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world handicap system

Do these stats show golfers are starting to embrace the World Handicap System?

England Golf say they have seen increases in the number of players submitting scores to WHS and across courses in Great Britain & Ireland

 

It is rarely mentioned without controversy but new figures released by England Golf are showing the number of rounds submitted to the World Handicap System are on the rise.

Revealing their end of year statistics, the governing body said over nine million scores had been entered in 2023 – despite a wet summer and a winter that has seen golf badly restricted in the country over the past few weeks.

Across the year, general play scores rose by just over two per cent, with seven per cent more nine-hole scores entered last year than in 2022.

Of the total scores, 2.3 million were logged through the MyEG app, with a 20 per cent increase in usage by women and girls.

50,115 scores had also been put in by English golfers on courses in Wales, Ireland, and Scotland – an 82 per cent increase on 2022.

Back in June, England Golf, Scottish Golf, Wales Golf, and Golf Ireland launched full ‘interoperability’, which allowed players to digitally submit general play scores through their apps at all affiliated golf clubs in Great Britain and Ireland.

world handicap system

World Handicap System figures: iGolf continues to go from strength to strength

England Golf also said rounds played by other home nations golfers at courses in England were up 23 per cent.

The governing body revealed iGolf now has more than 60,000 subscribers. The scheme, which gives non-club members the opportunity to have a WHS index, has seen over 7,700 move into club membership – a conversion rate of 12 per cent.

This year promises to be a big one for WHS with a raft of changes scheduled to come into effect in April. These include adopting course rating minus par, new criteria that could see fourball betterball scores in competitions included on player’s records, and competitions permitted over a “non-standard number of holes”.

An England Golf statement said: “This year has also seen us roll out one of most important movements to date – Respect in Golf. All of our counties are now Respect in Golf accredited, as we look to spread the message that golf is a game for all, and everybody should feel welcomed to take up the sport.

“It really has been another year to celebrate for golf, so here’s a toast to an even more prosperous one in 2024 – and hopefully some better weather for growing the game and getting out there to do what we love!”

Now have your say

What do you think? Have you submitted a card from another country in Great Britain & Ireland? How did you find the process? Let me know with a comment on X.

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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