Plans Scrapped For Non Members To Get Handicaps

Golfers who aren't members of clubs will still be unable to gain official handicaps

How Do I Find Out My Course Handicap? Plans Scrapped For Non Members To Get Handicaps 8 stupid ways to get disqualified

Golfers who aren't members of clubs will still be unable to gain official handicaps

Plans Scrapped For Non Members To Get Handicaps

England Golf has scrapped its plans for golfers who are not members of clubs to get official handicaps.

The body was considering introducing a scheme late last year to go live in 2021, according to the Golf Business, that would be similar to a system in New Zealand known as Flexiclub.

The proposed system at England Golf was known as the 'Independent Golfer' and would have allowed casual golfers the chance to pay a one-off fee via the England Golf website and gain an official handicap without being a member of a club.

Those plans, which were initially proposed by England Golf's ex-CEO Nick Pink, will not be going ahead.

England Golf’s handicap and course rating manager, Gemma Hunter, recently confirmed that the proposals were now off the table in an online Q&A with almost 200 golf club managers.

“Eighteen months ago there was a lot of discussion around this,” she said.

“In probably the last seven or eight months that’s been canned. We’ve taken it off the table.

"We’re not actively working on anything regarding the Independent Golfer.

"Maybe we’ll come back to it in the future but at the moment it’s not something we’re looking at.”

Related: World Handicap System in UK set for November 2020

This is positive news for many unions and golf club managers who, perhaps quite rightly, have feared that many golfers would cancel their memberships for this new scheme.

The new scheme, however, would have only been open to players who had not been a golf club member in the past year.

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Elliott Heath
Elliott Heath

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 three Open Championships on-site 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 between 3-5. 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

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Mizuno MP5

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x