“The purpose of the CONGU unified handicapping system is to enable golfers of differing abilities, men and ladies, to compete on a fair and equitable basis.” 

Your handicap is your responsibility!

CONGU 2012

Click on the link below for the presentation and notes from the EG recent Handicapping & Amateur Status seminar. It highlights the main changes for 2012.

Presentation and notes from the EG Handicapping seminar

New Members

If you are a beginner and have never had a handicap then see the next section about getting your first handicap.

For new members who have previously had a handicap then please read on.

Joining/transferring from another club

It is very important that you make sure that you have informed your other club that you are leaving. Ask them to set you as an 'AWAY' player before removing you from their membership list. The following information is needed to register you as a member at our club and maintain your handicap record.

  • Your current handicap certificate
  • Your CDH (Central Database of Handicaps) ID number - should be on your certificate
  • The name of your previous club

Joining Wells in addition to being a member of another club

You need to inform your other club and us which is to be your HOME club where your  handicap record will be maintained.

  •  If Wells is to be your HOME club then you need to ask your other club to set you as an AWAY player
  • If Wells is to be your AWAY club then we need to know which is your HOME club and your CDH (Central Database of Handicaps) ID number.
  • You should always check with your HOME club that they have received the results of any qualifying competitions that you have entered at other clubs.

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Getting your first handicap

To get your first handicap you need to submit three cards and the gross score for each hole must be recorded. You should put your name and the date on the top of the card and title the card FOR HANDICAP. The card must be marked by a player with a handicap. After completing the round the card must be signed by you and the marker and placed immediately in the relevant card/competitions box or handed into the secretary in the office.

Do not wait until you have 3 cards to submit them.

For handicapping purposes each gross score is adjusted to a maximum of 2 (3 for ladies) over par. After 3 cards have been submitted then a handicap is automatically awarded based on the best score recorded up to a maximum CONGU handicap 28 (36 for ladies).

For juniors a club handicap will be allocated up to a maximum of 45 (54 for girls) if CONGU handicap cannot be allocated.

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Maintaining your handicap

To maintain a competition (c) handicap you must submit 3 cards between 1st March and 28 February. These must be cards from qualifying competitions at home or other clubs or supplementary cards at Wells.

Cards from qualifying competitions

Any individual medal or stableford competition should be qualifying. See Mens, Ladies, Seniors and Juniors section for more details about competitions.

AWAY scores

If you play in qualifying competitions at other clubs then it is your responsibility to make sure that we are aware of them. Sometimes the details are sent through automatically by post, by CLUB 2000 handicapping system or from the CDH (Central Database of Handicaps)  but as with any computerised system it isn't 100% reliable. Leave a note of where and when you played. We also need to know the Par, SSS, CSS and your score.

Supplementary Cards - see next section


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Supplementary Cards

All players can submit supplementary cards.

To submit a supplementary card you must sign the book in the foyer by the card boxes before going out to play. For ladies there is also a book in their changing room.

You can only do one supplementary card per week, up to a maximum of 10 per year. These can be played off the yellow tees for men, red tees for ladies and recorded as stableford or stroke play.

You should put your name, handicap and the date on the top of the card and title the card SUPPLEMENTARY CARD. The card must be marked by a player with a handicap. After completing the round the card must be signed by you and the marker and placed immediately in the relevant card box, even No Returns (NR).

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Handicaps and Categories

 Handicap Category Buffer zone

 handicap adjustment decrease multiplier

 0-5 1 +1x 0.1
 6-12 2 +2x 0.2
 13-20 3 +3x 0.3
 21-28 4 +4x 0.4
 29-36 5 +5x 0.5

Handicap Increases and Reductions

Playing in qualifying competitions at Wells or other cubs has an immediate effect on your handicap, but the amount by which your handicap may decrease, and whether there is an increase depends on the scores of the other players which go towards calculating the Standard Scratch for the competition (CSS). This can vary from the SSS depending on certain factors such as:

  • the number of players playing below SSS+buffer zone
  • the number of players entering the competition
  • Scores from Category 4 for Men and Category 5 players for ladies do not affect the CSS.
The CSS can vary from SSS-2 to SSS+2 and a competition may be reductions only so.

If you play below your handicap you need to calculate your new handicap before playing in another competition or match. This needs to be calculated against the SSS until the CSS is known.
( SSS - nett ) x  0.category (i.e. 0.1, 0.2 etc)

NOTE: Handicaps are actually based on stableford scoring so you may find that even though you had a 13 on the 13th you could still have played below your handicap or stayed within your buffer zone.

Playing outside your buffer zone (SSS+category) may mean a handicap increase of 0.1 but you should not increase your own handicap in case the competition is declared 'reductions only' and/or the CSS is calculated which may have an effect. You should wait for confirmation, otherwise you may record the wrong playing handicap on your next competition card and you would be disqualified.

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Handicap Certificates

You should always have an up-to-date handicap certificate. These may be required when you go to play in competitions at other clubs.

The certificate has your HowDidIDo ID number on it which you can use to print your own certificate from the HDID website and also has your CDH number which you may need if you play in qualifying competitions at other clubs or if you move to a new club.

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You can register (for free) and use this website to check the results of club competitions and monitor your handicap. You can also print out a handicap certificate from the website.

Please note - supplementary scores and away scores will  not show on your online handicap record. Also your online handicap may not immediately reflect any handicap adjustments resulting from these scores.

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Last year England Golf launched its Handicap & Benefits programme. he programme is linked to the Central Database of Handicaps (CDH) and provides golfers with their unique lifetime CDH ID.

ENGLAND GOLF would like members to be more aware of their CDH ID number and to use their CDH ID in all away competitions and when identifying themselves at UK golf clubs.


  • Find out your CDH number
  • View your handicap online
  • Personalised handicap and benefits card
  • Weekly prize draws
  • Discounted products and services

Please remember a CONGU competition (c) handicap and the ability to play in competitions at your golf club is one of the most important benefits of being a golf club member.

Register and join now at England Golf

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Non-Competition Handicaps

How do I know?
Check the handicap list in the changing rooms, on HDID website or on the touchscreen computer in the foyer.

If you handicap is not listed with an (c) after it e.g. 18.3 instead of 18.3 'c'  then this indicates it is not a competition handicap.

Why does it not have a (c)?
Because you did not submit three qualifying cards in the previous playing year (March - February) from qualifying competitions or supplementary cards.

How do I make it a competition handicap?
From April 1st you will need to submit three cards supplementary cards.

Why do I need an competition handicap?
A non-competition handicap may affect your eligibility to play in some club competitions, Open events and team matches at home and away. Players without a competition handicap are not eligible for prize monies in competitions at Wells.

There is more information on the EG website and the CONGU website


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Annual Handicap Review

An annual handicap review takes place January which looks at players whose performance and scoring pattern over the previous playing season is better or less than expected for their handicap category to ensure handicaps are reflective of their current playing ability.

If you feel that your handicap needs adjusting please write a note to the handicap committee in December/ or early January for consideration at the annual review.

There is more information on the EG website and the CONGU website

Direct links here to CONGU website

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General Play

Contrary to belief, one good round from a non-qualifying competition or winning a cup, does not mean an immediate handicap reduction although other players may wish it to be so!

  • ·A General Play Adjustment (GPA) should only be made in exceptional circumstances
  • Scores returned in ‘Social’ golf must not be used
  • A GPA should not be used as a ‘punishment’ or ‘reward’ for success in a single match play or stroke play event
  • It is not permissible to adjust handicaps either upwards or downwards at the conclusion of a Non-Qualifying competition

Any cards from your home club (correctly completed) can be submitted for consideration:

  • They will not count towards maintaining an active handicap (only supplementary and qualifying competition cards do)
  • They may not have an immediate effect on your handicap
  • A General Play handicap decrease during the year should only be made if there is sufficient evidence that a player’s handicap does not reflect their current playing ability.

There is more information on the EG website and the CONGU website

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