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The new World Handicapping System will replace six existing handicap systems including CONGU. WHS aims to encourage more people to take up the game and enable golfers of differing abilities, gender and nationalities to compete on a fair basis anywhere in the World.

Under this new system all golfers will be given a new decimal handicap called a Handicap Index which will be changed into a Course Handicap depending on the Slope Rating of course and set of tees one is playing.

The Slope Rating is a measure of the difficulty of the course from a particular set of tees for a higher handicap (or bogey) player compared to a scratch player. Each set of tees on every golf course will be allocated a Slope Rating for men and women.

New golfers can get a WHS Handicap Index through returning three 18-hole cards. These can be six 9-hole cards, or a combination of 9 and 18-hole cards. The maximum Handicap Index for both men and women will be 54 and your Handicap Index will be valid anywhere in the world. Once you have a Handicap Index you will only lose it if you are no longer a member of a golf club. New golfers will get a WHS Handicap Index through returning three 18-hole cards. These can be six 9-hole cards, or a combination of 9 and 18-hole cards. The maximum Handicap Index for both men and women will be 54 and your Handicap Index will be valid anywhere in the world. Once you have a Handicap Index you will only lose it if you are no longer a member of a golf club.

Individual scores over 9 or 18 holes, returned in competition or friendly golf (general play is the term used under WHS) will count for handicap purposes. Rounds must be played by the Rules of Golf and in the company of a marker. Matchplay, foursomes or fourball scores cannot be used for handicap.

The WHS computer system has mechanisms to take into account playing conditions on the day and to guard against major fluctuations in your Handicap Index. You will be able to access information on your Handicap Index through your mobile phone and it will be every player’s responsibility to play off the correct handicap.

The Handicap Committee of your home club has the power to adjust your initial Handicap Index if it is not a true reflection of your ability. The Handicap Committee may also adjust or freeze your Handicap Index at any time to ensure that all players are treated fairly and consistently


All Kenya clubs will submit the CONGU handicap records of all their members to the centralised system up until the transition date. The best eight scores of the last 20 scores on your handicap record will be used to calculate your WHS Handicap Index.  Your Handicap Index will be the simple average (to one decimal place) of those eight scores. Under the CONGU system, you have a decimal handicap; under the new system you will have a Handicap Index.

So, if for example the best eight scores of your last 20 scores are:

16, 18, 13, 14, 19, 15, 16, 14 = 125; 125/8 = 15.6 = Handicap Index (HI). You do not need to do any calculations manually or have a record for your scores – it will all be done for you.

Under the CONGU system the difficulty of a course was measured by the Standard Scratch Score (SSS) – the score expected from a scratch player. The SSS will now have a new name: Course Rating.  Under WHS the difficulty of the course is be based on what is expected from the “average” or “bogey” golfer compared to the scratch golfer and this is called the Slope Rating.  Your Handicap Index will be changed to a Course Handicap and it may go up or down depending on the difficulty of the course you play as measured by the Slope Rating.

Each set of tees on each course will have a slope rating for men and women. The table below gives an example of a course with three sets of tees of varying lengths. Men and women will be able to play off any of the three tees and their handicap adjusted accordingly because the Slope Rating will be different for men and women for each set of tees.

1 6,530 yds 72.6 131 78.1 135
2 6,056 yds 70.4 124 75.4 129
3 5,407 yds 67.3 112 71.2 121

Clubs are encouraged to use numbers for their tees instead of colours to get away from the concept of men’s and women’s tees. Each club will have a look-up chart called a Course Handicap Conversion Chart which will allow you to convert your Handicap Index into a Course Handicap for whichever set of tees you are playing.  The chart uses a simple formula to do the conversion.

 Course Handicap = Handicap Index x Slope Rating/113. But you don’t need to remember this formula or do any calculations manually because the Conversion Chart at the club will do it for you.

The “average” golf course (world-wide) has a Slope Rating of 113. So, if the set of tees you are playing from has a slope rating of more than 113, that’s more difficult than average and your Course Handicap will be higher than your Handicap Index and if you are playing from a set of tees with a slope rating of less than 113, easier than average, your Course Handicap will be lower than your Handicap Index.  

Sarah Kanyereri Making Kenya Proud

One year since going to the United States of America, Serah  Khanyereri has recorded tremendous success on and off the course and is confident of achieving her dream of playing in the LPGA, the ladies’ most competitive and prestigious golf circuit. Serah who is in the US on a golf scholarship courtesy of Africa Golf Programme, formerly Rose Naliaka Academy, has already won two competitions on the college circuit, a move that has seen her formally listed on the World Golf Ranking currently lying in position 3161 .

Sarah Kanyereri who is now playing for St. Thomas University women’s golf team had played for the Kenya Ladies Golf Union National Team for more than 4 years before she proceeded to the US in 2019. She is so grateful to Rose Naliaka who natured her over the years.

Former Junior Golf Foundation national team player has now won two events;   In Georgia, she finished in first place shooting 75&72 gross.  At the Webber Fall Golf Invitational at the Sun & Lakes Golf Course, she shot 78 &71 gross.


During the 7th Annual Golf Gala Awards Ceremony held in Dubai, Kenya was named as the best Africa Golf destination.

The World Golf Awards which was founded in 2014 recognizes and rewards excellence in golf tourism, courses, and golf destinations. Kenya now has 36 private Golf Courses and 1 public golf course, of this, Karen Country club scooped the award of the best golf course while Great Rift Valley Lodge was awarded as the best golf resort in Kenya.

Isaac Makokha wins the 2020 Kenya Amateur Matchplay Championship

History was made yesterday as Isaac Makokha won the 2020 Kenya Amateur Matchplay Championship at Vet Lab Sports Club.

