Rules of Golf

We play to the R&A rules of golf described at Note that the rules changed for 2016!

There is a handy rules app for your smartphone that you can download.


President's Balls

The Presidents Balls is an annual completion within Irons. It is awarded to the best golfer of the year, that person with the most consistent good scores.

The best five qualifying scores for each golfer for the year will be used. The golfer with the highest aggregate score (from the qualifying rounds) is the winner. In the event of a tie, the person with the highest individual score is the winner. If still tied the high score is removed and the second score is used, and so on.

All London-based weekend Irons events qualify. All Friday rounds at away events qualify.

For the last round of the year, the players in leading positions will be paired together.


Trip Points

On away trips we compute a total score for the week for each player. For each round, the winner scores 6 points and the following four positions score 4, 3, 2 and 1 point. Each player's score is computed using the highest three scores from the week and the winner is the player with the highest score. In the event of a tie, the person with the most number of wins will win. If tied, then total score using all rounds will be used.


Handicap System

The Irons Handicap System is devised to provide competitive golf handicaps to all Irons members. The System is not a strict CONGU (Council of National Golf Unions) system, but rather one adjusted to suit our needs.

The System is managed by the Handicap Secretary who reports to the Irons Committee. Each member has an exact and a playing handicap. Handicap adjustments are made after each event and are published on the Irons website.

A new member will have a handicap assigned to them based upon their existing standard and official club handicap. It is not expected that all incoming members will have a club handicap. Thereafter, it is the Irons handicap that is used at all Irons events.

It is the duty of each member to inform the Handicap Secretary of any changes to playing handicap at club level. Generally, since with Irons we play off yellow tees, the Irons handicap is expected to be less than or equal to any club handicap.


Each member belongs to one of the following categories, that is then used to adjust their handicap:

Category Exact Range Adjustment Down Adjustment Up Buffer Zone
1 <=5.4 0.1 0.1 1 point
2 5.5-12.4 0.2 0.1 2 points
3 12.5-20.4 0.3 0.1 3 points
4 20.5-28.0 0.4 0.1 4 points
5 >=28.1 1.0 0.1 5 points

We extend the CONGU system to have 5 categories.

The Adjustment Down is the exact movement of a handicap down per shot below the CSS for an event. The Buffer Zone is the number of shots that a player is permitted to be above the CSS before the Adjustment Up is applied.

Competition Scratch Score (CSS)

A CSS is used to determine the par score for the course on the competition day. We use the following algorithm:

  • The maximum range allowed for CSS is 33-39
  • CSS is the score between 33-39 that has the highest number of players. If multiple scores then the nearest to 36 is used.
  • The handicap secretary will select the CSS in agreement with one other committee member who played at the event.
Event Adjustments

Upon completion of an Irons event the Handicap Secretary, or nominated person on Irons trips where the secretary is absent, will adjust the handicaps as follows:

  • Determine the CSS for the round
  • Adjust each of the players exact handicaps:
    • If score in range (CSS-Buffer to CSS) then no change is made
    • If score below (CSS-Buffer) then the Adjustment Up is made
    • For number of shots (Score-CSS) the Adjustment Down is made
  • If a player is changing categories then both categories are used during the adjustment
General Play Adjustments

Periodically the Handicap Secretary will review scores and make adjustments based upon general play.

Members can also request that their handicap is reviewed.