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Annual General Meeting (AGM) 

         Committee Meetings

1 May 2018 - There are currently NO WINTER RULES in force.  

Shropshire & Herefordshire County GOLF CARDS.

If you would like a 'Shropshire & Herefordshire COUNTY GOLF CARD, please contact the Secretary.

CONGU Handicap changes 2016

Instructional Videos

Repairing Pitch Marks correctly. (approx 54 seconds)


 Rules of Golf (Basic rules) (Approx 9 mins)


 Rules of Golf changes 2012 - 2015.  R & A + USGA  Video. (Approx 5 mins)


 If you want to see other videos, please use the 'contact us' page.

England Golf & Congu Handicap rules amendments 2014.

This attached link shows a presentation from England Golf in conjunction with Congu to explain the Supplementary scores and Competition handicaps.

Presentation from England Golf & Congu 

Decisions of the Rules of Golf 2014 - 2015

Among the recent changes, this one is particularly worth noting:

  • New Decision 14-3/18 confirms that players can access reports on weather conditions on a smartphone during a round without breaching the Rules. Importantly, this new Decision also clarifies that players are permitted to access information on the threat of an impending storm in order to protect their own safety.

The full text of the revisions to “Decisions on the Rules of Golf” and of the Joint Statement can be found at and

Annual Handicap Review

Every year, we are obliged, by England Golf, to hold a handicap review by March of each year.  This is mainly completed by the computer with very few manual adjustments.

The annual Handicap review is controlled by the Handicap Secretary, Ian Farquharson with assistance from the Handicap Committee.

The changes to handicaps will be published on the Handicap notice board and on Masterscoreboard. .

A note from the Handicap Secretary can be seen here.

The Rules of Golf

Rules of Golf 2012 - 2015

Pick up your free copy from the table in the foyer.  (If they've all gone - just ask the secretary). 

To find out about all the changes you have to read the 'Rules of Golf 2012 - 2015' handbook.  Here are a few changes to be getting on with:

1. Ball moving after address:  If a players' ball moves after address then the player should add a penalty stroke and replace the ball to its' original position.  However if it is virtually certain that the player did not cause the ball to move (i.e. the wind) then there is no penalty and the ball is played from its' new position.  Be careful here as if the ball moves because of gravity (on a hill), after being addressed, then it is still a penalty stroke and you'll need to replace the ball. (Rule 18-2b).  

2. Inspecting a Hazard:  It's not mandatory to assess the physical conditions of a water hazard to establish virtual certainty that your ball is in it.  If enough evidence suggests that it's obvious from your vantage point that your ball in inside the margins, you can now proceed under any water-hazard option, without having to inspect the hazard. (Decision 26-1/1.3).  

3. Altering conditions:  Changing an area of the course will not be a penalty unless it creates a potential advantage for you.  Two examples; Repairing a pitchmark on your line of play five yards in front of your ball; accidentally knocking a leaf loose with a practice swing.  Either would be OK provided no advantage was gained from doing so. (Decision 13-1/0.5) 

4. Addressing the Ball:  Regardless of whether you have already taken your stance, you've addressed the ball the moment you put your club down immediately in front or behind the ball.  Addressing the ball used to also include taking your stance. (Definitions). 

5. Moving the ball:  If you accidentally move your ball while searching for it when it's covered by sand, there's no penalty. However, from now on, if your ball moves in a hazard when it's covered by loose impediments, it's a one stroke penalty. (Rules 12-1, 18-2a). 

6. Smoothing Sand:  You can smooth sand before your first shot in a bunker, provided it's for the purpose of tidying and you aren't testing the conditions or improving your stance, lie, intended swing or line of play.  If you move a loose impediment as a results of tidying the bunker, there's no penalty - so long as you didn't gain an advantage. (Rule 13-4, Decision 13-4/9.5). 

7. Playing in wrong place:  Unless you commit a serious breach of the rules, if you accidentally play from the wrong place, the maximum penalty is two strokes. (Rule 20-7c). 

8. Oscillating Ball:  If you make a stroke at an oscillating ball, there's no penalty because the ball hasn't moved. (Decision 14-5/2). 

