HANDICAPPING RULES (modified 25/04/12, 16/10/16, 1/01/17, 18/10/20 and 22/03/21 and 11/07/22)


1. All SMERGS who win on a 9 hole event lose a shot;

2. Any SMERG who wins overall an 18 hole event loses 2 shots.  Winners front 9 and back 9 loses one shot; maximum loss is 2 shots.

16/10/16  Following Rick B's motion and Phil S's amendment there was general agreement this morning that players with handicaps above 36 may lose two shots when a one shot loss would normally apply, provided the player requests it.

3. If you don't turn up for FOUR weeks you lose ONE shot regardless of whether you missed a 9 hole or 18 hole or a Major. WEEKS is the key word here NOT events!! Otherwise this penalises SMERGS who go on holidays over Xmas New Year as there are lots of games in very few weeks. EXCEPT that from 22/03/21, overseas resident member's handicaps will be tied to a selected Smerg - for Roger, Nick's handicap will apply.

4. All events, including majors, will be played to SMERGS handicaps.  The TD may decide to increase all handicaps for a major if they are all at a low level, but the TD will maintain the relativity between individual handicaps by simply adding a fixed number of strokes to each handicap.  The handicaps should be slope adjusted when not at NorthbridgeThe rule for slope adjustment is simply “(host course slope) /113 x Smergs handicap”.

5. The balls – on a normal Sunday winner takes all and on Tournament days the tournament director decides the prizes for his tournament.

6. When a regular player (say, 12 or more games in a year) reaches zero handicap, all handicaps will be adjusted upwards by 10 strokes.

7. 18/10/20 It was generally agreed over coffee that, for a resident SMERG to be eligible for "shot losing" honour at a major, he must play at least occasionally on normal Sunday mornings. "Occasionally" must surely mean more than once every couple of months unless there is a good reason

8. No other rules apply as the tradition continues...


12th TEE RULE (22 August 21)


The rule has been applied since antiquity but has not been written down until now.  In any SMERGS event a player losing his ball from the 12th tee may tee up on the visitors tee for his third shot (ie a penalty of one shot).