Why Getting An Official Handicap Helped Me Enjoy Golf More Than Ever

By signing up to England Golf's iGolf Digital Community and getting an official handicap I got a new love for the game

Tom Clarke playing golf
(Image credit: Tom Miles)

Last year I was very excited to finally get the opportunity to have an official handicap for the first time.

In mid-July 2021 England Golf announced their non-member handicap scheme - iGolf. The idea was simple - it was a way for non-members to gain official World Handicap System (WHS) handicap indexes. And the most important thing for me was the cost, it was just £40 to sign up to the system.

Why iGolf Works For Me

I may work for the oldest Golf magazine in the world, and have done since 2009, but golf is not my main sport. I play an awful lot of cricket and with two children under 6 I also have a lot of family commitments… not to forget my work ones!

A full golf membership has never been financially or time viable for me, it has meant that I have never been able to have an official handicap calculated in the correct way, while it has also meant that I have missed out on other chances to play some stricter golf courses or of course any Open competitions.

This has now changed with iGolf which is supported by the excellent MyEG app - which I absolutely love - it allows you to select the course you are near quickly and you can upload your own scores and those of any playing partners directly into the app. The whole process of uploading and verifying scores is also a simple process which is very intuitive.

MyEG has also allowed me to connect to fellow golfing colleagues and friends, as you can keep tabs on their scores and see how they are playing - congratulating anyone for playing well and getting cut… or of course commiserate if their handicap has gone in the wrong direction.

When playing in society or work days I had always played off a handicap of around 18 - and had often been accused of it either being too low or too high depending on my performance! Well after my first 6 months of play and with 6 recorded rounds my handicap index is 17.9 - and I can now shut the doubters or accusers up!

Tom Clarke iGolf Handicap

(Image credit: England Golf)

There was some who were not sure if iGolf was going to be good for the game - well I can say that I find myself enjoying the sport more than I ever have. My standard of play may continue to be erratic, but it is great to be able to officially play against other golfers off what feels a more level playing field than previously.

I really feel that golf is heading in the right direction with this kind of open technology - I think it is a simple and easy start to a pathway to becoming a full golf club member in the future.

If you or a family or friend would like to find out more about iGolf and the MyEG app check out https://englandigolf.co.uk/ or search for the MyEG in your app store.

Tom Clarke
Tom Clarke


Tom Clarke joined Golf Monthly as a sub editor in 2009 and was promoted to content editor in 2012 and then senior content editor in 2014. Tom currently looks after all the digital products that Golf Monthly produce including website and social media. Tom plays off 17 and lists Augusta National, Old Head and Le Touessrok as the favourite courses he has played. Tom is an avid viewer of all golf content with a particularly in depth knowledge of the pro tour.