Key Changes to Handicapping in 2018

With the forthcoming golf season edging ever nearer, clubs and golfers of all ages and abilities are alerted to new handicap changes for 2018.

The Council of National Golf Unions (CONGU) recently announced changes to the handicap system which came into force on 1 January 2018.

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, mainly to encourage players to submit more scores to their handicap record.

The principal changes for 2018 are:

  • Introduction of Category 5 for Men and Category 6 Handicaps for both Men & Women, with maximum handicaps now 54 for all golfers
  • Supplementary Scores (now no restriction on the number of supplementary scores a golfer can submit each year/week, but restriction on Category 1 players remains)
  • 9-Hole Qualifying Scores
  • CSS Calculation
  • Alloting an Initial Handicap

Scottish Golf has put together two versions of quick guides on the key themes to help both club handicap convenors and players alike. These are one-page guidance notes aimed at players and more detailed guides designed for clubs/handicap conveners.



To supplement Scottish Golf’s own advice notes, CONGU have put together an FAQs document on the changes for 2018: > View here

They have also put together a couple of quick guides on the handicap system for both players and secretaries:

> View here for Secretaries

> View here for Players

For those seeking further information, there is also an updated full version of the CONGU manual available to include the 2018 changes: > View here