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.
Will independent golfers have performance measured using the same system as golf club members?
Independent golfers will have their handicap index calculated via the same WHS system as golf club members and will hold their own unique membership number.
In future, this will allow a seamless transition to membership as follows:
If an independent golfer chooses to progress from the scheme and join a golf club, then the club will simply request the unique membership number and playing history as they would do another golf club member.
The independent golfer will then be resigned from the programme, with their details transferred to their new club.
Independent golfers will be clearly identifiable on the WHS platform.
How will independent golfers be educated on the rules and etiquette of the game?
Education on rules and etiquette will be delivered through all communication channels, with specific content relating to these areas included on the website.
But please remember that many independent golfers are experienced players.
Many will have experienced society golf and society competitions
Just as many will have played the game for a considerable length of time
Many will be knowledgeable on rules and etiquette
Ongoing education is important for all golfers - independent golfers and members alike.
How will the setting up of the independent golfer scheme impact on the workload of golf clubs?
The simple answer is there will not be a burden of work for golf clubs.
The connectivity platform will be run and maintained by England Golf.
Handicaps will be allocated and centrally managed by England Golf.
The new platform will be designed to educate and inspire on golf club membership. Through the provision of an official handicap, we aim to create a greater desire among independent golfers to play more often at their local facility, measure their progress and develop a stronger connection.
For clubs that want to connect we will provide a simple connectivity pathway to help drive memberships and increased revenue.