THE USGA HANDICAP SYSTEM
What is the purpose of the USGA Handicap System?
The purpose of the USGA Handicap System is to make the game of golf more enjoyable by enabling players of differing abilities to compete on an equitable basis. The system provides a fair course handicap for each player, regardless of ability, and adjusts a player’s handicap index up or down as the player’s game changes. Two basic premises underlie the USGA Handicap System: each player will try to make the best score at every hole in every round, regardless of where the round is played, and that the player will post every acceptable round for peer review.
What is a course handicap?
A course handicap is the USGA’s mark that indicates the number of handicap strokes a player receives from a specific set of tees at the course being played to adjust the player’s scoring ability to the level of scratch or zero-handicap golf. For a player with a plus Course Handicap, it is the number of handicap strokes a player gives to adjust the player’s scoring ability to the level of scratch or zero handicap golf. A course handicap is determined by applying the player’s handicap index to a course handicap table or course handicap formula. A player’s course handicap is expressed as a whole number. The result of any conditions of the competition, handicap allowance, or competition from a different USGA Course Rating that changes a course handicap is considered to be the course handicap.
How do I obtain a USGA Handicap?
You can obtain a USGA Handicap at most public and private golf courses. You do not have to be a member of a club to get a handicap. Gorham Country Club offers all public golfers a USGA Handicap for a $20.00 yearly fee.
Where do you post your scores?
You can post your scores at any club that is part of the USGA Handicap System or on the Internet. Each course should have a computer that is used only for score posting.
How many scores do I need to establish a USGA Handicap Index?
You will need five 18 hole scores or 10 nine hole scores to establish an 18 hole handicap. When you have 20 scores posted, the lowest 10 will be used to calculate your handicap index.
How often does my handicap change?
Every two weeks the USGA recalculates your handicap. You want to be aware of the revision dates and print a new sticker for your handicap card.
Where can I get more information about the USGA Handicap system?
You can go to www.ghin.com to read more about the USGA Handicap System or to post scores via the Internet.
Note: The information for this article came directly from the USGA’s website. They should receive full credit for all of the information in this educational article.