Benton Hall

Benton Hall Golf and Country Club

November 2018

Benton Hall Golf and Country Club Wickham Hill

Witham Essex CM8 3LH

Tel 01376 502454




Conditions of Competition


Entering A Drawn Competition

Entering Non Drawn Competitions

Starting Times

Non Appearance on Competition Day


Junior Club Members entering Men’s Competitions

Undue Delay - Slow Play

Handicap Allowances

Leaving the Course during a Competition

Use of Buggies

Mobile Telephones

How to get a handicap

Competition Entry Fees


Supplementary Cards

Distance Measuring Devices

Local Rules


When organizing competitions of any nature, there have to be clear and concise guidelines that everyone participating is aware of and adheres to.

Whilst the primary purpose of club competitions is to afford members an opportunity to compete against other members, it is also intended to be a sociable and enjoyable benefit to being a member of Benton Hall Golf and Country Club.

Nevertheless, there are certain rules, as laid down by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews that need to be enforced if the Club is to continue to provide legitimate English Golf Union handicaps.

In addition to these R&A rules, Benton Hall also has a number of “Club Rules” with regard to numerous aspects of Club competition play. These club rules have been introduced to ensure that, inter alia, timely and accurate competition results can be posted, correct handicap alterations can be made and to ensure everyone who plays in competitions has paid the appropriate entrance fee.

They have been formulated since the inception of the club in 1993 and, as such, are based on experience of organizing our golf competitions.

Whether you are a new member, or have been playing in competitions at the Club for some years, please read through these rules carefully.


R&A Rule 6.1

The player and his caddie are responsible for knowing the rules during a stipulated round and the conditions under which the competition is to be played.

R&A Rule 33.1

The Committee must establish the conditions under which a competition is to be played.


Club Rule 1.1

Eligibility to various competitions is strictly controlled, dependent on membership status.

7 day Members are eligible to enter all Club competitions

5 day members are eligible to enter all mid-week Club competitions.

Most Knockout Competitions are normally played at weekends. Consequently these are only open to 7 day members. Any Knockout Competition designated as a mid-week only competition will also be open to 5 day members.

The Seniors Committee may also lay down separate eligibility criteria for certain midweek competitions, which it is responsible for and organizes.

Club Rule 1.2

A Club Member wishing to enter any Major Competition or any Knockout event must have a handicap which has competition status. This can be achieved by playing in and submitting completed scorecards in at least 3 qualifying Medal or Stableford competitions in the current or preceding year. 

“Qualifying” competitions in this context means playing in Medal and Stableford competitions for which a competition Standard Scratch Score (CSS) is calculated and handicap adjustments are made. This would not normally be done if a fractional handicap is applied or if the course is reduced in its length by over 100 yards.

For members who have submitted three cards to obtain their handicap, these three cards will count as qualifying scores for a period of 12 months from the date of the award of the handicap.

Supplementary cards are accepted as qualifiers (see page 19).

New Club Members must provide evidence of having a handicap which has competition status from their previous club if they wish to enter the aforementioned competitions. 

All Major Competitions and Knockouts are listed below;

  • The Spring Cup
  • The 1996 Committee Cup
  • The Anniversary Plate
  • The Captain's Driver
  • The Club Championships
  • The Vice-Captains Cup
  • The Autumn Cup
  • All Summer Knockout Competitions
  • The Winter League

Entry to the Club Championships (both handicap and scratch competitions) is open to all 7 day members, who were members of the club on 1st April of the year of the competition and have competed in a minimum of 3 Benton Hall club qualifying competitions in the preceding 12 months. A player having left the club and re-joining must establish 3 club qualifiers from the date of re-joining.

Captain’s Day, the Captain's Drive In and the Scratch Singles knockout are, for these purposes, not considered “major” club handicap competitions. Therefore, members can enter these without having to pre-qualify.

Club Rule 1.3

All new Club Members must have a handicap as laid down in the Standard Scratch Score and Handicapping System, before they are eligible to enter any Club Competition. This handicap will be posted on the Club website.

(For further information on obtaining a handicap, please refer to “How to get a handicap” on page 16)


Club Rule 2.1

Club Members entering a drawn competition must first enter their name, before the closing date, on the club web site.

In the event of a member representing the club in a county or representative tournament on the day of a club Major Competition, the member will be permitted to compete that weekend on the alternate day. The member’s card must be completed by a marker as stipulated in the club rules.