Also of Note: 

a. You cannot listen to music or news etc, for prolonged periods during a round, but it's OK if you briefly listen. For example; checking sports scores. (Decision 14-3/17).

b. If you tee off within five minutes after a designated tee time - it's a two stroke penalty, in strokeplay, instead of disqualification. (Rule 6-3a).

c. When your ball is on the putting green, you may not lift it while another ball is in motion if there's a chance your ball could be struck by that ball. (Rule 16-1b, Decision 16-1b/4).

Copywrite Golf-World February 2012.


Rule 33-1 Conditions; Waiving Rule 

Recent events have suggested that there is confusion whether a matchplay competition can be played at the same time as a stroke play competition (playing both formats at the same time).  Rule 33-1 covers this situation and is printed here to aid members.

Rule 33-1 

The Committee has no power to waive a Rule of Golf. Certain specific Rules governing stroke play are so substantially different from those governing match play that combining the two forms of play is not practicable and is not permitted. The result of a match played in these circumstances is null and void and, in the stroke play competition, the competitors are disqualified.

In stroke play, the Committee may limit a referee’s duties.Certain specific Rules governing stroke play are so substantially different from those governing match play that combining the two forms of play is not practicable and is not permitted. The result of a match played in these circumstances is null and void and, in the stroke play competition, the competitors are disqualified.In stroke play, the Committee may limit a referee’s duties.

Members are asked to pay particular attention to the following:

a.    Repair all divots

b.    Repair all pitch marks on the greens (please repair other pitch marks as well)        

c.    Rake all footprints from bunkers (please rake other footprints as well)

These 3 requests will keep our golf course looking its best - beautiful - thanks.

There are now quite a few more ball washers dotted throughout the course.

The trolley cleaning area gets a bit mucky this time of year.  Once used please try to leave the area as tidy as possible and put the compressor gun on the stand.

Supplementary Scores.

Slight change to the supplementary card system. See link for complete details
One of the recent changes in the CONGU rules allow for any golfer to submit up to a maximum of 10 supplementary cards each calendar year at his home club. Also, category one players ( handicap less than 5.5) are now permitted to use Supplementary scores. The process is simple, before the round you must nominate the round as a supplementary score by signing the book in the pro shop. The round must be played to competition standards eg every putt must be holed and all rules adhered to. Once the round is complete, PUT THE CARD INTO THE COMPETITIONS DRAW BELOW THE COMPUTER IN THE BAR AREA., ensuring that it is completed correctly ie it is marked as a supplementary round, the tees used are marked, name clearly identified and the card marker must be an Arscott member. Supplementary cards must be at least a week apart. Failure to adhere to these simple guidelines will mean that the card will not be eligible.

SSS & CSS (The difference)

Standard Scratch Score (SSS) and Competition Scratch Score (CSS)

Here is a little light reading on a subject which always guarantees a lively debate!

Standard scratch score:-

Every golf course is awarded a Standard Scratch Score by the English Golf Union (EGU); the course cannot award its own SSS.

The par of the course is not taken into account when the SSS is awarded.   It is purely a measure of the difficulty of the course ie taking into account mainly its length,  plus other factors such as fairway width, hazards along the holes etc.

The SSS of Arscott is –

White tees = 70   

Yellow tees = 69    

Blue(winter) tees = 67


Our future scorecards will be altered to show these correct values.

The Blue tees have only recently been awarded this SSS.

Competition scratch score:-

Every handicap qualifying competition results in a Competition Scratch Score being calculated.

The CSS is the score used to adjust handicaps.  Play below it and your handicap will reduce; play more than 2 or 3 shots (buffer zone) above it, and your handicap will (usually) increase.

The CSS is based upon the SSS so will depend upon which tees are being used. Every competition will start the day with the CSS being the same as the SSS  ... ie will be 67 whilst we are off the mats.

As the scores come in during the day the CSS may alter. There is a specific formula used - basically the number of players of handicap 20 and below who achieve a score within 2 to 3 shots (buffer zone) of the SSS is noted, the higher percentage of players achieving this, the lower the CSS will be.  Conversely, the lower the percentage of players achieving this, the higher the CSS will be.

