Emailed England Golf about the World Handicap System? You're not alone, as Steve Carroll found out

England Golf’s World Handicap System support fielded 47,000 email enquiries between its launch on November 2 and Christmas – and they’re still coming in at an average of 1,700 a week.

In a Hot Topics webinar held by the Golf Club Managers’ Association, Gemma Hunter, England Golf’s head of handicapping and course rating, revealed the scale of the task of bedding in the new global order as golf clubs and players reach out to the governing body with questions.

Hunter told managers it felt like the near three-month shutdown of golf because of coronavirus restrictions had effectively meant the World Handicap System was launched twice – in November and at the end of March – and a team of seven were currently working to resolve enquiries.

She added the majority of emails came from members and related to basic concerns, such as obtaining membership numbers and passwords, and she appealed to golf club managers to help catch some of those queries, or use county handicap advisors, to try and stem the flow.

“We appreciate it’s not where we would want to be,” Hunter said of the backlog. “But we are working to improve that. We hope that within the next week to 10 days, we will be dealing with things within the last 72 hours. So all I would say is please bear with us, we will get round to it.

“I think the biggest thing we’ve had is the majority of emails that we are receiving are actually from golf club members. They are asking some of the real basic questions like, ‘What’s my CDH number?’, ‘What’s my password?’ And then some other very basic handicapping questions.”

She added: “I would ask – and it’s a plea from me to you as golf club managers – that, wherever possible, you could let your members know what their CDH numbers are, explain to them where the answers to those basic questions can be found, and this would certainly free up a lot of our capacity to actually deal with the issues or the main problems that people are having – because that does take up a lot of our time.”

Hunter revealed a total of 1.6 million rounds of golf had been submitted into the WHS platform for handicap purposes by clubs and golfers in England – with 72 per cent of those in competitive rounds and the remainder in general play.

Of that 430,000 general play rounds, 36 per cent had been returned through the My England Golf app.

Hunter also answered a series of questions submitted by golf club managers on topics ranging from how to calculate 4BBB allowances to how the Playing Conditions Calculation is calculated, which we’ll relay in our World Handicap System Explained series.

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Steve Carroll

A journalist for 23 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former captain and committee member, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the national Tournament Administrators and Referee's Seminar. He has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying and the PGA Fourball Championship. A member of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap.

Handicap: 10.9

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