Club Rule 2.2

For all knockout competitions, eclectics, and the Winter League, entry fees must be placed in the envelopes provided by Reception and handed to reception as directed by the entry sheet or on the web site. The Competitor(s)’s name, competition title and entry fee must be written on the envelope.

For all other major competitions, payment must be made at Reception or sign-in desk on the day of the competition.

Club Rule 2.3

On the day of the competition and prior to playing, a competitor must either register with the recorders in reception or enter both his first and last names in block capitals and tee time on the start sheet held at reception.

The entry number is to be recorded on both the payment envelope and the scorecard.

Club Rule 2.4

An individual or pair will be considered non entries if the relevant entry fee has not been paid or the entry sheet has not been completed, as previously described. In an event where a scorecard is submitted, the player(s) will be disqualified.


Club Rule 3.1

On the day of the competition and prior to playing, a competitor must enter both his first and last names in block capitals and tee time on the start sheet held at reception, pay the necessary entry fee at reception and enter the competition either at the touch screen or online on the day of the event. The entry number is to be recorded on both the payment envelope and the scorecard.

Club Rule 3.2

Any player submitting a Medal or Stableford card that has not checked in prior to starting their round will be disqualified.

Note - This does not apply if you tee off before 7:30 am. Members must, however, sign in and pay their entry fee on the completion of their round.

Club Rule 3.3

An individual or pair will be considered non entrants in a competition if the relevant entry fee has not been paid or the entry sheet has not been completed, as previously described. In an event where a scorecard is submitted, the player(s) will be disqualified.


R&A Rule 6.3a

The player shall start at the time laid down by the Committee.


Club Rule 4.1

A Club member who fails to appear for a drawn Club Competition and does not inform the Club or the Committee will normally be barred from entering up to a maximum of three drawn competitions. Based on circumstances, the number will be determined by the Competition Sub Committee on behalf of the Committee.

The acceptable method of informing the Committee of non-appearance shall be as prescribed on the competition draw sheet.


Club Rule 5.1.1

Completed Competition Scorecards should contain the following information;

  • Title of the Competition
  • Players Name (printed)
  • Current Handicap (all players in team competitions)
  • Start time
  • Indication of white, blue or yellow tee markers
  • Date
  • Signature of Player
  • Signature of Marker

Failure to complete any of the aforementioned will result in disqualification.

Examples of fully completed scorecards for Medal and Stableford competitions are displayed on the Notice Board.

A marker is one who records a competitor’s score in stroke play competitions. Markers are defined as any 7 day member with a CONGU handicap. For mid-week competitions (stablefords and medals) a marker must be a 5 or 7 day member with a CONGU handicap. The marker may be a fellow competitor who shall not necessarily enter the competition. Therefore qualifying lady members may mark a male member’s card.

Club Rule 5.1.2

All scorecards must be input onto the PSI touchscreen when required and returned to the committee via the scorecard box in reception. In the event of the touchscreen not working, cards should be placed in the Competition Secretary’s folder which is held at reception.

If a member fails to input their score at the touch screen when it is working, it causes unnecessary additional work for the Competition Secretary. Accepting human error can occur, on the first occasion no action will be taken. A second offence will result in a warning being issued to the player by the Competition Secretary. In the event of a third occurrence in any 12 month period taking place, the player will be disqualified from the competition and the player will normally be barred from entering up to a maximum of three drawn competitions. Based on circumstances, the number will be determined by the Competition Sub Committee on behalf of the Committee.

All scorecards must be returned to the Committee (as soon as possible) at the conclusion of play. Scorecards not returned on the day of the competition will not be accepted. Any player signing in but failing to return a scorecard will be entered as a No Score and sanctions applied as per no input of scores at the touch screen above.


Club Rule 6.1

Juniors should have attained the age of 14 years and hold a playing handicap of 18 or less to qualify for Men’s competitions. Entry to Men’s competitions is at the discretion of the Men’s Committee.

Club Rule 6.2

Qualifying juniors must give precedence of entry to Junior Competitions when coinciding with Men’s Competitions.

Participation of qualifying juniors in club representative matches (if selected) must be given overall precedence. Club Rule 6.3

On weekends when there are no Men’s competitions, juniors who meet the qualifying criteria have no special rights and may not tee off before 12.00pm or such time as may be stipulated by the Club.

