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Rules changes 2016.  Rules & Handicaps

Rules - There is a new amended rule book out for this season, copies are available in the shop, but in summary the changes are as follows.

Withdrawal of Rule on Ball Moving After Address - Rule 18-2b (Ball Moving After Address) has been withdrawn. This means that if a ball at rest moves after the player addresses it, the player is no longer automatically deemed to have caused the ball to move. A one-stroke penalty under Rule 18-2 will be applied only when the facts show that the player has caused the ball to move.  

Limited Exception to Disqualification Penalty for Submission of Incorrect Score Card - A new exception has been introduced to Rule 6-6d (Wrong Score for Hole) to provide that a player is not disqualified for returning a lower score for a hole than actually taken as a result of failing to include penalty strokes that the player did not know were incurred before returning the score card. Instead, the player incurs the penalty under the Rule that was breached and must add an additional penalty of two strokes for the score card error. In all other cases in which a player returns a score for any hole lower than actually taken, the penalty will continue to be disqualification. 

Modification of Penalty for a Single Impermissible Use of Artificial Devices or Equipment - The penalty for a player’s first breach of Rule 14-3 (Artificial Devices, Unusual Equipment and Abnormal Use of Equipment) during the round has been reduced from disqualification to loss of hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play. The penalty for any subsequent breach of Rule 14-3 will continue to be disqualification. 

Prohibition on Anchoring the Club While Making a Stroke - As announced in May 2013, the new Rule 14-1b (Anchoring the Club) prohibits anchoring the club either “directly” or by use of an “anchor point” in making a stroke. The penalty is loss of hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play. 


Handicaps - There are some handicap rules changes for 2016 and these are summarised as follows.

Matchplay shot allocation - The shot allocation in four ball better ball will now be 90% of the difference as opposed to the current system which is 75%, Singles remains at full difference.

Continuous Handicap Review - The introduction of a process to flag players with seven consecutive 0.1 handicap increases so that Handicap Committees can review and apply an immediate handicap increase if required. 

Club handicaps - A new ‘Club Handicap’ of up to 54 will be introduced for adults as well as juniors. Handicaps higher than 28/36 will only be valid at the player’s home club for use in club-run events and cannot be used in opens etc.

Nine holes - It will be possible to put in Supplementary Scores over nine holes for handicaps. Nine-hole scores will also be taken into account for an Exceptional Scoring Reduction
Reinstatement of Handicap Status: The reinstatement of a competition status handicap requires a player to submit three qualifying scores, which could be 18-hole competitions, 9-hole competitions or Supplementary Scores both at home and/or away.

Dates - The handicap year will now follow the calendar year of 1 January to 31 December, and a player’s handicap will be based on scores returned within that period.

Any questions, please give me a call or email mark@wmgc.co.uk, thanks

Mark Harrhy