Inactive handicap system is scrapped6th February, 2014 by Emma Williams
The controversial England Golf system that meant some golfers had an ‘inactive handicap’ has been scrapped.
Since 2010 all members of all golf clubs affiliated to England Golf have had to submit at least three scores per year from club competitions in order to have an ‘active handicap’. Those that failed to submit at least three have been given an inactive handicap, which has carried penalties such as the prevention from entering some competitions and restrictions on prizes.
England Golf said this was the fairest way to ensure that golfers’ handicaps were a true a reflection of their ability, but one in ten golf club managers said they had lost members purely as a result of the system preventing golfers from entering events that require an active handicap to participate in. Part of the problem was that many golfers and clubs incorrectly thought their handicaps were invalid because they were labeled ‘inactive’.
England Golf has therefore agreed that the word ‘inactive’ is too unpopular, and will change the system so that, from March 1, golfers will have a ‘competition handicap’ based on the Scottish and Welsh systems.
“England Golf recognises that the annotation of ‘i’ – inactive – has proved to be unpopular,” said a statement.
“However, many clubs and organisations seek to encourage golfers to play a sufficient number of qualifying competitions to ensure that they hold an accurate handicap. For that reason, England Golf will join with the Scottish and Welsh unions in using the ‘c’ annotation to denote a competition handicap and the ‘i’ annotation will no longer appear.
“Every affiliated member who has been allocated a CONGU handicap retains a valid handicap, whether denoted as a competition handicap or not.
“The ‘i’ annotation may still appear until clubs receive the update from their software provider.”
Golfers will still have to complete three qualifying scores a year in order to get the new handicap.