Both sound great, thanks. Do I have to join a club to get a handicap?
If not, could you suggest how I'd go about getting one?
Toph's given you a couple of local options.
Another is the Coplicks Tallebudgera ( https://www.tallebud....au/memberships) which is a par 67 18 hole course.
So, joining a club as a member gets you access to a GA (Golf Australia) handicap, and playing privileges at the course (depending on the membership option). You also get, the GA insurance cover for any damage you may do to houses, and people. Worth it is you tend to hit a few out of bounds off the tee.
There is also Howlong Golf Club ( https://www.howlongg...olf-membership/) which does a 'remote' (i.e. not living near it) membership for $99 which will get you a GA handicap / insurance.
Social Golf Australia also have a similar set up for $95 as they are a 'virtual' golf club ( https://www.socialgo...stralia.com.au/ )
There are some reports, that some golf clubs are restricting 'competition' access to those who have the 'howlong' or 'virtual golf' type membership.
Obviously, as a non member of a club you have to pay green fees. But, as a member (depending upon your membership) you can usually play for free, except in competitions when there is usually a 'comp fee'.
Another option to consider too is "Royal Chinderah", as rumour has it, they are about to get their AGU (I.e. official course rating) and will be offering membership soon. With the AGU completed, they can run competitions and have the rounds entered into the GA handicap system. At present they do it all 'in house' and have their own little group of mostly vet golfers who play a regular competition there. So when the vets want to travel, they do not currently have an official GA handicap. That's all about to change.
Just keep in mind that as a member of a club, you may also receive 'reciprocal' green fee prices at other clubs, so if you like playing at other courses, you can play a few course for a lower green fee.
For your GA 'handicap' you have to hand in 3 cards signed by another person who has a GA handicap.These three cards do not have to be from competition rounds, and most clubs if you join them will have a member help you or one of the pro shop staff. If you want, I'm happy to have a round, or three at Royal Chinderah with you and sign off your cards (assuming they get their AGU). You can then hand them in anywhere you decide to join.
You can also use a few 'Friday afternoon' 9 holes with Toph and Madam and whoever turns up as your handicap rounds.
Any questions, feel free to ask.