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Introducing iGolf – the new digital golf community in England

England Golf iGolf handicap
England Golf iGolf

Can you get and maintain a handicap without being a member of a golf club?

For the longest time – in England, at least – the answer to that was typically and categorically ‘no’.

However, that changed this year with the introduction of a historic, transformative and downright exciting new platform.

Called iGolf, it was launched by England Golf this summer following the huge success of similar initiatives in other countries around the world. In short, it is a scheme that is designed to allow non-club members – or ‘independent golfers’ – to obtain a Handicap Index administered by England Golf on the World Handicap System (WHS).

For just £40 per year, golfers can subscribe to the scheme via the dedicated England iGolf website and, after downloading the ‘My EG’ app, can start inputting scores that will count towards their WHS Handicap Index. They will also receive personal liability insurance, the latest news and offers from England Golf partners, and access to education on golf rules and etiquette.

The ‘Official Digital Community’ for the governing body in England, iGolf has been designed to encourage more play amongst the wider golfing population and a platform to track their performance, which in turn will provide clubs, golf societies and other companies with a wider audience to market to.

What it is not is a replacement for golf club membership which still provides golfers with unique benefits. Rather, it is a platform to stimulate participation and inclusivity amongst the country’s estimated 2.3million ‘independent golfers’, who, for a multitude of reasons, are unable to take up a club membership currently.

According to England Golf CEO Jeremy Tomlinson, iGolf will “help protect the future of our sport”.

“This new platform will help us to connect with a large proportion of the golfing public who we weren’t reaching before, providing a new avenue to grow the game across the country,” he added.

“When people have a measurement for performance in any activity, they naturally want to do it more in order to improve. By providing an official measure of performance for all golfers, not just club members, via a WHS Handicap Index, we can break down many of the barriers to uptake of the game.”

“Our primary aim is to encourage play, increase the connection between non-club members and their local facilities and provide avid golfers with a clear pathway to club membership should they choose to make this progression.”

“These schemes give people an incentive to play more golf in order to maintain their handicap,” explained England Golf’s Chief Operating Officer Richard Flint. “By playing more golf, they are spending more time in and around golf clubs than they otherwise might, which is giving them a better sense for what they are like.”

Flint added: “It’s all about inclusion. The more people playing the game, and playing the game regularly, the more everybody benefits.”

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