GHIN Handicap

Whether you just want a means to measure your ability, or you need a way to measure yourself against your playing buddies so that you can take them on in fair and equitable games, you should consider getting a USGA Handicap Index®.  Even more important, if you’re interested in playing in events hosted at various golf courses, you normally cannot even enter unless you have an official USGA Handicap Index®.It’s really simple, just sign up through a Member Club!
USGA Handicap Indexes are issued to individuals only through recognized golf clubs. The USGA Handicap System requires that a golfer be part of a club so that “peer review” is part of the handicap process. Every SNGA Member Club is licensed to issue handicap indexes!Caveat emptor is Latin for “Let the buyer beware.” Be careful — there are many entities bundling inferior services for “free” that are NOT licensed to issue a USGA Handicap Index.  If you want assurance that you’re spending your money wisely, place your trust with the SNGA, the only non-profit organization licensed by the USGA to oversee the USGA Handicap System in the region.  If you want assurance that you are spending your money wisely, please know that a bona fide USGA Handicap Index is not just something you can purchase. You MUST be a member of a club licensed by the USGA or the State/Regional Golf Association. If it’s not GHIN, you’ll also find that your Index is not only inaccurate, but it will rarely be accepted anywhere but that course.

What is a Club?
A Club is defined by the USGA Handicap System as any group of 10 or more people that play together on a regular basis.  Clubs are defined as either Regular Clubs (at a regulation golf course) or Associate Clubs (those without a golf course).  Associate clubs are often created by businesses for emplyees and customers, by social and fraternal groups, churches, etc.  Licensed clubs agree to fulfill the licensing requirements of the SNGA (or the USGA). SNGA Member Clubs must be licensed by the SNGA.

I don’t really play in tournaments, why do I need an official SNGA/GHIN Handicap Index?
The broad appeal of golf is the unique and equitable handicapping system.  The purpose of the USGA Handicap System is to make the game more enjoyable for golfers of all abilities.  So whether you participate in tournaments or not, an official SNGA/GHIN handicap will allow you to see the improvements in your ability or compete more equitably with your playing partners.

What is an SNGA/GHIN Handicap Index?
A USGA Handicap Index is more than just a number that is computed using a formula developed by the USGA.  It is a process that is governed by a set of Rules that complement the Rules of Golf®.  These Rules are known as the USGA Handicap System and the most important provision is that you must be a member of a club so that the process of “peer review” can take place.

It is not uncommon for events not to accept a Handicap Index issued by a club that is not an SNGA Member Club.  When you join an SNGA Member Club, you can feel proud knowing that you have joined an alliance committed to safeguarding the integrity of the game, promoting fair play, preserving the game’s traditions and enhancing the playing environment for all golfers.

Clubs must meet some basic requirements in order to be licensed to issue a USGA Handicap Index.   For instance, USGA Handicap System requires a club to have at least 10 members who play together regularly, that the club elects officers and operates under a set of bylaws, and that the club establishes a written handicapping policy that ensures the club practices “peer review” so to keep everyone honest.

There are several other provisions a club must meet. You’ll be pleased to learn that real estate – i.e., a golf course and/or a clubhouse – is not one of the requirements. You could join or form a club at a public course, at work, at your church, business or social group or or even form your own club just between friends.

To find a club in your area that provides you the benefits you are looking for in a club besides a USGA Handicap Index, visit our Club Directory.

When do I get my SNGA/USGA Handicap Index?
Once you’ve joined a golf club and posted five adjusted gross scores you will be issued a SNGA/GHIN handicap once a revision date passes.

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