If very few players achieve this, for example when the weather is very poor, then the CSS may be so high that a competition is deemed “reduction only” in which case handicaps will be reduced but not increased.

These calculations are all done automatically by Handicapmaster which uses the EGU rules.

Ian Farquharson

Handicap secretary


            Rule to Take Effect on January 1, 2016, Allowing for Transitional Period

Belly-Length and Long Putters Would Remain as Conforming Clubs

 28 November 2012, St Andrews, Scotland: The R&A and the United States Golf Association (USGA), golf?s governing bodies, today announced proposed changes to the Rules of Golf that would prohibit anchoring the club in making a stroke.

The proposed Rule 14-1b, which follows an extensive review by The R&A and the USGA, would prohibit strokes made with the club or a hand gripping the club held directly against the player?s body, or with a forearm held against the body to establish an anchor point that indirectly anchors the club.

The proposed new Rule would not alter current equipment rules and would allow the continued use of all conforming golf clubs, including belly-length and long putters, provided such clubs are not anchored during a stroke. The proposed Rule narrowly targets only a few types of strokes, while preserving a golfer?s ability to play a wide variety of strokes in his or her individual style.

Prior to taking a final decision on the proposed Rule, The R&A and the USGA will consider any further comments and suggestions from throughout the golf community.

?We believe we have considered this issue from every angle but given the wide ranging interest in this subject we would like to give stakeholders in the game the opportunity to put forward any new matters for consideration,? said Peter Dawson, Chief Executive of The R&A.

The proposed Rule change would take effect on January 1, 2016, in accordance with the regular four-year cycle for changes to the Rules of Golf. This timetable would also provide an extended period in which golfers may, if necessary, adapt their method of stroke to the requirements of the Rule.

For more information about the newly proposed Rule, as well as additional information including videos and images of strokes that would be allowed or prohibited by the proposed changes to Rule 14-1, visit or

 New Rule Would Define and Preserve the Nature of the Stroke

In proposing the new Rule, The R&A and the USGA concluded that the long-term interests of the game would be served by confirming a stroke as the swinging of the entire club at the ball.

?Throughout the 600-year history of golf, the essence of playing the game has been to grip the club with the hands and swing it freely at the ball,? said USGA Executive Director Mike Davis. ?The player?s challenge is to control the movement of the entire club in striking the ball, and anchoring the club alters the nature of that challenge. Our conclusion is that the Rules of Golf should be amended to preserve the traditional character of the golf swing by eliminating the growing practice of anchoring the club.?


This proposal reflects The R&A?s and USGA?s responsibility to define how the game is to be played. Aspects of how a player must make a stroke have been addressed in past Rules changes, such as the century-old Rule codifying that the ball must be fairly struck and not be pushed, scraped or spooned and the 1968 prohibition on the ?croquet? style of putting.

?As governing bodies, we monitor and evaluate playing practices and developments in golf, with our primary mandate being to ensure that the Rules of Golf continue to preserve the fundamental characteristics of the game,? added Davis.

Although anchoring the club is not new, until recently it was uncommon and typically seen as a method of last resort by a small number of players. In the last two years, however, more and more players have adopted the anchored stroke. Golf?s governing bodies have observed this upsurge at all levels of the game and noted that more coaches and players are advocating this method. The decision to act now is based on a strong desire to reverse this trend and to preserve the traditional golf stroke.

?Anchored strokes have become the preferred option for a growing number of players and this has caused us to review these strokes and their impact on the game,? said Dawson. ?Our concern is that anchored strokes threaten to supplant traditional putting strokes which are integral to the longstanding character of the sport.?


Earlier this year, The R&A and the USGA announced that they were reviewing the subject of anchoring. There has been widespread discussion of the issue throughout the international golf community which has been noted by the governing bodies.

Each organisation is expected to take a final decision on the proposed Rule change in spring 2013. Anyone wishing to provide written comments to the appropriate governing body is encouraged to do so by 28 February 2013 as directed on the respective websites: or

(In the context of this news release, The R&A refers to R&A Rules Ltd)