England Golf has unveiled its new digital platform, iGolf, that will offer non-club golfers in England the opportunity to obtain and maintain an official WHS handicap.
England Golf says that iGolf will provide a pathway for the approximately 2.3 million golfers in England who are not currently members of golf clubs to input scores, calculate course handicaps and track their performance in the same way club members do under the new World Handicapping Scheme, which was introduced by England Golf last November.
Golfers will have to pay £40 per year to sign up to iGolf, although personal liability insurance comes as part of the subscription.
As an England Golf initiative, revenue generated through the platform will be reinvested into the work being done nationally to help grow the game across all levels, support clubs and the wider golfing community.
To subscribe to iGolf, golfers should log on to www.englandigolf.co.uk to get started, 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.
“iGolf is an exciting progression for the amateur game in England and one that we believe will help safeguard 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,” said England Golf CEO, Jeremy Tomlinson.
“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 non-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. 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 says that it is not designed as a replacement for club membership. It believes that by encouraging increased play among the wider golfing public, iGolf could act as a key pathway to membership as the non-club member segment of the golfing population experience more courses, and the benefits of regular play and practise.
England Golf also believes that iGolf will provide new revenue streams for golf clubs through increased demand for green fees, supplementary clubhouse and pro shop spends, as well as the chance to market to a wider audience of golfers.
In order to maintain the integrity of handicapping, a system of checks and balances have been included in the iGolf platform, while education on the rules and etiquette of golf are also woven into the programme.
“We firmly believe that iGolf provides significant opportunities for clubs and alongside our membership campaign and other resources, we will continue to support the wider golfing community,” concluded Tomlinson.