Campaign bids to stop handicap cheating

There’s plain cheating — and then there’s handicap massaging. And the Golfing Union of Ireland doesn’t differentiate — both are forms of cheating.

The GUI is spearheading a March campaign for fair and consistent handicapping by tackling the cheats in an innovative Handicap Awareness Month.

Throughout the month, the GUI will be running #TheFairWay campaign, which will educate players and clubs alike.

Handicapping is a fundamental aspect of the game and as the governing body for men’s golf in Ireland, the GUI are raising awareness in response to public concerns about handicap cheating.

“There is a culture of tolerating handicap cheating which isn’t the case for other forms of cheating within golf,” says Pat Finn, CEO of the GUI.

“The finger seems to be pointed at the GUI or the branches of the GUI or indeed to club committees to deal with this problem.

“I don’t think it can be. It is endemic and the only real way of tackling it is at member-to-member level where everybody takes a proactive approach in dealing with the issue and calling out fellow members on their behaviour and saying it is not going to be tolerated anymore.”

To hammer home the message, the GUI have defined handicap cheating and it is prominently displayed on the Union’s website: “Playing in a qualifying competition and setting out with the aim of ‘getting 0.1 back’ or not trying your best at any point in the round with the aim of manipulating your handicap is CHEATING.”

The GUI advises and guides handicap committees about the application and implementation of the handicapping system.

One of most important things for clubs to remember is that handicap secretaries should not act on their own, and it is vital that decisions are made as a committee in accordance with the rules.


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