Council Of National Golfing Unions Handicap System

Table Of Contents
An Example
CONGU Handicap Systems
Competition Standard Scratch Calculation

Unlike the USGA Handicaping system the CONGU Handicap System can be calculated to within a decent level of accuracy as all the required information is indeed present.

For a detailed description of what the CONGU Handicap system is please refer to the CONGU Handicap Systems.

The calculation of a CONGU Handicap in it's simplified form is as follows:

Depending on the golf course that you join will depend on how your handicap is calculated. Most golf courses require that you submit 3 score cards, and from these they calculate what your starting handicap will be, some courses will give you an exact handicap based on the three cards submitted, others will have a maximum that they will give to new golfers, this used to be 18.4, however I have noticed that it can be as low as 16.4.

Continuing on, taking the first three cards submitted for a golfer the gross score is determined for each round.

    Gross Score = (No Of Strokes - Standard Scratch For Course)
However the No of strokes is limited, in that any hole score that is greater than a double bogey (2+ shots over the hole par) is reduced to a double bogey :
    e.g. 10 Strokes on a par 3, is counted as a 5 strokes.

These three gross scores are then accumilated and the average is then your starting CONGU Handicap.

    e.g. Accumulated Gross Score / 3

There are 4 Golfer Categories in the CONGU System

Category Handicap Range Buffer Zone Reduction Per Shot Increase Per Round
10.1 -> 5.4+1-0.1-0.1
25.5 -> 12.4+2-0.2-0.1
312.5 -> 20.4+3-0.3-0.1
420.5 -> 28.4+4-0.4-0.1

For my own purposes I employ two extra categories. These are not official CONGU Categories and I do not make any distinguishment between male and female handicaps. :

Category Handicap Range Buffer Zone Reduction Per Shot Increase Per Round
528.5 -> 40.4+5-0.5-0.1
640.5 -> 45.0+6-1.0-0.1

Please refer to CONGU publication "The Standard Scratch Score and Handicapping Scheme" for complete and accurate information.

For each subsequent round that is submitted the following occurs :

  • Determine the Rounds Net Score.
      e.g Gross Score - Current Handicap

  • Determine what Category this Golfer falls into based on current handicap.
  • If Net Score is greater than Golfers Category Buffer Zone then simply add 0.1 to Golfers Handicap
  • If Net Score Ranges from 0 to Buffer zone handicap is then unchanged.
  • If Net score is negative then for each shot less than 0, the Golfers Handicap is reduced by the amount specifed by the category he/she is currently in.

An Example
Take Golfer A, who first 3 rounds are as follows :

Round Strokes Standard Scratch Gross Score Adjusted Gross Score
1 110 71 39 30
2 103 72 31 25
3 88 69 19 17

From the table above the calculated starting handicap is :

    Accumulated Adjusted Gross Scores / 3 = 72 / 3 = 24.0

Starting at 24 puts this golfer into Category 4. The following table shows adjustments made to this golfers handicap based on subsequent rounds submitted :

Strokes Standard Scratch Gross Score Playing Handicap Net Handicap Score Handicap Adjustment Resulting Handicap
94 72 22 24 -2 2 * -0.4 = -0.8 23.2
95 71 24 23.2 +1 0 (Within Buffer Zone +4) 23.2
100 71 29 23.2 +6 +0.1 (Outside Buffer Zone +4) 23.3
92 70 22 23.3 -1 1 * -0.4 = -0.4 22.9

That's it. The CONGU system is very much based on current form. Whatever your performance from your last round was will generally affect your handicap.

Competition Standard Scratch Calculation
This is not a straight forward calculation. Broadly speaking, the calculation is as follows :
  • 1.Discount all scores returned by category 4 players (handicaps 21 and above).
  • 2.Calculate the percentage of players who competed in the competition in each of the categories 1 (H/Cap 1-6), 2 (H/Cap 6-12), and 3 (H/Cap 13-20).
  • 3.Calculate the percentage of scores returned by the category 1, 2 and 3 players which were two over the Standard Scratch Score or the course or better.
  • 4.Use the percentages from points 2 and 3 to determine the Competition Standard Scratch Score by referring to one of the two published tables supplied by CONGU for this purpose
  • 5.Should points 2 and 3 show 0% then the Competition Standard Scratch is deemed to be SSS+3.