The Men’s Committee retain the right to deselect any qualifying junior who fails to;

  • comply with the rules and conditions stated herein,
  • demonstrate an understanding and acceptance of the Rules of Golf and course etiquette,
  • maintain a good standard of behaviour both on and off the course.

Qualifying juniors will receive a copy of these rules and conditions, and a copy of the Rules of Golf, following an initial interview with a member(s) of the Men’s Committee or the Junior Organiser.


R & A Rule 6.7

In a Club Competition, if a Club Member is requested to increase his speed of play by a Member of the Committee, a Course Ranger or the Club Management and fails to do so, the following penalties will apply;

First Offence – 1 stroke penalty Second Offence – 2 stroke penalty Third Offence - Disqualification


Club Rule 7.1

Monthly medals, stablefords and bogey competitions are divided into one to three divisions, depending on entry numbers and are played with a full handicap allowance. The handicap limits for each division will be adjusted to ensure, as far as practicable, there is an equal number of members in each division.

Club Rule 7.2

Major club competitions are subject to handicap allowances as stated on the respective entry sheets. 

Club Rule 7.3

The maximum handicap for match play knockout competitions is 24.

The handicap allowance for the knockout stages of Winter League shall be as displayed on the rules of the competition.


R & A Rule 6.8

A player shall not discontinue play unless;

  • The Committee has suspended play
  • He believes there is danger from lightning. Bad weather is not in itself a good reason for discontinuing play.
  • He is seeking a decision from the Committee on a doubtful or disputed point.
  • There is some other good reason such as sudden illness


Club Rule 8.1

The use of motorised buggies is not permitted in Club major competitions where a tee time has been allocated by the Committee.

Members with a medical condition may use buggies in these competitions if they receive prior permission from the Committee.

NOTE; If a member playing in a fourball betterball or foursomes competition has permission to use a buggy, his partner is not allowed to use the buggy or allow his clubs to be carried in the buggy.

(Buggies are allowed in monthly Medal and Stableford competitions.)


Club Rule 9.1

The use of mobile telephones (including sending and receiving texts) during competition play is strictly forbidden unless being used to report an emergency or pre-order food from the halfway hut. In these instances, players should be mindful not to disturb fellow competitors. When a mobile telephone is taken onto the course, it must be turned off, or turned to ‘silent/flight’ mode to avoid the possibility of causing a disturbance to other players.

The penalty for breach of this rule is disqualification. In a pairs event only the player responsible for the breach of rule will be disqualified.


Before entering a Club Competition, members must have a valid CONGU handicap.

Club Rule 10.1

All new members joining the club are required to complete a New Member Handicap History Questionnaire. (When completed this document supplies the information required to enable your handicapping to be processed in line with CONGU rules).

The process of setting up a player’s handicap will be as follows:-

1.    If a player has never held an official handicap, or has held an official handicap in the past but has not been a member of an affiliated club for more than 12 months at the time of joining Benton Hall, then to gain/regain a handicap the player must submit a required number of nine and or 18-hole cards. Any permutation of nine and 18-hole cards may be submitted but must total a minimum of 54 holes. Cards submitted over nine holes must be over a designated Nine-Hole course. Holes 1 to 9 and holes 10 to 18 are designated nine-hole courses at Benton Hall. All cards must be marked and signed by his playing partner who must be a member of Benton Hall or another affiliated golf club and who must already hold an official handicap. Where the marker is a member of another golf club the marker must write the name of his home club on the card.

Below is an Example of a completed handicap card showing fields required to be completed.

     Title of the Competition:-   For Handicap                    Card 1, 2 or 3

     Date and start time.

     Players Name (printed legibly).

     Indication of white, blue or yellow tee markers.

     Markers Name (printed legibly) and handicap

     Marker’s Home Club if the marker is not Benton Hall member

     Gross scores for each hole. (N/R if hole is not completed).

     Signature of Player.

     Signature of Marker.

     Note cards which do not comply with the above will not be accepted.

All completed handicap scorecards must be filed in the Handicap Secretary’s folder held by receptionat Benton Hall. When three handicap cards have been submitted the Handicap Secretary will calculate a handicap, update the player’s handicap on the Benton Hall website and notify the player of the handicap awarded.


