WORLD HANDICAP SYSTEM UNDER INTENSE SCRUTINY WITH NEARLY 2,000 EMAILS A WEEK
The World Handicap System was launched on November 2nd and England Golf have received an incredible number of emails with questions from golf club members.
Fri, 21 May 2021
The World Handicap System team at England Golf received a staggering 47,000 emails between November 2nd and Christmas, as the confusion goes on about the new system.
With enquiries still coming in at roughly 1,700 times per week, the Golf Club Manager’s Association held a webinar in which the scale of England Golf’s task was revealed.
Gemma Hunter, who is England Golf’s head of handicapping and course rating, described the difficulties faced with such a large scale of correspondence, due to the fact that golf was shut down over the winter and re-opened in March.
This meant that the World Handicap System effectively had two launches. Hunter said that most of the email enquiries were about basic concerns with passwords and membership numbers.
Hunter appealed to golf club managers across the UK to answer as many questions from their members as possible and to guide them, in order to alleviate the pressure on England Golf.
“We appreciate it’s not where we would want to be,” said Hunter, in an interview with the National Club Golfer.
“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 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.
“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.”
The World Handicap System has caused some controversy and confusion since its inception. Players now have a handicap index which they take to the course, and based on the course rating and slope rating, they are then given a playing handicap for the day.
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.