Are you finding you are constantly being disadvantaged because you don’t have a handicap?
Are your mates taking the rise because when they ask: ‘what do you play off these days?’ and you have to reply ‘Well I don’t actually have a handicap.’
"You don’t have a handicap? How on earth can you be taken seriously!"
It used to be that only by being a member of your local golf club – or The Golf Society of Great Britain - could you obtain an official handicap which reflected your standard of play and which was recognised in Europe.
However for several years, the English Golf Union has spotted a gap in the market by offering golf societies as well as individuals official handicap status by joining its unique scheme.
Now Golf England, which represents the commercial arm of the EGU, has just signed up its 1000th recruit in the first month of its Associate member scheme – adding to the 7,000 the EGU had on its original books.
Alan Dutton, who lives in Chippenham, Wiltshire, has been playing golf for the last five years and now, he says, the Associate member scheme will provide him with many more opportunities to develop his love of the game.
"The Associate member scheme allows me, as a non-golf club member, to enjoy the benefits of the Golf England ‘virtual golf club’ as well as securing and maintaining the handicap that I wanted. I travel a lot with work and visit friends at weekend. This will enable me to play on more courses around the UK and abroad than I could have previously expected to."
There are over three million casual golfers in the UK who, play regularly but without membership of a golf club are unlikely to hold a recognised handicap. This can limit their access to golf courses that demand some sort of certificate of playing ability.
Membership of the scheme, which comes with an identity card, costs £48 a year and offers opportunities to many course discounts, interactive golf lessons and a quarterly magazine.
For the Golf England website or further information, call 0870 243 2343