The USGA continues to make it easier for players to
establish Handicap Index®. How so?
You simply need to follow a few easy steps for establishing
a USGA Handicap Index. The first one is to join a golf club.
You can't have a Handicap Index without being a member of
one. A golf club is an organization of at least 10 individual
members that operates under bylaws with committees (including a
Handicap Committee) to supervise golf activities, provide peer
review, and maintain the integrity of the USGA Handicap
System®. Members of a golf club must have a reasonable and
regular opportunity to play golf with each other. They must be
able to return scores personally, and these scores must be
immediately available for review by fellow club members. A golf
club doesn't have to be a private club. It can be at a
public course or even a group that is not affiliated with a
golf course. Any authorized golf association should be able to
assist golfers locate a club that fits their needs.
Another option available is to create your own golf club.
You can form a club with a minimum of 10 golfers. The club can
be formed with business associates or friends, provided that
they live in a close geographic area and play golf regularly
together. The club doesn't have to be tied to one specific golf
As a second step, the USGA continues in its effort to
facilitate the posting of all acceptable scores to a scoring
As of January of 2002, the USGA allows players to
occasionally post scores online. This means that although
players must still be a member of a golf club, they can post
scores online, even from home, if their golf club has chosen to
allow online posting. All scores are still subject to peer
review, and the preferred way to expose scores to peer review
is to post your score in person immediately following the round
at the course where the round is played.
All things considered, online posting can be a convenient
and expedient manner in which to post scores.
The USGA Handicap Department has received numerous inquiries
in regard to some handicap computation services advertised on
the Internet. The key point is whether there is a golf club, as
defined under the USGA Handicap System, and whether that golf
club is in compliance with all aspects of the USGA Handicap
System. Remember, members of a club must have reasonable
opportunity to play together, must be able to return scores
personally, and these scores need to be available for peer
review. A USGA Handicap Index issued by a golf club that is
complying with the USGA Handicap System is good anywhere where
a USGA Handicap Index is accepted. Be aware of the pretenders
out there and get in the game.