In Summary
  • The handicapping system that we use in Kenya is known as Congu.
  • When a handicap list is printed, all valid handicaps have a ‘c’ right next to them.
  • Many golfers have wrongly thought that the ‘c’ stands for “Captain”.

Back when I was in secondary school, we had a French teacher we used to call "Bonjour" because we could not remember his long Rwandan name.

He made us read out loud from a book called ‘Pierre et Seydou’ and memorise it. Our French class was a veritable blab school. Bonjour’s instructions were all in French and this meant that a number of instructions were misunderstood and some words badly distorted. One instruction which we correctly understood to mean “speak up” was distorted so completely that it would not be recognisable to any French speaker. Whenever Bonjour said “un peu plus fort”, his way of telling us “a little louder”, all we heard was “amba prifo”.

One of the ways I am reminded of “amba prifo” on the golfing scene, is when golfers make up things to fill in the gaps. One such area is handicapping. The handicapping system that we use in Kenya is known as Congu. When a handicap list is printed, all valid handicaps have a ‘c’ right next to them.

WRONG SCHOOL OF THOUGHT

Many golfers have wrongly thought that the ‘c’ stands for “Captain”. They also wrongly think that the golf Captain, or someone appointed by him, must play with all new golfers for them to get a handicap.

I was really saddened by Larry Ngala’s article in Wednesday’s Daily Nation about a talented junior golfer, Ishaan Nathani from Eldoret Golf Club, who is yet to get a valid handicap despite playing in four competitions.

Assuming that he is a member of the club, then the Captain, the Junior convener and the Handicap Committee of Eldoret Golf Club have really let down the young Ishaan Nathani. Why has it taken them so long to handicap the young player? Do they really know how to allot a handicap for new golfers according to Congu?

BOOST THEIR MORALE

From Larry’s article, I got the impression that Ishaan has played very many rounds and has had the opportunity to return several valid cards. This is the reason why he should have had a handicap with a ‘c’ right next to it. The ‘c’ stands for ‘competition’ which would have made Ishaan eligible to a win at the Barclays Golf Festival at Eldoret. This would have been a huge morale boost for not just Ishaan, but for all junior golfers in the region.

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