England Golf launches iGolf, a new digital community that offers non-club golfers in England the opportunity to obtain and maintain an official handicap.
Society and charity golf days are about to get a whole lot fairer. Non-club golfers in England can now sign up to iGolf and pay an annual fee of £40 in exchange for a World Handicap Index, as well as personal liability insurance.
The platform is open to all independent golfers with a home address in England and will provide them with access to the ‘My EG' app to post scores, track indexes, calculate course handicaps and engage with friends, in the same way club members do under the World Handicap System.
Any golfer who has left a golf club within the last six months is not be eligible to subscribe.
“iGolf is an exciting progression for the amateur game in England and one that we believe will help safeguard the future of our sport,” said England Golf CEO, Jeremy Tomlinson.
“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.
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“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.
“Through iGolf we can look to bring more revenue into the sport generally, and specifically for our 1,800 affiliated golf clubs and facilities in England.”
While iGolf is a new form of subscription, England Golf have assured golf club committees that it is not designed as a replacement for club membership. The hope is that iGolf will provide a pathway into membership for circa 2.3 million ‘independent golfers’ up and down the country to experience more courses, and the benefits of regular play and practice.
In a letter sent to affiliated clubs, England Golf confirmed that county and national events would remain open to golf club members only. If clubs wish to create an independent golfer-only competition or, alternatively, integrate them into some or all of the existing club competitions, this would be at “their discretion”.
In order to maintain the integrity of handicapping, England have confirmed that a system of checks and balances have been included in the iGolf platform, while education on the rules and etiquette of golf have been woven into the programme.
Any surplus cash generated through the platform will also be reinvested back into the game at grassroots level.
To subscribe to iGolf, independent golfers should head to www.englandigolf.co.uk to pay their subscription, download the 'My EG' app and start entering verifiable scores to obtain a handicap index. Golfers who were previously club members will, where possible, have their handicap index reinstated through their iGolf subscription.
For more information on iGolf and the World Handicap System, click here.
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