Editor Emma Ballard and four friends sign up to iGolf. Follow their journey towards achieving official Handicap Indexes. It's time to hear Debbie's golf story...
We’re now a few weeks into our handicap journey and whilst we had little expectation when we submitted our first nine holes, that changed for round number two. Now there was a number to better!
I’m not a good enough golfer to be able to do too much about my overall score but there was definitely some added pressure over the shorter makeable putts. I personally managed five shots better which seemed a lot to me.
So, after two lots of nine holes I was very happy to see the markers on the My EG App dashboard trending downwards!
This handicap journey isn’t mine alone. I have four friends who are coming along with me. It’s time to hear from Debbie, a university lecturer and Mum of two. Debbie talks about her previous golf experience, why she got back into golf and how she is getting on with the iGolf experience.
Debbie’s golf story
I started playing golf regularly six years ago, as part of the Get into Golf programme at my local Golf Centre. I joined with a group of Mums really just to be a part of it and see what happened. At the time I definitely wouldn’t have called myself a ‘golfer’ but I knew I would enjoy it.
My experience of golf at that point had been from over 20 years ago when we lived in North Weald. There was a nine-hole course there, it was £5 to play, no need to book, no dress code and they gave you a 9 iron, wedge and putter to play with. I remember enjoying it but we started a family and moved away from the area.
The only other golf I played after that was competitive mini-golf with the family on holiday!
Before our first session, I mentioned to my Mum about having lessons, so she gave me her old set that was gathering dust in the garage.
What I really enjoyed about our Academy group sessions, apart from being with other women learning together, was an hour to concentrate on something that wasn’t work or family. It was something for me and that’s what has kept me coming back. Plus also the time to catch up and strengthen friendships.
It’s great to be out on the course in the summer but it’s then that you realise that there is still a lot that you need to work on. That’s why I, even after six years, try and come most Monday nights to our lesson even if it’s freezing cold in the middle of winter.
I didn't realise how much I would enjoy the process of gaining a Handicap Index
Getting a handicap hadn’t been something I had really thought about because I wasn’t even counting my shots before.
Now we’re a few weeks into using iGolf and so far I have loved the process. Going out for nine holes feels more competitive but not with my friends. I don’t feel that I am competing against anyone except myself.
I like using the My EG App because it’s all in one place and I can see what I have achieved and it definitely feels like an achievement after each round.
I’m also thinking more about the shots I am making on the course now as every shot counts. Even when I’m in the trees, I’m thinking about the best way out, how can I get out with one shot. It’s made me think more tactically, which is a good thing.
I’m still not sure if I ever want to enter a competition (the picture at the top was a fun Women's Golf Day Texas scramble) but I do know that I won’t be content just getting a Handicap Index and staying the same. I will want to constantly improve, asking our PGA pro, Rob, for advice on little things that can make me better. It’s making me feel like I want to play more too.
I’d definitely recommend iGolf to other women (and men) who are yet to get a handicap and are not able to commit to golf club membership. It’s a great motivator, you can watch your progress and you have something to work towards.
For me personally, this whole iGolf experience has been lovely as we have been able to work towards our handicaps as a group – especially as we all started out together six years ago.
Next time we’ll have a status update on how all our handicap journeys are going and we'll hear from Tamsin about her motivation to get a handicap.