iGolf by England Golf

iGolf is an England Golf subscription service that enables golfers who are not members of golf clubs to obtain and maintain a Handicap Index® under the World Handicap System™ and to track their progress through an easy-to-use app.

Handicaps are vital in allowing golfers to compete in tournaments as well as to measure their success, improve their games, and test their ability against friends and family. Sporting Insights were engaged by England Golf in the insight behind the development of the offering. We conducted an initial piece of research in 2019 exploring the potential for a system to fairly, affordably provide handicaps to independent golfers. This research fed into the development of iGolf, which launched in 2021. Key findings that prompted the iGolf launch decision, included:
New research in 2024 is now helping England Golf to track retention of iGolf subscribers and profile those continuing or lapsing their subscription. That research discovered widespread satisfaction with the iGolf system and an appetite among most iGolf subscribers to continue with the scheme. Key findings include:
Measurement is particularly important given that the programme has two paths to success. While ongoing connectivity with iGolf is one form of success, so is golfers choosing to lapse their subscription and instead obtain a handicap through golf club membership. This indicates a changing, often deepening, relationship with the sport of golf, and iGolf is designed to be a helpful stepping stone on this journey, as well as a destination in its own right for those for whom club membership is not currently the right fit.
"We’re delighted with the positive reception for iGolf. Hearing so many stories of what keeping a handicap has enabled people to do within the sport has been heartening. The research, both at the initial stage and now on an ongoing basis, was and is vital in enabling us to keep evolving to deliver a service that golfers want and need. We have found Sporting Insights to be an excellent supporter. Their expertise allows them to put the data in context and provide clear analysis and suggestions, while their personal, friendly, flexible approach makes them a pleasure to work with."
Claire Hodgson
Head of iGolf / iPlay

John Bushell, Joint Managing Director of Sporting Insights said: “England Golf have trusted us to undertake many strategically important research programmes over the last decade to help inform their relationships with golfers, clubs, and in developing the sport through initiatives such as iGolf. We value the way that England Golf recognise that to take important decisions to develop the sport, it needs focused, independent and actionable insight. The success of iGolf illustrates what is possible when dynamic, forward-thinking initiatives to embrace golfers who are currently not within the golf club network is actioned through data-led research. What England Golf are achieving with iGolf is a proper reward for approaching and embracing independent golfers. Golfer numbers in England are strong – and demand to play golf is strong. We look forward to working with England Golf on this and other programmes in the future.”