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Clause 25.1 of the CONGU Unified Handicapping System 2008-2011 gives a Union the right to ‘direct that the handicap of any player, in whatever Category, who fails to return a stipulated minimum number of Qualifying Scores in a period between Annual Reviews shall lapse.’

The English, Welsh and Scottish Golf Authorities have introduced different schemes to administer this rule.  At the moment the Irish do not use this clause. 
England & WalesThe start of 2010 saw the English and Welsh Golfing Unions introducing a systems of Active and Inactive Handicaps for both Gents and Ladies.  In short, at the beginning of every year each club will check the number of qualifying rounds all players have returned in the previous year.  If that number is less than three, the player's handicap is marked with an 'i' to show that it is 'Inactive'.   The club may then choose to limit entry (or the award or prizes) to golfers who's handicaps display that mark.

To remove this 'i' Inactive status, a player must return three qualifing scores in the current playing year.

Points to remember;
  1. This process is run at the start of a calendar year.
  2. Players' handicaps are marked 'i' Inactive, not Lapsed as in Scotland.
  3. Players' handicaps are still adjusted up and down as usual.
  4. To remove the 'i' Inactive status you must return three qualifying scores in the current year.
  5. It is at the competition organising committee's discretion whether 'i' Inactive handicaps may either participate or win prizes in a competition.
If you wish to read the detailed specifications issued by the EGU/EWGA please click here to visit the Club Systems CLUB2000 website.

ScotlandThe Scottish Golf Union requires that at each Annual Review, following the close of the playing season, players who have not returned three Qualifying Scores since the previous review shall have their handicap ‘starred’.

Players with handicaps ‘starred’ in this manner shall not be entitled to enter a competition (Home or Away) for which a CONGU handicap is required. ‘Starred’ handicaps may, however, be used for social golf and the like.

A 'starred' CONGU Handicap may be certified by a player's home golf club, allowing the member to use their handicap certificate for access to play golf courses where handicap restrictions apply, holiday golf etc.

To remove this '*' Lapsed status, a player must submit cards to the handicapping committee.

Points to remember;
  1. This process is often run at the start of a calendar year, although it is stipulated that the relevant period is the period 'between Annual Reviews'.
  2. Players' handicaps are marked '*' Lapsed not Inactive as in England & Wales.
  3. Player's handicaps are not valid for entry to qualifying competitions.
  4. To remove the '*' Lapsed status, you must re apply to the handicap committee for a handicap.

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