The latest on the independent golfer schemes being considered by the UK's governing bodies GCMA CEO Tom Brooke has given an update on the projects to provide official handicaps to golfers who are not members of clubs. Below, he provides the latest on the discussions the Association are having with England Golf, Scottish Golf and Wales Golf... England Golf Thank you to the group of GCMA Members who have been working with me on this. Their input has been extremely useful and provided some key points that we have been putting back to England Golf. I've also had further meetings with Jeremy Tomlinson and Richard Flint at EG, the most recent updates from them as follows: Intended launch of the scheme and the product to made available to golfers by the end of June. I have continued to recommend that this is moved back to later in the year, to give clubs suitable time to adjust to current circumstances before a new participation and retention initiative is launched to the market! Following the launch in June, Clubs will then have the opportunity to start engaging with 'Independent Golfers' via the new digital platform by the end of August Further engagement between Clubs and 'Independent Golfers' will then develop from 2022 onwards with consideration for open competitions etc EG will be forming an internal handicap committee to monitor the system and ensure integrity of WHS is maintained I have been assured that if the scheme does not prove to be successful, that the financial model will not lead to it be a loss making activity and soak up valuable membership affiliation fees! The scheme will be continually monitored and adjusted accordingly. I am pleased to report that EG have been in regular correspondence with us on this and are keen to continue working with us and listening to the voice of Golf Club Managers. We will be looking to hold a follow up Live Q&A session with EG representatives, for GCMA members to attend, in the coming weeks, so watch this space! Scottish Golf Our understanding is that the scheme is still intended for launch in June. Further information and details aren't currently being made available, but I have been in communication with SG, who have assured me they will keep us informed and engage with us in more detail ahead of launch. Wales Golf With current circumstances in mind and focussing entirely on supporting clubs through the pandemic, Richard Dixon at Wales Golf has taken the decision to move the launch date of the project back to the Autumn. I know this is a decision which has been well received by Club Managers and indeed is something that I applaud and agree with. We will continue to stay in regular correspondence with Wales Golf and work with them on the launch and implementation of the scheme. Do you subscribe to the GCMA's weekly E-newsletter? Make sure you're not missing out on the latest in the world of golf club management. Click here to join...
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