year in order to help determine an appropriate handicap.  In theory, playing in medal competitions and Opens regularly throughout the year should ensure the right handicap is allocated and maintained but it is recognised that many members do not wish to play many competitions.  Please note that cards can only be submitted for rounds played on measured courses.  Minto has a number of measured 9 and 18 hole Course from White, Yellow and Red tees, but none of them cover Winter tees or Winter greens.  Supplementary cards can be placed in the slots in the Changing Rooms or behind the bar once the Yellow and Red tees are back in play.

There is also a push for Clubs to offer more 9 hole medal competitions and Minto will do this for Gents as well as ladies and Seniors in 2018.  18 hole medals will be classified in two divisions in 2018 – Division 1 for Gents will be for handicaps of Plus to 28 and Division 2 for 29 to 54 while Ladies Divisions will be Plus to 36 and 37 to 54.  Prizes will be based on entry fees for the relevant Divisions.

Minto Competitions Committee will meet to undertake the Annual Handicap Review in the near future using data from last years competitions and supplementary scores to assess whether individual adjustments are required.  Performance in non-qualifying competitions such as Leagues and Matchplay events will also be considered when assessing the need for handicap changes.

Although, the main competitions season does not start till late March there are members playing regularly in Mixed and Seniors leagues or informal gatherings on a regular basis now.  The weather patterns as well as sunset and sunrise often mean that members play a selection of holes on the course and consequently may move to a tee where there are already players on the hole immediately before.  Minto Council discussed the issue of ‘cutting in’ at the December meeting and asks that everyone understand that players on the course have priority over players ‘cutting in’.  Please do not tee off if there is a likelihood you will cause the player(s) behind to wait on the tee.  As a rule of thumb, if the players on the hole behind are already on the fairway, you should not drive off, or at the very least, drive and then wait on the tee until the group or individual behind has played through. 

Announcement from CONGU

Changes to the CONGU UHS System have recently been announced. 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.

The changes, which came into effect on the 1st of January 2018, are:

Retirement of Club & Disability Handicaps – As a result of their low impact these have been removed and replaced by a new Category 5 for Men and Category 6 for both Men and Women, providing for a maximum handicap of 54.0 for all golfers. Players will be able to maintain a Competition Handicap in all six categories. 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.

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.

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.

Definitions – Confirmation that cards submitted for Initial Handicap Allocation are included in the definition of Qualifying Scores for handicap purposes. Accordingly a player whose handicap is allocated on the basis of such submitted scores under Clause 16 will automatically be allocated a Competition Handicap status.

9 Hole Competitions – Introduce 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.

Handicap Adjustments – Confirmation that the adherence to Appendix M (Guidelines for Handicap Reviews) is mandatory, not optional.