SGA Handicap Policy

1. The SGA has an exclusive licence agreement with the United States Golf Association (USGA) to use its Handicap System through to the year 2017 on a Singapore national basis. The licence grants a free right to use the System but with no rights to modify.

2. The SGA, in turn, sub licences the agreement to its Ordinary and Associate Members which meet its qualification to issue a Handicap Index.  In so doing Members must conform strictly to the USGA Handicap System 2016 – 2017 and this SGA Handicap Policy.  No SGA Ordinary/Associate Member can modify, exclude or add any requirement in the application of issuing or maintaining Handicap Index to its members.  Any non-conformance to the USGA Handicap System and the SGA Handicap Policy will invalidate any Handicap Index issued by SGA Ordinary/Associate Members to its members.

3. No other form of golf handicapping other than the USGA Handicap System can be used by SGA Ordinary/Associate Members during the licence period.

4. It is a requirement of the USGA Handicap System that SGA Ordinary/Associate Members must have a Handicap Committee.

5. The Handicap Committee must comprise a minimum of three members with the majority of them being members of SGA Ordinary/Associate Members.  The Chairman must be a member of SGA Ordinary/Associate Members.  The Handicap Committee may report to a Golf/Greens Committee but must be independent of them for all matters pertaining to handicapping.

Committee’s Responsibilities
6. The main purpose of the club’s Handicap Committee is to ensure compliance with the USGA Handicap System & to provide adequate peer review of the Handicap Index that it issues to its members.  The Handicap Committee is the only authority within SGA Ordinary/Associate Members that can issue or adjust a member’s Handicap Index.

7. As part of the System, the Handicap Committee must meet each month within one week prior to the next official SGA handicap revision date, which is the 1st day of each month.  Minutes of each meeting must be taken and should be made available to SGA, if requested.

8. At the meeting the Handicap Committee will review scores made in all tournaments played during the month.

9. The “R” adjustments computed by the system should be reviewed and the Handicap Committee has the authority to accept, override or modify the Handicap Index calculated in accordance with Section 10.3 of the USGA Handicap System.

10. All exceptional scores made during tournaments should be evaluated and it is recommended that the committee should look at all players who have produced exceptional T-scores that are 2 or better than their Course Handicaps.  In evaluating such players’ performances, the committee may compare the exceptional tournament score with the player’s competitive and social score records and modify the player’s Handicap Index, if necessary.

11. Some members may develop at a rate that is faster than the system can accurately adjust.  The Handicap Committee is advised that it should review members who have a change of Handicap Index of >2 plus or minus over the previous revision.  Such players should be reviewed and, if required, have their Handicap Index readjusted.

12. The Handicap Committee should review players who post numerous away and Internet scores.  Such score must be evaluated in accordance with Section 8.4c (ii) and Handicap Index adjusted, when required.

13. A Handicap Index modified by the Handicap Committee becomes effective when the decision is made and its reason is specified in the next release of the SGA Ordinary/Associate Members’ Handicap Register.  A player may appeal the modified Handicap Index.  If the appeal is upheld, the Handicap Committee can change the Handicap Index the day after the appeal. Adjusted Handicap Index must be identified with the letter M (e.g., 4.9M).

14. The Handicap Committee is authorized to modify or withdraw a Handicap Index of a player who does not return all acceptable scores, or does not otherwise observe the spirit of the USGA Handicap System.

15. In order to obtain a Handicap Index, a beginner or player with no previous recognized handicap must post adjusted gross scores for at least five 18 hole or ten 9 hole or an equivalent combination, from golf courses that have a USGA Course and Slope Rating.  These scores must be posted during the time that a golfer is a member of an SGA Ordinary or Associate Member.

16. SGA Ordinary/Associate Members may set their own criteria to require a player to demonstrate proficiency and knowledge of Rules of Golf and Etiquette through a courtesy round or other testing procedure.  However, such qualification must be done prior to the issue of a Handicap Index to a player.

17. Player with USGA Handicap Index.
a. When a new member with a USGA Handicap Index joins a club, the Handicap Committee must accept the new member’s Handicap Index if it is justified by documentary evidence, confirming club membership and Handicap Index.

b. If previous records of scores including dates, courses played, Course and Slope Ratings and Handicap Differentials, are available for transfer, the data will be entered into the SGA Ordinary/Associate Members’ Handicap Index register.  The Handicap Index will be reconfirmed at the next monthly revision.

c. If records are not available, the Handicap Committee will accept a Handicap Index based on the documentary evidence provided.  The Handicap Index will be identified with the remark “Committee Assigned Handicap”.

d. The player’s Handicap Index will be confirmed after the posting of adjusted gross scores of at least five 18 hole or ten 9 hole or an equivalent combination, of rounds from golf courses that have a USGA Course and Slope Rating.

18. Player with handicap from a recognized handicap body other than USGA.
a. The recognized non USGA International handicaps are generally those issued by CONGU (Council of National Golf Unions UK), AGU (now Golf Australia), JGA (Japanese Golf Association), EGA (European Golf Association), and SAGA (South African Golf Association).

b. When a new member with an internationally recognized handicap joins a club, its Handicap Committee should assign a USGA Handicap Index based on documentary evidence, confirming club membership and handicap or after an optional Courtesy Round.

c. The assigned Handicap Index will be identified with the remark “Committee Assigned Handicap”.

d. The player’s “Committee Assigned Handicap” will be confirmed after the posting of adjusted gross scores for at least five 18 hole or ten 9 hole or an equivalent combination, of rounds from golf courses that have USGA Course and Slope Rating.