The event which started on Thursady 17th September 2020 attracted 108 players and there were only two left to battle for the title. Jay Sadhu and Isaac Makokha fought it out on Sunday where they played 34 holes and Makokha won 3 up with 2 to go.

With this win, Makokha is the 1st to secure a slot to play the 2021 Magical Kenya Open.


17th – 20th September 2020

Vet Lab Sports Club will from tomorrow 17th – 20th September 2020 host the 98th edition of the Kenya Amateur Matchplay Championship. The event which counts towards the world Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) has attracted 108 golfers.

The Kenya Amateur Matchplay Championship, organized by Kenya Golf Union (KGU), is the oldest and most prestigious match play events in Kenya. Since 1910, the tournament has been played each year except for 1915-1919 during the First World War and 1940 – 1945 during Second World War.  

All eyes will be on defending champion Paul Muchangi from Limuru Country Club who clinched the title last year after a tight contest. Other players to watch will be Simon Njogu, Jay Sandhu, Isaac Makokha and John Lejirma.

The event has attracted 19 juniors including the top junior in the country Mutahi Kibugu alongside Njoroge Kibugu, Daniel Kiragu, Taimur Malik, Njogu Kung’u , Ali Wassim among others. The tournament has also attracted Celestine Nsanzuwera from Rwanda and Sigmund Haland from Norway.

The tournament will start with with a 36-hole strokeplay knockout rounds and only 32 players will advance to play in the matchplay rounds. After the four-day tournament the winner will get an automatic slot to play in the 2021 Magical Kenya Open that is scheduled to take place in March at the Karen Country Club.

“Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, we have received a good field from all over the country. We will ensure that the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health as well as the Ministry of Sports to help curb the spread of COVID -19 are followed.” said the Tournament Director, Peter Kiguru.

“The tournament will be played without caddies as directed by the Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Honorable Mutahi Kagwe, and there will be no formal presentation at the end of the competition.” added Kiguru.



The 2020 Kenya Amateur Golf Championship Ranking has been canceled.

After serious deliberations with the Kenya Golf Union Board of directors during a meeting held on 21st July 2020, the board agreed to cancel the KAGC ranking since most of the KAGC events have not been played this year.

‘As you are aware, due to the COVID -19 pandemic and the consequent guidelines from the Ministry of Health and the Kenya Golf Union to curb the spread of the disease, many KAGC events have not been played and we may not have sufficient time to reschedule all these events.’ said Mr.Ben Omuodo , Tournament Director

‘ We understand that it may not be practicable for many of the clubs to host the KAGC events under the prevailing circumstances. We are also cognisant that many players may not be willing or able to travel to participate in these events. ‘ added Mr. Omuodo

The Union will however offer support to any club willing to run their KAGC competitions in ensuring that the event posters are widely circulated.

Further, the two KGU owned events e.i the Kenya Amateur Strokeplay and Kenya Amateur Matchplay will still be played and invitation will be sent to all clubs.



The Chairman of Kenya Golf Union on 20th June 2020 lifted the ban on handicaps, running of organised competitions and reciprocation.

‘We would therefore like to reinstate handicaps in the country and allow competitions, as long as these are held with utmost care to avoid congregation of any kind. Clubs are advised to announce results of any competition using means that do not require golfers to congregate in the club house. Clubs are also now free to allow reciprocation or fourballs if they are able to do so while maintaining the same due care.’ Said Mr. Murage.

The use of caddies is still not allowed until such a time when the Ministry of Health shall advise. However the chairman noted that ball spotters are allowed on the course to help golfers locate their balls as long as they (don’t handle the golf balls, clubs or bags and maintain at least two club lengths away


To:      All Member Clubs

7th May 2020


We continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and the Government of Kenya directives that are meant to stop the spread of the disease. At the moment, playing of the game of golf in Kenya is still allowed as long as golfers strictly follow the set guidelines.

As a follow up to the notice that we sent out on the 8th of April, we would like to extend the suspension of all handicaps in Kenya up to a time that the government shall lift the ban on congregating of 15 people or when we as the governing body of golf in Kenya lift the suspension. Until then, we would like to advise golfers to strictly observe social distancing and follow all the guidelines that have been issued by the government.

Each golf club needs to adapt procedures that will strictly abide with Government of Kenya directives. To this end we would like to advise clubs to consider adopting the following steps to help with compliance

  1. Practice areas: to avoid gathering at the practice range or practice putting greens, identify how many golfers can safely use these facilities and ensuring the limit is observed. Clubs should also provide sanitisers for golfers using these areas.
  2. Booking tee times: clubs should organise a system of booking and allocation of tee times to ensure that golfers don’t gather around the tee. The maximum number of golfers in a group per tee time should not exceed three and there is to be a minimum of 10-minute intervals between tee times.
  3. Notices and reminders: clubs should place notices on tees reminding golfers to keep two meters apart on the teeing areas as well as throughout the round. The starters should also repeat the message to all golfers.
  4. After the round: remind golfers to leave the course and club facilities after their round. This is more so for clubs that have not reopened their restaurants.



The Government of Kenya has recently announced that it shall allow restaurants to re-open under strict guidelines during this period of the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic. We at the Kenya Golf Union have since sought some clarification on the same and have received the attached forms for use by clubs that wish to re-open their restaurants. All clubs have to make their own applications and follow up with the relevant government offices to get the necessary approvals.

Should a Golf Club get the necessary approvals from the Ministry of Health, then they shall be allowed to open and operate their restaurants under the set guidelines. For avoidance of doubt, all Golf Clubs that do not obtain the necessary approvals from the Ministry of Health must remain closed as per the notice from the Union dated 8th April 2020.                                              

George Gathu                                                                       

  Honorary Secretary