How golfers in Kenya are abusing the new World Handicap System

  • July 6, 2021
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Barely four months since launching the World Handicap System, the Kenya Golf Union, KGU, has been forced to run back to the software supplier- Club System International to tighten loopholes in the HowDidIDo app.

This follows a revelation by KGU that some golfers in Kenya are taking advantage of gaps in the HowDidIDo app to enter “irregular scores”. Consequently the Union has suspended the input of General Play also known as Casual Rounds or friendlies scores via HowDidIDo.

“While auditing the system, we noticed some entries which caught our attention. And most of these entries emanated from friendly rounds or in some instances scores that had not been verified with the sole purpose of manipulating handicaps. This goes against the grain and spirit of the game of golf,” Vincent Wang’ombe, chairman of the Kenya Unified Handicapping and Course Rating Committee told T-OFF News.

Among the common breaches, said Wang’ombe, is entry of unverified scores, entering scores from rounds played by a single player, post facto entries, scores from Matchplay competitions and in extreme scenarios HowDidIDo app “even accepts scores from fictitious rounds”.  “Though Matchplay is recognized for handicapping in some jurisdictions, it is not allowed in Kenya,” he said.  

Wang’ombe said effective today, players must send their scores through their golf administrators for entry into the Club VI System. “We have requested Club Systems International to look into this problem. We shall only open access to players after they inbuilt capabilities that allow the marker to confirm scores which should also be visible to the golf admin for further verification,” Wang’ombe explained.

The KGU supremo clarified that friendly rounds have not been banned saying that such rounds will have to be registered in the respective clubs systems before play for the scores to be valid. “It is incumbent upon the club’s Handicap Committee to ensure that these are played according to the Rules of Handicapping. We are not sure how long Club Systems International will take to fix this anomaly, so for now entry of scores will be solely by golf admins,” he said.

The new handicap system which became operational in Kenya in March this year, provides golfers with a “unified and more inclusive” handicapping system, unifying six handicapping systems. Developed by The R&A and USGA, it provides golfers a Handicap Index, which is a measure of their ability, and a course handicap which reflects the difficulty of the golf course being played. The player Handicap Index is calculated based on the average of the best scores for eight rounds from the most recent 20 submitted rounds of golf. It has a maximum handicap limit of 54.0, regardless of gender.

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