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
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays off of a six handicap. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV