In a letter sent to all affiliated golf clubs, England Golf has provided its latest weekly update on the connectivity platform being developed for independent golfers. The full correspondence is published below:
Welcome to the latest club update on the development of an independent golfer connectivity platform.
When launched, this platform will offer non-members of golf clubs an official handicap index and personal liability insurance.
The initial aim is to inspire golfers to play more often and to increase the connection between an avid, independent golfer and their local club/facility.
We will create a best-in-class platform with the ultimate goal of educating independent golfers on the value of golf club membership and inspiring them to follow this pathway to greater participation.
Common club queries – your FAQs answered
How will England Golf spend surplus funds generated by the new platform?
In line with England Golf’s role as a not-for-profit organisation supporting our affiliated golf clubs and golfers, surplus funds will be used to develop and grow the game.
Potential areas for investment discussed by the working group this week include:
- a special project fund for golf clubs
- further development of women’s golf
- increased funding for junior initiatives
- more inclusive competitive opportunities.
Inclusivity and accessibility will lie at the heart of any investment plan.
How will independent golfers obtain a handicap index without being a member of, or assigned to, a particular club?
In effect, the national association becomes the independent golfer’s home club.
Currently, the following system is under consideration:
- General play scores will be submitted through the ‘My England Golf’ app.
- Scores will be accepted from play at courses rated under the WHS system.
- Digital scorecards for handicap purposes must be attested by another golfer who is registered on the WHS platform (a golf club member or independent golfer).
What mechanisms will be in place to help maintain the integrity of handicapping
England Golf will administer and manage handicap indexes for independent golfers in line with the Rules of Handicapping.
In order to achieve this, some new innovations will be introduced.
England Golf will establish a new national handicap committee specifically for independent golfers to oversee its responsibilities under the WHS and ensure all players are treated fairly and consistently.
- Peer review – as happens already with golf club members – will be implemented for independent golfers and will be overseen by the England Golf handicap committee.
Separate from the independent golfer platform, golf clubs will continue to be responsible for their members’ handicaps through their own long-established handicap committees.