How a new Golfer gets his first Handicap, ideally
Many golf clubs are searching, out of sheer necessity, for ways to attract and integrate new members. This is fundamentally positive, as we all benefit from it.
When it comes down to licence the new Golfers, we really need to make sure that the quality of the 1st Handicap 54 does not decline further and is not achieved with minimal effort. Sometimes it is simply just given, no matter what the quality of the player. I love to showcase how we deal with it here in Spain, as I think it is spot on.
In Spain, there is the option to issue a license without a Handicap. This means that the golfer is a member of the association, pays their fee, but does not yet have a Handicap – as they have not earned or developed it in most cases. This is how we do it for our golfers. During their subsequent learning period, golfers can play at our local golf course when there is little traffic (early evening). This gives new golfers the opportunity to enjoy the sport while protecting them from being a hindrance to others during peak times.
Unfortunately, it often happens that golf clubs grant new golfers the 1st Handicap or the playing license directly upon issuance. This is regrettable, as it may affect the playing times of experienced golfers and lead to slow rounds.
Instead, golf clubs/golf schools should issue the license without a Handicap and enable golfers to earn a Handicap of 54 or better through self-training and guided golf school offerings.
As a Golf School who specialises in getting new Golfer into the Handicap-ranks, we know that for a beginner to play a Handicap 54, it takes quite some practice. The amount of work we have to put in every week to get people ready, is significant.
Therefore, many golf clubs with heavy traffic have implemented a minimum Handicap to ensure that the traffic can meet the demand for tee times without financial losses.
Naturally, an uninformed new golfer will always seek the path of least resistance. After all, they want to play golf. Therefore, here is our tip: Two-person Handicap courses during your vacations are the best way to combine quality instruction and time together to integrate new golfers into the game.
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