USGA Handicap System Completes Licensing Policy Progress
May 31, 2006
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Far Hills, N.J. - The final step to implement a long-term licensing policy for the USGA Handicap SystemT is ready to go into effect on July 1. At that point, golf clubs that have used the Handicap System in the past are required to be licensed in order to continue to utilize it. Entities that do not meet the USGA definition of a golf club are not eligible to use the USGA Handicap System.
In an effort to develop a uniform and comprehensive handicap policy, in November of 2001 the USGA requested that authorized golf associations require their member clubs or associations to attend a USGA Handicap System seminar and pass a test to exhibit knowledge about the System. In November 2004, that request was incorporated into a detailed club licensing policy scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1, 2006. That time frame was later extended to July 1, 2006.
Use of the system after July 1 by a club is prohibited if it has not received a license. Without such a license, a club may not update the Handicap Index® of any of its members.
Further, the prohibition continues until the club becomes licensed and a handicap revision date passes (according to a schedule set by the club's local authorized golf association, such as The Metropolitan Golf Association in New York). In the meantime, no sort of "local handicap" or anything similar that uses any aspect of the USGA Handicap System may be utilized by an unlicensed club. However, scores made by golfers during the period when a club is not licensed are considered acceptable for handicap purposes. Such scores are eligible to be included in the player's scoring record after the club completes the licensing process.
The formalized list of golf clubs that have been licensed to use the USGA Handicap System is available in the handicap section of the USGA's Web site, www.usga.org . The specific URL to find "Authorized Golf Clubs" is http://www.usga.org/playing/handicaps/ClubLicensing/search.asp?auth=Y
Any questions should be directed to at 908-234-2300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.