Every golfer in England will need an email address in order to obtain an official handicap when the new World Handicap System swings around this November, according to England Golf.
Marking the first time ever that an email address has been necessary to receive a golf handicap, England Golf claims that if a golf club or golfer denies them access to crucial information including an email address "then a WHS (World Handicap System) Handicap Index will not be issued."
The new WHS will launch in November 2020 and it is designed to welcome more players, to make golf easier to understand and to give all golfers a handicap that is portable around the world.
It will replace the six different systems currently used by over 15 million golfers in more than 80 countries, and it has been developed by The R&A and The United States Golf Association (USGA), supported by the world’s handicapping authorities, including CONGU, which represents the four home countries of Great Britain and Ireland.
To make the game more enjoyable, the new system will include: course rating and slope rating; minimum number of scores to obtain a handicap; competitive and recreational scores to count for handicap; handicaps will be calculated from an average of recent scores; maximum handicap of 54; abnormal course and weather conditions adjustments.
RELATED: NEW WORLD GOLF HANDICAP SYSTEM MEANS SOMEONE CAN PLAY OFF A 54 HANDICAP!
According to an interview with The Golf Business, email addresses must be acquired by all golfers in England who want an official handicap, but junior players can use an email address of a parent or guardian if necessary.
"England Golf will be moving to a higher integrity level of handicapping for and on behalf of its affiliated members with the introduction of WHS," said a spokesman at England Golf.
"Junior members without an email address of their own may use an email address of a parent or guardian. SafeGolf procedures as well as GDPR regulations remail of paramount importance in such cases."
The spokesman adds: "The initial transfer of information, including email addresses, is required to ensure player identification and to eliminate the duplication of handicap records."
For more information about the WHS ahead of this November, please click here.