Club Services
Handicapping & Course Rating

Handicapping & Course Rating

Handicapping Support for Clubs – Latest Announcements

This section of the website provides support and resources to clubs administrators, committee members and other volunteers, with specific support for handicapping convenors.


Preferred Lies – Update

The preferred lie period runs from the 1 October – 30 April. Clubs are therefore allowed to run qualifying competitions with preferred lies in operation between this time.

After the 30 April, whenever possible the ball should be played as it lies, as the system has to be respected. However there is the discretion for clubs to grant themselves temporary approval on a competition by competition basis to operate preferred lies, for example, after a sudden downpour.


Changes to CONGU Handicapping System – From 1 January 2018

Changes to the CONGU handicapping system have recently been announced and a summary can be viewed below:

To assist Handicap Convenors in their role, guidance documents outlining the key changes can be downloaded via the links below:

With regards to the changes, CONGU have created a useful FAQ’s document covering common questions that clubs may have:


CONGU Manual and Quick Guides

Hard copies of the CONGU Manual are no longer being published, however you can download the updated version below that includes the 2018 changes:

A condensed version of the CONGU Handicapping system is now available for both Clubs and Players and can be downloaded below:


Setting up Non-Qualifying Winter League Competitions on your Handicap Software

Do you use your club handicap software to run Non-Qualifying Winter League or Stroke Play Competitions? If so, your handicapping software now has built-in functionality to allow you to do so and ease the processing of competition scores and analysis. Please read the guidance document below:

> Setting up your Winter League – Handicap Software Guidance Document


Allocating a Handicap – Remember the Playing History!

Assigning handicaps to new members is one of the most important functions of a handicap committee. Below is a quick-fire guide to assist you in your role:

  • Any new player has to complete 54-holes in any combination of 9- or 18-holes
  • Following the inputting of the score details from these cards, the computer program calculates a handicap.
  • This should be regarded as a recommendation only should be reviewed along with other factors such as:
    • Previous playing history, Time of year, prevailing weather conditions, and the most recent past handicap held before a handicap is allotted.
  • New players should be reviewed regularly to check that they have been given the right handicap.
  • If the new member is joining from another club and has a CONGU handicap and CDH number, that CDH ID number and handicap comes with them
  • A player may not be allotted a category 1 handicap without the authority of your area authority or national union. The relevant body will give you the code you need for your handicap software.

In summary, please take the time to consider the full picture when allocating a handicap, using the figure generated by the handicapping software as a recommended starting point and use the additional information available to validate your decision.

For further guidance on handicapping matters please email: handicapping@scottishgolf.org


Please direct all enquiries to the relevant email addresses:

Handicapping & Competition Enquiries – handicapping@scottishgolf.org

Central Database of Handicaps Enquiries – cdh@scottishgolf.org

Course Rating Enquiries – courserating@scottishgolf.org

Membership Card Enquiries – golfcardadmin@scottishgolf.org

For telephone enquiries, please call Scottish Golf 01334 466 477.


“Handicapping is at the heart of amateur golf”

Handicapping is an integral part of amateur golf, creating a level playing field that allows golfers of differing abilities to compete and have an equitable chance of winning in both stroke play and match play formats of the game.

It is recognised that handicapping, due to the nature of the game of golf and it’s varying playing conditions, is not an exact science. However, a high degree of uniformity can still be achieved if all parties honour their obligations by observing the spirit and intent of the CONGU Unified Handicapping System. By achieving uniformity we can protect one of the unique benefits of handicap golf – giving all participants an equitable chance of success.

Scottish Golf is the governing body for handicapping in Scotland, with responsibility for monitoring and maintaining the application of the CONGU Unified Handicapping System (UHS) within all affiliated golf clubs in Scotland.

We support affiliated golf clubs in all aspects of handicapping, competitions, course rating and the Central Database of Handicaps. Support is provided through the provision of website resources, seminars and via the telephone.