World Handicap System Data FAQs

1. Why does England Golf need my email address and DOB?

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.

The initial transfer of information is required to ensure accurate player identification and to eliminate the duplication of handicap records.
Without supplying an email address and DOB it will not be possible for us to issue a Handicap Index.

In order to maintain the integrity of the handicapping system for the benefit of all members, not only now but also in the future, we need to be able to say with confidence that an individual member of a golf club is either the same person or different to someone with the same name who was previously a member at another golf club.

Without that we cannot be certain that the handicap is a true reflection of a player’s ability.


2. What will my personal data be used for?

In accordance with our privacy policy, your data will be used for legitimate interests of England Golf business. It will allow us to develop and improve our online services and provide you with necessary member support including:

  • A handicap calculation
  • Entry to competitions
  • Future changes to our services
  • Relevant information on handicapping

It will also allow us to provide safe and lawful business services including:

  • Administration of the new handicapping system
  • Maintenance of member records and disciplinary, anti-doping and safeguarding cases


3. What additional data will be held by England Golf?

When England Golf takes over the administration of handicapping under the WHS we will hold your name, email address, date of birth, phone number (only if supplied), membership number, membership type (18 or 9 hole), home club, gender and age.

In addition to this we will store information on the courses you play, on which dates you play, competition entries and scores relating to your handicap. We will also hold your England Golf member login details.

For purposes of administration and analytics we may also collect information about your IP address, operating system and browser type. This allows us to analyse how members use the login area to establish patterns about website use and improve the online experience.


4. Will my personal data be used for marketing purposes?

No – any data gathered from you by England Golf will not be used for marketing. It is primarily gathered to allow us to operate and maintain the integrity of the new handicapping system and provide necessary member services.


5. Will my personal data be shared with third parties?

The sharing of information to any third parties will once again be as a direct consequence of maintaining the handicapping system. Third parties include the following:

  • Your home club and the relevant county golf organisation, or contractors or suppliers acting on behalf of those organisations
  • Competition organisers and officials involved in competitions in which you take part, including contractors or suppliers acting on behalf of those organisations
  • Other organisations involved in the calculation of your handicap. For example, when you play at a club other than your home club we may provide them with your current handicap
  • Carefully selected third parties which supply us with products and services, such as website and platform developers and cloud computing services. We will only share your information with these suppliers where it is necessary for them to provide us with the services we need
  • Our professional advisors (including and without limitation tax, legal or other corporate advisors who provide professional services to us)
  • Organisations with whom we have a legal obligation to share your data, which may include regulators, fraud prevention agencies, police, the courts or law enforcement agencies
  • HMRC or other tax bodies or agencies to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations


6. When does England Golf need my personal data?

Your golf club needs to have uploaded this information into their handicap software before 5 October 2020.


7. What happens if I haven’t got an email address?

It would be preferable for each individual to provide a unique email address along with their date of birth. Without both an email and DOB then you will not receive a handicap index.

In such circumstances where an individual does not have an email address and does not intend to obtain one, then it is acceptable to share an email address with a family member or friend.

A golf club may wish to assist their members with setting up a personal email address.


8. What if I refuse to give my email address or date of birth?

If you refuse to provide your personal data we will not be able to provide you with a Handicap Index.


9. How do I ensure my Handicap Index goes live on 2 November 2020?

Your golf club may request your email address and DOB if they do not already hold this information. The club then needs to upload this information into their handicap software before 5 October to ensure your Handicap Index can be calculated.

Later in October you will be able to register on the England Golf platform to view your Handicap Index before it goes live on 2 November.


10. My club has previously told me that it will not share my personal data with anyone. Why is it now allowed to share my personal data with England Golf?

The way handicaps are calculated in England is changing. Rather than each club having its own handicap calculation provider, there will now be one single handicap calculator operated by England Golf, which will become a data controller for handicapping purposes.

As a member of an affiliated club you are also a member of England Golf. The law requires that you are provided with certain information following your club’s decision to share your information with England Golf. This is all set out in the privacy notice.