Monday, October 3, 2016

Ask Linda #1392-Updated handicaps not available to all competitors

Correct handicap written on card: Does this have to be known before the game, or before card is signed?

We had a competition, with winning scores that indicated those players were likely to have a handicap reduction.

Whilst it is desirable to process cards into the computer immediately (to post new handicaps), this is not always possible.

On a recent occasion, a new competition (same players mainly) was starting as the previous cards were being processed. The players were aware of this. When the new handicap list was printed, some of the competitors whose handicaps had reduced were informed of the new handicap before they teed off. A message was left for those who had already teed off, notifying them that the list was available and posted in the clubhouse.

We were informed by several of the players that this was unfair to those informed before teeing off (if it can be unfair to play off your correct handicap) because the rule was that those who had already teed off did not have to put in the correct, reduced handicaps, as they had not been available before they set off.

This was Stableford, not match play, so I question if this is correct. Surely players are required to ensure that the cards have the correct handicap before signing it and returning it after the competition, when the correct and revised handicaps were available. Not knowing it before setting off is inconvenient, but surely not relevant.

What is the correct position?
Lou from Wales, UK 

Dear Lou,

Stableford is a stroke-play competition. In stroke play, the player must record his handicap on the scorecard before he submits it to the Committee at the end of his round [Rule 6-2b]. Your understanding is correct. All players must record the handicap from the same update.

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