Welcome to new Members

Members and their guests are welcome on the course any time except for the short reserved periods on Sunday mornings when there is a club competition. You can bring your dog with you as long as you keep it under good control at all times. The clubroom has a coffee machine and snacks available - you will have been given the current access code when you joined, otherwise ask any member you see on the course.

Of course you are under no obligation to play competitively - if you just want to join up for some social golf (and a good walk) then that is typical of many of our long-standing golfers. There is generally a chance of a bacon buttie and a 9-hole casual round on Saturday mornings all through the summer. Please check our Guidelines for Visitors page for more information on the best way to take care of the course.

Getting started with a golf handicap

The handicapping system in golf is designed to make individual matches roughly even and give everyone the same chance of winning strokeplay competitions. If you are a new golfer to the club, all you need to do to get your first handicap awarded is to play 3 complete rounds, recording the scores on each hole, and have your partner (who must be a club member) sign the card. Mark it ‘for handicap’ and drop it in the box in the clubhouse.

You can make up the required 54 holes with any combination of 9 or 18-hole rounds. It is fine to play in the Sunday morning competitions - check the online sign-up sheet to find a group you can join up with to make a 3-ball. There is no need to pay the competition entry fee if you do this. You won’t be listed in the results but the card will count for handicap.

Golfers who already have a handicap at another club simply need to let the handicap secretary know the club they are coming from, and if they want to nominate GCGC as their home course. All their current details will be automatically transferred.

Handicap Index and Course Handicap

Every course in the world is rated both for a scratch golfer (we are rated at 67) and a 'bogey' golfer, and the relative degree of difficulty is expressed as the 'slope' of that course. When cards are assessed for handicap, the difference between the score on the card and the scratch rating is divided by the slope to get a gross difference for the round. Our slope is 126/113 = 1.115 so a round of 93 would work out as (93-67)/1.115 = 23.3 shots. The average of the lowest 8 differences from your last 20 rounds is your current handicap index. When you play here you simply reverse the process by multiplying by 1.115 (and rounding) to get your course handicap, which is the number you use in all competitions (so is the number you write on the card where it says 'Hcp'). A conversion table is available in the clubhouse, or you can use the calculator on the club website (or the England Golf app) to do the sums. When you play at another course you use their slope in the same way to get your course handicap for the day, and if you choose to put in the card for handicapping, your gross difference will be worked out relative to the their slope and playing conditions on the day.

How handicaps get adjusted

Every time you play in a qualifying competition (nearly all the summer Sunday competitions count) or enter a qualifying score, your handicap is adjusted up or down by a small amount depending on your gross difference on the day (possibly adjusted for weather conditions). When all the scores for the day are posted to England Golf they can decide whether to adjust the course rating for the day, and your score will be added to the list of the most recent 20 cards, possibly changing your handicap if it turns out to be one of the best 8. If you play a couple of rounds that are either exceptionally good or particularly bad, then the handicap secretary has the option of applying a one-off adjustment to get you back to what seems fair.