Non-golf club members to be allowed handicaps for FIRST TIME EVER

Golfers who are not members of English golf clubs will be able to have an official handicap through the use of a subscription scheme. 

Matt Chivers's picture
Fri, 28 May 2021

Non-golf club members to be allowed handicaps for FIRST TIME EVER

For the first time ever, golfers who are not members of any English golf clubs will be able to obtain a handicap this summer. 

England Golf have confirmed from early July, golfers can sign up for a scheme with an annual subscription cost of £40 that will give them a World Handicap System handicap index and personal liability insurance.

England Golf stated that the aim of the scheme is to drive golf club membership, although some figures in the industry have begged to differ.

There is a view that if non-members are able to obtain a handicap, then there is less incentive to join a golf club.


"Independent golfers will be offered the chance to join a new digital community of golfers aligned to England Golf," the organisation stated in a letter to the industry.

"For an annual subscription of £40, golfers will receive a World Handicap System handicap index, personal liability insurance and access to the 'My England Golf' app to post scores, track progress and engage with friends.

"The scheme will be open to all golfers regardless of age."

Subscriptions will be made available to anyone with a home address in England, but golfers who have left golf clubs in the last six months will not be eligible.

In order to obtain a handicap, golfers will need to submit scores from 54 holes played according to the Rules of Handicapping.

The rounds need to be pre-registered on the 'My England Golf' app and the scores must be digitally verified by a playing partner. 

England Golf is projected to take £5 million from the scheme within five years and the money is expected to be reinvested into projects for golf club funding, women and girls' participation, junior development and disability and minority groups.