Golfers in England will have to have an email address if they want a handicap

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir September 8, 2020 13:48

Golfers will have to have an email address if they want to have an official handicap from this November, according to England Golf.

This will be the first time this has been a requirement, and has led to comments about data privacy and child protection.

England Golf has said that if a golf club or golfer denies England Golf access to crucial information including an email address ‘then a WHS (World Handicap System) Handicap Index will not be issued’.

One industry insider told The Golf Business: “This means parents who choose not to allow their young children to go online will be denying them an official WHS handicap.”

An England Golf spokesman said: “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.

“Junior members without an email address of their own may use an email address of a parent or guardian. SafeGolf procedures as well as GDPR regulations remain of paramount importance in such cases.”

Image by Brett Jordan

The new WHS is being introduced in the UK in November. In England, England Golf will calculate a golfer’s handicap, and to do this, independent software vendors, which currently calculate golfers’ handicaps, will be obliged to pass data, such as email addresses, to England Golf.

Some golf club managers have expressed concern over the privacy of data surrounding this.

The England Golf spokesman added: “The initial transfer of information, including email addresses, is required to ensure player identification and to eliminate the duplication of handicap records.

“Ongoing communication with affiliated members will be for handicap purposes and will be fully compliant with GDPR regulations.

“We are pleased that the GCMA [Golf Club Managers’ Association] has supported our approach which will allow for a smooth transition to the new WHS system.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir September 8, 2020 13:48
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  1. Grr November 4, 10:32

    Cant believe golf clubs have allowed the mafia EGU to take control of members handicaps,they will play both ends using extortion and protection.Increase fees, take a cut of green fees,sell members personal data,charge licence fees, set up the EGU golf club then insist private clubs allow them to play! etc all on the back of controlling hcps.Turkeys have voted for Christmas!

    Reply to this comment
  2. djm September 10, 10:35

    England Golf, the epitome of a quango not fit for purpose.

    Reply to this comment
  3. DT September 8, 16:23

    The long awaited Slope system has been scuppered by the England golf authorities who just seem to want to have just the 25% of golfers who are members of a club to have a handicap, rather than looking after the overwhelming majority who do not wish or are unable to belong to a club. They really are shooting themselves in the foot – The current so called demand for club memberships is a myth in the larger view, and will only be a blimp – wait and see. Please Pease Please unions and authorities, get a handicap for ALL golfers, club members or not!

    Reply to this comment
  4. Boo Boo September 6, 20:03

    In my 40 odd years of golfing, I have yet to meet anyone who thinks this is a good idea.
    More worryingly, is that in my experience, the younger low handicap players, likewise, cannot see the point.
    My son plays golf to a low single figure handicap.
    He plays the game for the tradition and does not want it changed. Nobody asked the opinion of the young quality players who are the future of golf.
    More and more of his age group are giving up golf.
    They are predominately at or around Scratch standard but now question where they can go with their talent.
    Some that went the Pro route now question why they bothered. Cost a small fortune for the three year course.
    Latest friend who gained the qualification within the last year, called it a day and joined the Police Force.
    The younger players who are the future of the game need to be asked their thoughts and opinions so the direction of the game can survive long into the future.

    Reply to this comment
    • pete kook September 10, 08:52

      The future of golf is not in the hands of young low handicap golfers. It is sad that they seem to see no point in playing to a good standard for its own sake. We need more amateurs who see winning their club championship as the ultimate achievement within their hobby.

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