OPERATING ‘PREFERRED LIES'
Monday 25th September 2023
Guidance to all clubs on implementing and managing 'Prefered Lies'
Affiliation Fees and what they Get You!
As part of your Club membership subscription you pay an annual affiliation fee which is divided between your County Golf Union & England Golf.
This article explains how we use the fee to benefit both you and the game of golf.
Essex Golf Union
- Who Finances Essex Golf Union?
The members of the affiliated Clubs do, alongside a small amount of sponsorship. The affiliation fees are collected by the Clubs on behalf of the County Union from their playing members, these funds together with sponsorship and any other surplus generated from County Events provide the funds through which the County operates. The Essex Golf Union exists to work on behalf of, and represent, all the affiliated Clubs in the county. Those Clubs are the voting members of Essex Golf Union Ltd.
- Governance Advice
A small team based at the County Office in Witham supported by a large number of valued volunteers work to support Essex Clubs. Assisting with refereeing matters and the rules of golf, course set up, handicap issues, course rating, etc. they provide extensive support and advice to all affiliated clubs as and when required. Seminars and workshops run by the Union provide Club management and members with up to date information on changes in the governance of the amateur game.
- Course Ratings
The County relies on a team of trained course raters who work to a ten-year cycle making sure each of our affiliated Clubs have a correctly measured and rated course, including a slope rating for each set of tees in preparation for the Worldwide Handicapping System (WHS) which came into operation in November 2020. This is essential to run competitions and make operating CONGU handicaps possible.
Handicapping is the foundation on which much of the amateur game of golf is built. The administration of handicaps can be complex, Clubs often have queries and concerns over members’ handicaps and the Union is here to help resolve those issues. We act as the area handicapping authority for Essex. Our Handicap Advisor works voluntarily to help administer and maintain the integrity of handicaps across the county and to provide assistance to the handicap committees at the affiliated Clubs.
- Player Development & County Teams
The Essex Golf Union supports in the development of players and representative teams at the following levels:
Challenge Team (2nd Team)
Seniors (Over 55 Years of Age)
Boys (Under 18 Years of Age)
Under 16 & Under 14 Years of Age
County Coaching Programmes take place at a number of venues across the county and are structured to help the development of over one hundred junior golfers from 10 to 18 years of age.
- Competitions & Championships
Essex Golf Union have run and administered Club team knockout and Championship competitions since 1924 and continue to work on behalf of the members of affiliated clubs to create and administer events for all levels of golfers. The Essex Matchplay championship is run for individuals to participate in, and the Thornton Cup, L Wood, Seniors Team, John Day Trophy and N Plum Trophy are all team competitions catering for different standards and age ranges. Eight Championship competitions are run each year, along with eight other strokeplay competitions, a county Order of Merit competition and a Junior community golf tour. These are provided to a wide variety of age groups and standards of golfing ability.
- County Card
The County Card is now free for affiliated members of Clubs that choose to participate in the scheme. This provides access to discounted golf at over 1000 golf courses across the country. The County card, is going digital more details to follow as the product emerges from beta stage.
1. Obtain your handicap and authoritative advice
We administer the WHS handicap system on behalf of CONGU and calculate and assign members’ handicaps, as well as adjudicate on queries.
2. Experience first-class competitions
Over 6,500 England Golf members of all ages and abilities compete in our 55 club, regional and national championship events every year.
3. Invest in elite amateur performing at the highest level
We provide the very best coaching, competitive opportunities and funding for 150 regional and 50 national squad players.
4. Protect players and the sport’s reputation
We keep our sport safe, managing all safeguarding and disciplinary cases for the amateur game.
5. Get great golfing benefits and discounts
Every England Golf member can take advantage of our ever-growing range of our exclusive offers, discounts and prize-draws by registering with our My England Golf programme.
6. Personal Liability Insurance
As an additional benefit of England Golf affiliation and provides £10 million personal liability insurance for every affiliated golf club member. The insurance is underwritten by Allianz and provided through Bluefin Sport.
7. MyEG & My WHS app provision for personal access to your Handicap Index. View scoring record, inspect slope ratings and calculate course handicap. Share and link with friends.
Affiliation Fees - Playing Member Defintion and Membership at Multiple Clubs
- Playing Member Definition
Affiliation fees are payable for all playing categories of membership, which is defined as anyone who has a contract with the club providing playing rights on a WHS rated course. A contract is any legal agreement, whether or not subject to payment, by which individuals become playing members of the club. This includes all categories of playing member, including but not limited to Full, Senior, Junior, Honorary, Temporary, Country, Overseas, 5&6 Day, Flexible or Points based. Playing rights also includes affiliated clubs linked to public or other courses where the member's actual contract to play the course is with a third party.
- Multiple Clubs
Where an individual is a member of more than one club in England, they should only pay England Golf fees once at their home club. Where the individual is a member of more than one club in the same County they should pay only one County fee at their 'home' club. Where they are a member of clubs in different Counties they should pay a County
fee in each case.