Golfers in England who are not members of clubs will be able to gain an official handicap index very soon for £40 per year
Official Handicap Platform For Non-Members Set To Launch In July
England Golf has confirmed that non-members of golf clubs will be able to pay £40 per year to receive an official handicap index, with registration and a provisional launch date for the platform set for the beginning of July.
Currently, only golfers that are members of affiliated golf clubs are able to access an official handicap, though the governing body confirmed in February that it will launch a platform where non-members can gain official handicaps.
Issuing another update for affiliated golf clubs and independent golfers, England Golf said: “Since January, a working group has consulted with clubs, counties and other stakeholders on plans to develop the platform for independent golfers with the ultimate aim of driving golf club membership.
“With the final business model now agreed and in place, England Golf can now confirm details of the connectivity platform.”
Costing £40 for an annual subscription, the fee will give golfers a World Handicap System handicap index, personal liability insurance, and access to the My England Golf app to post scores and track progress.
A handicap index is obtained by submitting scores from 54 holes of golf, with scorecards counting from any combination of nine and 18-hole rounds.
The app, My England Golf, requires pre-registration of every round for the handicap index to be eligible.
Scores also need to be digitally verified by a playing partner who is either a golf club member, or a subscriber to the platform.
England Golf will also set up a national independent golfer handicap committee to ensure the integrity of the handicap system, including further opportunities for peer review available on the platform.
Available to golfers of any age, the platform will also educate players on the rules of handicapping, golf, and etiquette.
The initial aim, England Golf says, “is to inspire golfers to play more often and to increase the connection between an avid, independent golfer and their local club/facility.”
Players who have left a golf club within the last six months aren’t eligible to subscribe to the platform, which will ensure that mass exoduses at golf clubs do not occur.
The new platform also doesn’t provide access to play in county and national events, which are open to golf club members only.
However, clubs have the option to either integrate non-members into club competitions, or set up their own independent golfer-only tournaments.
England Golf has also given details of what it will spend the money generated from the platform on, highlighting the opportunities the scheme provides to re-invest back into the game.
Special projects funding for golf clubs, women and girls’ participation, junior development, and support for disability and minority groups are all areas England Golf has suggested it will spend money generated from the platform on.