Denise Bradley gives her reasons and explains why an iGolf membership is perfect for her and her friends

Whether it is yourself, another family member or some of your friends, getting into golf can be a mind-boggling experience with lots of rules and endless amounts of phrases that are used by other golfers on the course and around the clubhouse.

The question of handicaps is also a key question many ask when looking to start their journey into golf - do you need to join a club or not in order to obtain one? It’s no surprise this does get asked a lot because up until recently, that was the only way.

This was the same for avid golfer, Denise Bradley, who amidst the noise of a busy working life in London, struggled to play regularly because she didn’t have time to join a golf club and thus, obtain a handicap. Now though she can, through her subscription to iGolf, England Golf’s new digital community for non-members of golf clubs.

She regularly travels across the country and abroad to play with her husband, and admits that since joining iGolf, she has seen great progress in her golf game and advocates the platform to many of her female friends too.

By sharing her experiences and journey into the game with Women & Golf, we believe Denise’s story is one that should resonate with a lot of people, but should also help more of you to get outside and play so that in time, you can also obtain a handicap of your own.

“iGolf is the perfect solution for women who can’t commit to golf club membership”

In similar fashion to many others who play the game, Denise was introduced to the sport by her partner, who himself is an avid golfer, club member and a regular user of the My EG app:

“He introduced me to it and the obvious benefit to me is that it is a way, as somebody who isn’t a member of a golf club and can’t commit to membership, to get an official handicap.”

Denise really hasn’t looked back since, and thoroughly enjoys the ability to track her rounds and tell others what her handicap is:

“The main question I get asked when playing with someone is what my handicap is, so now I can tell them.”

When obtaining a handicap, the process is often mistaken as a lengthy one but now, thanks to the new World Handicap System (WHS), you only need to submit 54-holes, which can be either 9-holes or 18-holes:

“Signing up and using the app was so easy. It takes my registered rounds and so long as you post the number of rounds needed, it calculates it all for you. It’s really simple.”

Not to rest on her laurels however, Denise is very focused on improving her game and lowering her scores, which as we all know, requires practice and further play.

“The main thing for me now is to make sure I keep putting in the practice to keep my handicap where I want it to be!”

iGolf is great. You enter your score after your round and submit, leave it for a while and it sorts everything for you. I usually find myself checking in the morning after to see whether I have gone up or down based on that round.”

“If you’re target driven it’s perfect. It provides the information you need to track your progress and work out how much work to put in. I’m often saying to myself ‘right, I need to get out and play because I’m working on reaching an x-handicap and it is not there yet'.”

Denise iGolf membership

Clearly, obtaining a handicap has been something that Denise has found really useful as a way to lower her scores. It isn’t an absolute must to have in order for you to play golf, but through hearing Denise’s story and that of our Editor, Emma, it is one that can only benefit you.

But with the new World Handicap System that came into force a year or so back, some people are still wrapping their heads around what it all means. It is a new and innovative system that makes the game equitable for everyone, but what do terms like ‘course handicap’, ‘slope rating’, ‘course rating’ and others, actually mean?

To a certain extent, it doesn’t matter. Through the My EG app, all golfers – club members and non-club members alike – have it worked out for them before they go out to play.

This peace of mind is something Denise has found really useful too:

“The big thing is that when you are about to play, it automatically calculates your Course Handicap the day before you play, so it does the legwork for you, using the Slope Ratings. It makes sure you are playing from the right handicap.”

“I'm never going to golf five days a week, but it’s really good that I can play and practice at my own pace”

In similar fashion to her current focus on improving her golf game, Denise is committed to the progress she has seen in her game since becoming official, and will definitely continue using iGolf.

“After a two-year break due to an ankle injury, that really set my game back, so it’s really good that I can play and practice at my own pace and already through the subscription and app, I have seen progress in my performances – going from 36 down to 26.

“Moving forwards, if I can just get it down to 20 or something along those lines, then that would be a good goal. And then for me, it will just be about continuing to play and maintaining it.”

So, if iGolf has helped Denise’s journey into the game, can it also help you and many other women in a similar situation to her?

“Of course, I think it can help a lot. I’ve spoken to a friend of mine about it and said to her ‘you need to subscribe’ because she is in a similar situation to myself and a similar level to me but is also looking to improve her game and understand her exact level right now.

“You can be a non-club member and still obtain an official handicap. For women who can’t commit to club membership like me and my friend, that is really important.”

“Reducing my handicap was the best experience…it gives you that sense of achievement to keep going”

Reflecting back on her first year since getting a handicap, there were many moments for Denise that stood out.

We all enjoy walking off the 18th hole having played an incredibly good round of golf and that feeling resonated:

“I did have one of those rounds recently where you know when you just can't do anything wrong? It was something like 42 points in stableford format, so it really helped to reduce my handicap.”

It is those moments that reinforce some of the reasons as to why we love the sport and want to play, as they validate the practice and hard work we put in to try and improve. “It was great because it felt like an achievement and to be able to see the progress through the app as a result was brilliant.

“That's what keeps you coming back.”

Find out more about iGolf and start your journey towards obtaining an official handicap, here.