ConguThe Council of National Golf Unions Limited (CONGU) has confirmed the changes to the Unified Handicapping System taking effect on 1st January 2016 (implementation date for clubs 1st March 2016).

Among the most significant changes for 2016 are:

  • Dates – The handicap year will now follow the calendar year,1 January to 31 December, and a player’s handicap will be based on scores returned within that period
  • Four Ball Better Ball Handicap Allowance: In both stroke play and match play the back marker now concedes strokes to the other 3 players based on 90% of the difference between the full handicaps rather than 75% (3/4) as at present
  • Reinstatement of Handicap Status: The reinstatement of a competition status handicap requires a player to submit 3 qualifying scores (which could be 18 hole competitions, 9 hole competitions or Supplementary Scores both home and/or away)
  • Continuous Handicap Review: To assist with this process there will now be a computer generated report which highlights those players with 7 consecutive 0.1 increases. Handicap Committees are now recommended to review the performance of such players and to give due consideration to applying a handicap increase where applicable or required.


Various other changes have been made and a pre-publication version of the revised manual can be downloaded here DRAFT CONGU MANUAL 2016.

The new CONGU manual is the culmination of a four-year review cycle with the aim of assisting club members to have handicaps which truly reflect their playing ability.

Jim McArthur, CONGU Board Chairman, said: ‘The CONGU Unified Handicapping System does not stand still and, as a result, we again have a number of further refinements to the system reflecting both experience and new evidence’.