HANDICAPPING
Calling All Snowbirds: Posting 'Away' Scores During Active Season January 19, 2018 | Liberty Corner, N.J.

When playing a course such as the Jupiter Hills Club in Florida during the winter months, golfers must post their scores. (USGA/Russell Kirk)

When winter weather strikes, golfers go into hibernation. Others, commonly known as “snowbirds,” escape the cold climate to more appealing temperatures. These lucky “birds” not only enjoy the warmth, they continue to play golf. This situation creates a common question for handicap-posting purposes: “Do I still post my scores?”

The short answer is yes. To solve for the seasonal weather fluctuations and when scores should be posted, the USGA Handicap System has established an “active” and “inactive” season schedule. How does it work? An inactive season means that scores made on any golf course during that designated period are not acceptable for handicap-posting purposes.

However, when snowbirds make scores on a golf course in an area observing an active season they must be posted for handicap purposes, even if the golf club where the player receives the Handicap Index® is inactive (e.g., a golfer from New York plays golf in Florida in January).  

Often, golfers who seasonally relocate are also members of another golf club. These players are considered multi-members. In this situation, the player should be registered through the authorized golf association or computation service as such. This ensures all scores at all clubs are entered into one scoring record.

Winter weather conditions such as snow and ice force make it necessary for courses in colder areas of the country to be inactive for posting purposes. (USGA/Chris Keane)

All players must ensure that all scores get posted to all club(s) to have a correct representation of their potential ability. Failure to do so will produce a Handicap Index that is not based on the player’s best 10 Handicap Differentials of the last 20 scores. Players who have questions about this topic can take them to their golf club’s Handicap Committee.

To verify the active/inactive season schedule set by each authorized golf association, please visit this link.

FAQ: Posting a Score during an Inactive Season