2.  If a player is joining Benton Hall who held a handicap at another affiliated club within the previous 12 months then:-

If the player still qualifies for a competition status handicap, his handicap will be transferred directly to Benton Hall as a competition handicap.

If the player no longer qualifies for a competition status, his handicap will transfer as non-competition handicap. To regain competition status the player will need to play three qualifying rounds at Benton Hall.

 These three rounds can either be Supplementary Rounds or the player can play in three qualifying competitions. Should the latter route be chosen no prizes can be won for these three competitions. For rules on Supplementary rounds please see below.

If a member does not have an acquaintance at the club with a handicap, regular social golf meetings are run throughout the year. See the diary or the Notice Board for more information on Social Golf dates.

Club Rule 10.2

Scorecards handed in for handicap purposes must be fully completed following the guidelines laid down in Club Rule 5.1.1 and Club Rule 10.1

In place of “Title of Competition”, members must write “Handicap Card – 1, 2 or 3”.

The name of the marker must be clearly noted in capital letters below the signature.


Club Rule 11.1

Fees for monthly medals, stablefords and drawn competitions are to be paid on the day of the competition at Reception.

Club Rule 11.2

For match play knockout competitions, the entry fee must be paid in advance. Fees are paid by entering the details of the competition(s) entered, the entry fee and your name on the small brown envelopes, which are held at Reception. The envelopes are then handed to reception.

Club Rule 11.3

When representing Benton Hall Golf and Country Club or for other competitions, such as Social Golf, payment must be made directly to the organizer.

Club Rule 11.4

Non-payment of a competition entry fee will result in disqualification

Club Rule 11.5

Disqualification from a competition for any reason does not qualify for a refund of entry fees paid.


For monthly and midweek Stablefords and Medals, prizes are awarded for the first three in each division.The number of divisions is determined by the following criteria:

0 - 16 players  Competition abandoned

17 - 40 players  One Division

41 - 100 players  Two Divisions

101+ players  Three Divisions

Unless otherwise requested, these will be added to the player's club levy card.

Major Competitions

Trophies and prizes are normally awarded to the first five in an individual Major stroke and medal play competition, to the first three in a pairs Major stroke and medal play competition and to finalists and semi-finalists in knockout competitions, dependent upon level of entries and at the discretion of the committee.

Presentation Evening

This is normally held in mid-October where all major trophies for the preceding year are presented



Supplementary Scores have been introduced by Benton Hall to provide players who find it difficult to regularly participate in competitions an alternative format in which to submit scores for handicap purposes and augment the often sparse information derived from competition play. The intent is to encourage the provision of more evidence of playing ability over a wider range of players and so make handicapping more equitable and golf under handicap conditions more meaningful for all concerned. Below is an extract from the CONGU 2016-2018 Rules Section 21 which sets out the conditions for the playing of Supplementary Rounds.

How to submit a card at Benton Hall

Players are required to:-

1. Register their intent to submit a Supplementary Card BEFORE playing by registering in the Supplementary Card folder at reception.
2. Complete their card as per the example in the Supplementary Card folder. Note: Any discrepancies may lead to the card not being accepted.
3. Have their card marked by a fellow club member who has a current handicap held at Benton Hall
4. Submit their card, on the same day as play, which should be filed in the Handicap Secretary's folder held in reception..

Supplementary cards are accepted as Qualifiers (See club rule 1.2)

There is no charge for submitting a supplementary card but members may make a £2 donation at reception. This money is 'ring fenced' to aid our junior section expenses.



The UHS is based on the expectation that every player will return a sufficient number of scores to provide reasonable evidence of his current ability. To operate in the intended manner, the UHS requires information i.e. the return of Qualifying Scores to produce handicaps that reasonably reflect current ability. Although golf club committees and administrators may consider that in the course of a playing season they organise an adequate number of competitions to provide ample opportunity for Members to participate, investigation has confirmed that a substantial number of Members do not return sufficient scores in the period between Annual Reviews to maintain a handicap that reasonably reflects their current ability. This may in part be due to:

  • work or family commitments preventing participation in competitions;
  • difficulty in obtaining an acceptable starting time on competition days in clubs with a large playing membership; or
  • a declining desire to play regular competitive golf.

