The Golfing Union of Ireland is spearheading the campaign for fair and consistent handicapping by tackling the cheats in an innovative Handicap Awareness Month.
Throughout the month of March, the GUI will be running #TheFairWay campaign, which is designed to educate players and clubs alike.
The game and the handicapping system rely on the integrity of the individual and it is up to every player to observe the spirit and intent of the handicapping system.
A dedicated website — www.thefairway.ie — has been set up so clubs can access essential information, including a "how-to" guide for administering and maintaining handicaps.
"There is a culture of tolerating handicap cheating which isn't the case for other forms of cheating within golf," said Pat Finn, CEO of the GUI.
"The finger seems to be pointed at the GUI or the branches of the GUI or indeed to club committees to deal with this problem. I don't think it can be.
"It is endemic and the only real way of tackling it is at member-to-member level where everybody takes a proactive approach in dealing with the issue and calling out fellow members on their behaviour and saying it is not going to be tolerated anymore."
To hammer home the message, the GUI have defined handicap cheating and it is prominently displayed on the Union's website: "Playing in a qualifying competition and setting out with the aim of 'getting 0.1 back' or not trying your best at any point in the round with the aim of manipulating your handicap is CHEATING."
The GUI advises and guides Handicap Committees about the application and implementation of the handicapping system.
The Union reminds clubs that Handicap Secretaries should not act on their own, pointing out that decisions should be made as a committee in accordance with the rules.