Frequently Asked Questions

About The Golf Club of Great Britain

1: Why should I choose the GCGB handicap card
The GCGB has been operating and issuing handicaps for over 35 years. Established in 1985 by its founder member Bernard Pendry, with the backing of Peter Alliss, we are tried and tested both in the UK and overseas. The present owner, Kate Brown, joined in 1995 to manage the day to day running of the GCGB and finally took over from Bernard when he retired in 2005. We have issued handicap certificates to over 21,000 members since 1986 with members in more than 36 countries worldwide. Many of our original members are still with us today.

2: Is your handicap Official
No. The only way to obtain an official EGU handicap is to join a private golf club. Our handicaps are, however, recognised and accepted at most courses throughout the UK and indeed the rest of the world. Most popular requests are for handicaps for Turkey, Spain and Portugal. All courses in Spain and Portugal, (mainly the Costa Del Sol and Algarve) accept our handicap certificates. We are pleased to confirm that our handicap is accepted on the St Andrews Old Course. We are one of only two accredited handicaps (not CONGU affiliated) accepted at St. Andrews.

3: How do I obtain my Handicap Certificate
Simply submit three recent scorecards which have been duly completed and signed by your fellow playing partner and we will assess your playing ability based on these cards. They do NOT need to signed by a club member but should be no older than three months. You can submit these cards either by email as a pdf or jpg attachment, making sure they are not too big, not more than 1 megabite preferably or if you prefer the old school method, by post. 

4: How long does it take to receive a Handicap Certificate
Most applications are dealt with within 48 hours, in the busy Summer months, it may take a little longer but certainly no longer than 5 days. We will always process an application immediately if it is really urgent. Fast track membership is processed within 24 hours.

5: How is my handicap adjusted
Every time you submit a card, it is entered onto our database and your handicap is amended as necessary. You now have the option of entering your scores yourself directly onto your record via the members’ area of the website and see your new handicap calculation immediately. All handicap adjustments are made in exactly the same way as would be by any private club. You can check your handicap any time via the members’ area of the website and print out a full handicap history from the website. Cards can be submitted from any 18 hole course throughout the world.
In accordance with the new World Handicapping System, maximum handicaps for both men and ladies is now 54.

6: Can I play in Open Competitions with the Handicap Certificate
Most usually, the answer is No. Most Open Competitions stipulate an official CONGU handicap which can only be obtained by joining a private club. However, our handicap is accepted for non Open Competitions and any corporate golf days.

7: I live abroad, can I still join the GCGB
Yes, although you will become a member of our associate organisation, The International Golfers Club which has its own Handicap Certificates, which are exactly the same as GCGB but with a different name and logo. You can visit our sister site at for further information. Sometimes, members living abroad prefer to belong to the GCGB and this is perfectly acceptable so long as you stipulate this on joining.

8: Do you have lady members
Yes, we have had lady members joining since we first started. We also have many junior members, age restriction for juniors is 18 at greatly reduced membership fees.

9: Do you have any GCGB competitions
Yes, we have golf days running regularly throughout the year, mainly based in the South East, from March through to December.  These are small friendly days out with a competitive edge. All results are recorded on our Order of Merit and at the end of year, the winner is presented with a trophy. All golf days have prizes and are open to all members and their guests, no matter what your golfing ability.  We have 2 UK based weekends trips in the Spring and Summer which are always extremely popular. We also have an Overseas Championship every Autumn with daily prizes and a magnificent trophy up for grabs!

10: What happens if I mislay my Handicap Certificate just before a competition or golfing holiday
We will always email a formal letter to any golf club, anywhere in the world, and confirm your membership and current handicap and then send out a replacement card to your hotel if required.

11: Can I check my handicap online
Yes. Simply create your own login with password to enter the Members Area on our website and you can see your full handicap history at any time. You can now also enter your scores online and see any handicap adjustment immediately.

12: What is the difference between Bronze, Silver Membership and Gold Membership
Bronze membership is for a one-off handicap, based on three cards, but with no ongoing handicap monitoring. The membership is renewed annually and we ask for three further cards on renewal but again, no further cards can be submitted during the year. You would also not be eligible to win lst prize on any of our golf days or enter the Order of Merit. Silver membership offers full handicapping service, access to the Members Only area on the website where you can check your handicap, access the Directory of Friendly Golf Clubs and the Club Newsletter, together with distinctive bag tag and Car Sticker. You can submit as many scorecards as you like during the year, but we do ask for a minimum of  3 cards each year to maintain your handicap. Gold Membership offers all of the above PLUS 3rd party public liability insurance, discounted golf breaks through, and Golf Escapes and discounted medical insurance together with a copy of the R & A Rules of Golf.

13: If I have any further queries how do I contact GCGB?
You can call the office Monday-Friday on 020 8391 4666 or email

Address: 338 Hook Road, Chessington, Surrey, KT9 1NU

14: How do I fill in a scorecard correctly
In order to have your scorecard recorded, you MUST fill it in correctly. Any that do not comply with the following will be discarded or returned for correction. Every card MUST have all of the following recorded: 1. Membership number. 2. Name recorded in the correct column (Player A, B etc. or Marker). 3. Member’s signature and that of the Marker. 4. Date. 5. Indication of tees used e.g. yellow, white, red etc. This is particularly important for overseas cards where tees are indicated blue, gold or green. 6. Gross scores recorded on each hole and the TOTAL for the round. IF SCORES ARE NOT ADDED UP THE CARDS WILL BE RETURNED. If you are recording stableford points, you must still enter your gross score as well. 7. All scores should be adjusted a maximum of 2 over par and the adjusted total gross score entered in a spare column if available. 8. Playing handicap, unless cards are for initial handicap purposes. 9. Cards MUST be returned within 21 days of playing except in special circumstances such as periods away, holidays etc. If you have any further questions, please call the office on 020 8391 4666 where Kate Brown will be happy to answer any queries or email to for an immediate response Monday-Friday.