Supplementary Scores provide players in the above situations and the like an alternative format in which to submit scores for handicap purposes and augment the often sparse information derived from competition play. They can provide more evidence of playing ability for a wider range of players so making handicapping more equitable and golf under handicap conditions more meaningful for all concerned. 

A Member may return a Supplementary Score for handicapping purposes in compliance with the conditions set out below.

21.1    Supplementary Scores apply to all Handicap Categories (subject to 21.4 below).

21.2    A Supplementary Score may be returned at any Affiliated Club of which the player is a Member.

21.3    An acceptable score for Supplementary Score purposes is any authenticated score under Competition Play Conditions in compliance with the conditions listed in this clause and played over either:

(a) an 18-hole Measured Course in either Stroke Play or Stableford format; or 

(b) a Designated Nine-Hole Course in a Stableford format.

21.4   A Member is limited to a number of Supplementary Scores in each year as detailed in below:

            (a) subject to (d) below, Category 1 players may only return Supplementary Scores during the period 1 September to 31 December and only to the extent necessary to ensure that the                        minimum requirement for Qualifying Scores under Clause 25 is met.  Category 1 players may only return Supplementary Scores over 18 holes;

            (b) up to a maximum of ten Supplementary Scores may be returned annually by players in Categories 2 to 4 [5]; 

            (c) there is no annual limit to the number of Supplementary Scores returned by players holding a CONGU® Club Handicap (Appendix );

            (d) a Union has the discretion to permit Category 1 players with handicaps in the range 2.5 to 5.4 to return up to ten Supplementary Scores in a calendar year. Such scores may only be                    returned at the player’s Home club within that Union’s jurisdiction.  Scotland directs that Category 1 players within this handicap range may take up this discretion. England, Ireland,                        and Wales make no such direction.

21.5      Unless the Affiliated Club decides otherwise, a Member is limited to the return of one Supplementary Score per week. For the purposes of this clause a week is defined as Monday to                    Sunday.

21.6      A player intending to return a Supplementary Score is required to signify his intention prior to commencement of play in the manner determined by the Affiliated Club.

21.7      A Competition Scratch Score is not calculated and adjustments to handicap, in accordance with Clause 20.6 for 18-hole scores, shall be made in respect of the Standard Scratch Score.               For nine-hole Supplementary Scores adjustments to handicaps shall be made in accordance with Clauses 22.5 to 22.9.

21.8      Stroke Play returns are subject to Stableford/Nett Double Bogey Adjustment in compliance with Clause 19.

21.9      The Supplementary Score must be recorded in the Player Handicap Record.

21.10    If a player who has registered for a Supplementary Score subsequently does not return a card an increase in handicap of 0.1 must be applied.

21.11    Returns may be subject to action under Clause 23 B if malpractice is suspected.

21.12    When Supplementary Scores are returned at an Away club the Member: (a) must register his/her intent to play in the manner directed by that club; (b) must return the card to the Away                  Club; and (c) must ensure that the score is returned to his/her Home Club, taking a copy or duplicate card if necessary.

21.13    When a Member returns a Supplementary Score at an Away Club that club: (a) must retain the card as for cards submitted by Home players; (b) should, if the club’s ISV software so                      permits, enter the score into the system and return it to the Home Club via the CDH; and (c) shall assist the Home Club, if necessary, in confirming whether the player has discharged                    his/her responsibilities in ensuring that all Supplementary Scores from Away clubs have been returned.  Note: In submitting Supplementary Scores, players need to ensure that they are                not in breach of Rule 7 (Practice) of the R&A Rules of Golf.  A club committee may apply the Note to Rule 71 and allow a Supplementary Score to be returned following the playing of a           stroke play round earlier in the day.

21/1   Return of a Supplementary Score in a Non Qualifying Competition

Question. A club committee has declared a competition to be a Non-Qualifying Competition. May   competitors play in the competition and concurrently return a Supplementary Score?

Answer      No.



For all Club competitions, a player may obtain distance information by using a device that measures distance only. However, if, during a stipulated round, a player uses a distance measuring device that is designed to gauge or measure other conditions that might affect his play (e.g., gradient, wind-speed, temperature, etc.), the player is in breach of Rule 14-3 (of The Rules of Golf), for which the penalty is disqualification, regardless of whether any such additional functions are actually used.


Please refer to scorecard, notice boards and club web site regarding local rules for Benton Hall Golf and Country Club.

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