19. SGA Ordinary/Associate Members should issue a Handicap Index card, if requested, to its members.  It is recommended that the USGA type format is used as shown in the USGA Handicap System Manual Section 6.4.

20. Such cards should only be issued to members who maintain a Handicap Index at the club.  It must reflect the member’s current Handicap Index and signed by a staff member who is authorized to do so by the Handicap Committee.

21. It is not a requirement of the USGA Handicap System that all players at a club must have a Handicap Index.  Therefore, control of play or control of play restrictions using USGA Handicap Index is not recommended.  SGA Ordinary Members should find other ways of controlling course congestion, if they wish to do so.

22. A player should post a score immediately after the round or as soon as practical. He may post an adjusted hole by hole score or just a gross score.

23. A player may post his own score if the club has the facility for him to do so via a club terminal or the Internet.  The player may also summit a score using a score card, email or any written form.  Verbal submission is not accepted.

24. When a written score is submitted it should be posted, i.e. keyed into the system, by the Club staff by the end of the next day for peer review.  Scores submitted on Saturday / Sunday / Public Holiday must be posted by the end of the next weekday.

25. If a player fails to post an acceptable score within thirteen days after completion of the round, a penalty score equal to the lowest or highest Handicap Differential in the player’s scoring record will be posted on the fourteenth day.

26. In order to avoid a penalty score after playing a round when a score is not acceptable for handicapping purposes e.g., number of holes completed is 6 or fewer holes; a player should post the round marked as USH (Unacceptable Score for Handicapping).

27. In the event of weather disruptions for the day (split into morning and afternoon sessions), SGA Ordinary Members are to void all data for that period and penalty scores will not be applied if players do not submit a score.  However, if players submit their scores, these will be accepted.  For standardization purposes, weather disruptions mean any suspension of play due to weather during that period, regardless of the duration of suspension of play.

28. The penalty score for 9 hole scores not returned will be the lowest 18 hole Handicap Differential in the player’s scoring record.

29. Penalty scores will not be posted for players with fewer than 5 scores.  Such players must post the 5 required scores to earn their Handicap Index.

30. To assist the Handicap Committee track players’ accumulation of excessive penalty scores, “Excessive P Scores” will be added in the remarks column whenever players’ penalty scores comprise 30% or more of his total scoring records.  The remark will be removed when it drops below 30%.  This will be done during the monthly handicap revision date.

31. SGA Ordinary/Associate Members may impose disincentives they deem fit to such players to encourage them to submit scores after playing a round.

32. A player who does not wish to continue to hold a USGA Handicap Index may choose to opt out of it.  Players who opt out will have their handicap records removed from the Ordinary Member’s handicap register and the SGA National Handicap book.  Their records will be stored in the club’s database for future possible use.

33. A player who has opted out need not post scores whenever they play a round of golf and are not required to meet any other handicap compliance requirements.

34. A player who has opted out may opt in at any time by requesting the Handicap Committee to reinstate his Handicap Index.  His original score record will be transferred back to the Ordinary Member’s handicap system and his original Handicap Index reissued at the next handicap revision.

35. If the player’s score records are no longer available, a Handicap Index will be issued after the posting of adjusted gross scores of five 18 hole or ten 9 hole or an equivalent combination, of rounds from golf courses that have a USGA Course and Slope Rating.

36. Players who have opted out of the system will not be eligible to participate in tournaments that require a Handicap Index.

37. It is recommended that, if requested, Clubs provide opted out members with a introduction card that contains the following:

“The member is a social player at our Club who no longer maintains a competitive handicap. The last handicap on record was ……”

38. A player who has lost his amateur status after accepting an improper prize will continue to hold his Handicap Index. His status will be identified with the remark “Lost Amateur Status” in the National Handicap Book.

39. He will not be eligible to participate in any tournaments, except his club’s closed competition, subject to the club tournament chairman’s approval.  He may use his Handicap Index for his club’s closed competition.  He will continue to submit his scores whenever he plays social golf and will be subject to penalty scores if he does not.

40. The maintenance of his Handicap Index will facilitate his re-entry into the ranks of amateur golfers after he has served the period awaiting reinstatement of 1 – 2 years depending on the value of the improper prize.

Home Club
41. A player with more than one club must designate one club as his home club.  It should normally be the club where he plays the most golf.  The player’s other clubs must agree to delete all handicap records of the player and cease to issue a Handicap Index to that player.

Handicap Index Transfer
42. Handicap Index transfers must be agreed by both Handicap Chairmen of the transferring and receiving Ordinary/Associate Members.

43. All guests’ scores should be consolidated at the end of the month and forwarded to the guest’s home club within one week of the end of that month.

44. All Tournament Scores should be forwarded to player’s home club within one week of the date of tournament.

45. SGA Ordinary/Associate Members will revise their members’ Handicap Index on the last day of the month and send the revised data to SGA.

46. SGA will load the data to the website by the 1st working day of the month.  If during this period that there are discrepancies in players’ Handicap Index between that posted at the Ordinary Member’s and SGA’s NHB, the Ordinary Member’s Handicap Register will take precedence.

47. If SGA does not receive a Ordinary Member’s handicap data by the end of the 1st working day of the month, the previous handicap data of that Ordinary Member will be deleted from the website.  It will only be updated when the latest handicap data of that club is received.

Mr Kong Choong Soon

SGA Handicap Sub-Committee
 March 2016