Licensing Timeline For Golf Clubs Using USGA Handicap System Extended To July 1, 2006
December 20, 2005
Far Hills, N.J. - The United States Golf Association has extended a grace period until July 1, 2006, for golf clubs using the USGA Handicap System™ to be licensed in order to continue to provide a USGA Handicap Index®. Initially, the USGA had announced a deadline of Jan. 1, 2006.
The licensing process will require clubs to provide information demonstrating their full compliance with the entire USGA Handicap System. Such compliance will include, but not be limited to, meeting the definition of a golf club and satisfactorily completing a checklist furnished by the USGA.
One of the items on this compliance list requires a representative of the club to attend a USGA Handicap System seminar taught by the USGA or an authorized golf association at least once during each compliance period. The attendee must pass a test exhibiting a general level of knowledge regarding the system at the end of the seminar.
Licensing approvals can be issued directly from the USGA or from an authorized state or regional golf association. All clubs must contact an authorized golf association to initiate the licensing process, even if they are not member clubs of such an association. Visit the USGA Web site at www.usga.org for more information. The direct address for the handicap licensing section is www.usga.org/playing/handicaps/ClubLicensing/Index.html .
"The USGA Handicap System is used by more than five million golfers around the world," said Jim Vernon, chairman of the USGA Handicap Committee. "This system makes golf one of the few games in which players of differing abilities regularly and fairly compete with one another."
"By adopting this licensing policy, we are trying to accomplish several things. First, we want to ensure the integrity of the USGA Handicap System by promoting uniform and consistent usage of it. Second, we want to demonstrate to golfers the value in having a bona fide USGA Handicap Index compared with others that are not. Finally, we hope to promote increased knowledge of the system among club officials, who will in turn be able to provide enhanced service to golfers at the grassroots level. We feel this licensing system will help us accomplish all of these goals."
The information on licensing is also part of the new edition of the USGA Handicap System manual, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2006, and runs through Dec. 31, 2007.
Clubs will be required to renew their license to use the USGA Handicap System during each cycle of the USGA Handicap System manual . The USGA will consider participation in a USGA Handicap Seminar from 2002 forward as satisfying the seminar attendance requirement through 2006-2007.
From that point forward, each USGA Handicap System manual cycle will last four years and coincide with the Quadrennial Rules Conference process for the Rules of Golf (2008-2011, for example).
The USGA Handicap System and the related USGA Course Rating System are used by more than 20,000 golf clubs and 170 golf associations in nearly 50 countries around the world.
Questions may be directed to Kevin O'Connor, USGA senior director of handicapping, at (908) 234-2300.