Non-Members Able To Gain Official Handicaps By End Of June

England Golf's new nomadic golfer scheme is set to be rolled out in the next few months

Non-Members Able To Gain Official Handicaps
(Image credit: Getty Images Creative)

England Golf's new nomadic golfer scheme is set to be rolled out in the next few months

Non-Members Able To Gain Official Handicaps By End Of June

Non golf club members in England will be able to gain official handicaps by the end of June, England Golf has confirmed.

It's part of a new independent golfer scheme that England Golf recently confirmed was going ahead.

England Golf has since been providing updates on the scheme, which has not yet got an official launch date but will be in place by the end of June.

Non-members will gain official handicap indexes, with the initial aim "to inspire golfers to play more often and to increase the connection between an avid, independent golfer and their local club/facility," England Golf has said.

"We will create a best-in-class platform with the ultimate goal of educating independent golfers on the value of golf club membership and inspiring them to follow this pathway to greater participation," the governing body said in its latest independent golfer update.

Related: World Handicap System: What have the reactions been like?

Golfers will input their scores and track their indexes via the My England Golf app.

This will be done "in line with the Rules of Handicapping and will have checks and balances in place to ensure the integrity of the handicap is maintained."

Further information on this is set to follow.

England Golf has once again reiterated that it thinks the scheme will help golf club memberships, not harm them.

"There is so much more to being a member of a good golf club than the provision of a handicap," England Golf said.

"The benefits of membership far outweigh those being offered to an independent golfer through the new connectivity platform.

"We will support clubs to focus on the many added positives of golf club membership.

Related: Golf in England Post-Lockdown: All you need to know

"These include important playing rights, social opportunities, regular competition play and a sense of belonging.

"During 2021, the ‘Membership: Give it a shot’ campaign will once again be central to our promotion of the game."

The governing body says that data from other countries shows that non-member handicaps will not ensue max exoduses from golf clubs.

The scheme is hoped to increase loyalties and revenues with clubs.

"By drawing avid, independent golfers closer to a local club it provides that club with the opportunity to showcase what it has on offer and to profit from an increased regular spend on food and beverage, tuition, green fees and merchandise."

Related: 7 Cheap ways to become a golf club member

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He has also covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as three Open Championships including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 4-6. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Honma TR20

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

2 iron: Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x