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What is the average handicap in England?

How do you stack up against other players in the country? After 18 months under the World Handicap System, England Golf can reveal the answer

 

How good are you at this maddening game of golf?

England Golf have revealed the average golf handicap for male and female players in the country and the results might surprise you.

It’s now 18 months since the World Handicap System came into effect and all of our marks transitioned to WHS indexes.

With a second season of scores starting to be inputted, and enough data to draw on following its introduction in November 2020, England Golf head of handicapping and course rating, Gemma Hunter, told a Hot Topics webinar hosted by the Golf Club Managers’ Association that the average WHS index for a male golfer was 17.1 and 27.2 for female players.

Gemma also came out with a host of other interesting tidbits about the new system. Remember the furore over the introduction of 54 handicaps?

Out of 737,000 affiliated members of golf clubs, and around 400,000 who had downloaded the My England Golf app, only 2,250 players held the highest possible handicap – a figure Hunter said was a “mythbuster”.

What is the average golf handicap in England?

golf scoring rules handicaps on scorecards

Some eight million rounds were submitted through England Golf’s WHS platform in 2021, with 5.5 million of those comprising competition scores.

That was an increase of 12 per cent on 2019. There were 2.3 million general play scores submitted and 94 per cent of all scores put in were for 18-hole rounds.

Richard Flint, England Golf’s chief operating officer, also revealed the latest figures on the governing body’s iGolf scheme for independent golfers.

He said 14,450 had signed up to the platform, which allows non-club members to pay an annual £40 fee and gain an officially recognised handicap, and said they were on track to meet the target of 25,000 subscribers in its first year of operation.

The average age of an iGolf member was 42 – considerably lower than that of a golf club member – and they had a WHS index of around 19.

“These are regular golfers playing a good standard of golf,” Flint said as he confirmed 606 iGolf users had so far transitioned into full club membership. Only 6 per cent of subscribers had previously been a member of a golf club before.

What is your golf handicap and how do you stack up against the average player? Let me know in the comments, or tweet me.

Need more information on the World Handicap System?

Visit our dedicated WHS page where you will find everything you need to know and details of how to contact us if you have any more questions.

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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