Handicap League Terms of Competition


  1. Clubs must be affiliated to the L&RLCGA.
  2. All players to be current members of the County Association, and bona fide members of the club they are representing.
  3. A player may not represent more than one club in any Handicap League season.  It is not necessary for the club to be represented by the same players throughout the competition.
  4. There is currently no entry fee for this competition.

Organisation of league

  1. Divisions shall be numbered 1,2,3,4 etc.  At the end of each season the top Club in each division other than Division 1 shall be promoted.  The bottom Club in all but the lowest Division shall be relegated.  This is subject to there being no circumstances requiring Division restructuring to fulfil the competition's objective to promote ladies golf in the County.
  2. Each club shall be represented by a team consisting of three pairs in each match.  Players must have a Handicap Index.  The maximum Handicap Index for allowance is restricted to 26.5.  Players with a Handicap Index greater than 26.5 may play in the League, but must play off an HI of 26.5 
  3. All matches to be played HOME or AWAY in accordance with the fixtures published by the Competitions' Secretary.
  4. All matches in the regular season must be completed by the 31st August. Any matches not played on or before that date will be considered null & void.
  5. If a club cannot field a viable team they must withdraw from the league immediately and will automatically be relegated the following year.  All matches they have played will be null and void.
  6. Resignations or applications for membership of the Handicap League must be sent to the County Competitions Secretary by 31st August.

Playing of matches

  1. Matches shall be three games of four-ball match play over a round of eighteen (18) holes.  Games finishing all square shall be considered tied.
  2. All matches shall be governed by the Rules of Golf plus local rules in operation for the course over which the match is played, excluding any local rule alternative for stroke and distance.
  3. Matches to be played on a course with an applicable Course and Slope Rating and no more than two temporary greens in play.  Every effort should be made to play the course at its measured length as defined by its Course and Slope Rating.
  4. All matches to be played on dates arranged by the County Competitions' Secretary and at times mutually agreed between the clubs.
  5. Each team Captain should complete a team sheet indicating pairs and player handicaps.  This must be exchanged at least ten minutes prior to the agreed starting time.  Individual games do NOT have to commence in the team sheet order.
  6. Competitors shall play from their Course Handicap.  Playing Handicap is 100% of Course Handicap as per WHS Rules of Handicapping (updated 1 April 2024). Players to receive strokes based on 90% of the difference between their Playing Handicap and that of the player with the lowest Playing Handicap.
  7. It is expected that Clubs will field a full team and that every effort will be made to replace players that have to withdraw.  Where this is not possible a ‘side’ may be represented by one partner and a minimum of 3 players must be fielded in order to produce a meaningful result.
  8. In absence of one partner in a declared pair:
    1. A side may be represented by one partner for all or any part of a game; all partners need not be present. An absent partner may join a game between holes, but not during play of a hole. [Rules of Golf 23.4].
    2. Should the absent player in a team have the lowest Handicap Index, her Playing Handicap is still taken into account when calculating the shot allowance for the other players (Rules of Golf - Intepretation 23.4/1)
  9. For the purposes of Rules of Golf 5-3a When to Start a Round the first game is due to commence at the agreed start time of the match.  The second game is due to commence 10 minutes later and the third game 20 minutes after the start time of the match.
  10. Results of each match must be sent to the Competitions Secretary of the League by the winning Club within 7 days, using the special match sheets provided.  Drawn matches should be reported by the home Club.
  11. All matches should be played on the date set by the County, unless the course has been closed by the host Club.  In this event, the match should be rearranged by mutual consent, ensuring that it is completed by 31st August.
  12. Once started, if a match cannot be completed due to a) the course becoming unplayable due to water logging (holes under water), b) play is suspended due to threat of lightning and/or c) insufficient light to complete the games, the following shall apply:
  13. If the overall match result is mathematically beyond doubt e.g. one game is already won by Club A and the two others are dormie, providing the necessary 2 points to win the match, then the match should be suspended and a new date(s) agreed to complete any unfinished games.(This is necessary because promotion/relegation at the end of the season may be determined by games won or lost overall).    The games will restart at the point where they were suspended. This must be within ten (10) days of the original date.  Individual games where originally selected players are unavailable for the rearranged date must be forfeited to the opposition.  The requirement to rearrange does not take priority over competitors’ rights under Rule 3.2b (1) Concession of match, hole or next stroke in relation to the original game. (ie A player may concede a match at any time prior to the start or conclusion of that match).

If this cannot be applied, then team Captains are required to make a mutual decision to:


Suspend the match and arrange a new date(s) to complete any unfinished games.  The games will restart at the point where they were suspended. This must be within ten (10) days of the original date.  Individual games where originally selected players are unavailable for the rearranged date must be forfeited to the opposition.


Abandon the match entirely and rearrange by mutual consent for another date, ensuring that it is completed by 31st August.  In this instance, player selection is at the discretion of each Club and new team sheets shall determine the individual games to be played on the rearranged date.

For guidance, it is recommended that if more than half of the individual games have either ended or completed 12 or more holes, then the match should be suspended.  Alternatively, if fewer than half of the individual games have either ended or completed 12 or more holes, then the match should be abandoned.  However, the final decision is at the discretion of the Captains.

  1. Disputes will normally be settled by the Captains of the teams concerned. Where this proves impossible the dispute shall be referred to the Executive Committee, whose decision shall be final.
  2. Motorised “Sit-On” Golf Carts/Buggies may only be used in strict compliance with the County Transportation policy.


Division winners, promotion and relegation

The order of Clubs’ finishing positions in each Division will be determined by:

1)  Greatest number of points, 2 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss then

2)  Greatest “games difference” aggregate for all matches, then

3)  Greatest “holes difference” aggregate for all matches, then

4)  Result between the tied Clubs

In the event that the formula above cannot separate teams tied as winners of Division 1 or for promotion/relegation, a play-off will take place on a neutral course as directed by the Competitions Secretary.  The play-off will consist of a match of three games of four-ball match play, played off 90% of Course Handicap (Playing Handicap), over a round of eighteen (18) holes in accordance with the Handicap League rules.  In the event of a tied match, the first pair listed on the team sheets from each Club shall play a three hole four-ball match play play-off to determine the winners.  If this does not separate the teams, the play-off shall continue on a sudden death basis until the match is decided.  Sudden death play off holes are a continuation of the round. 


Handicap Rules amended June 2024


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