The USGA Handicap System™ enables golfers of all skill levels to compete on an equitable basis. This section of the site will help golfers understand why having a Handicap Index® is important. There are links to "The USGA Handicap System" manual, the USGA's handicapping equivalent of "The Rules of Golf", and a Course Handicap™ calculator to allow players to convert their Handicap Index to the Course Handicap for any course that has been properly rated. Articles and resources are available for anyone interested in starting a golf club or for current Handicap Committee chairmen who need assistance in maintaining handicaps for their respective clubs. The current version of the USGA Handicap System went into effect on Jan. 1, 2012, and the next revision will take effect on Jan. 1, 2016. Any modifications to the System are noted on this Web site. 





Browse the 2012-2015 Rules

Appendix G Golf Club Audit Procedure

The USGA has initiated an audit program for golf clubs to ensure the integrity of the USGA Handicap System. All licensed golf clubs are subject to being audited by the USGA, regardless of whether there is a compliance item in question.

Any licensed golf club that is reported to the USGA in writing as having a potential compliance issue is immediately subject to an audit.

If an audited golf club does not satisfy the audit process, the USGA will send a letter stating the non-conforming issues. A time limit will be set for the club to cure its deficiencies or run the risk of being dropped from the authorized golf club list located at www.usga.org, including losing its ability to utilize the USGA Handicap System.

Enforcement Procedure

The USGA will ask an authorized golf association in the area to contact the club about compliance. If neither that association nor the USGA is able to persuade the golf club to comply, the USGA will advise the club in writing that the club may not utilize the USGA Handicap System and may not use USGA trademarks in any manner.

The club will be withdrawn from the list of golf clubs authorized to utilize the USGA Handicap System. The USGA reserves the right to inform others that the club's right to utilize the USGA Handicap System has been withdrawn.

Appeal Process

If a golf club is dissatisfied with the initial decision, it may appeal to the USGA Handicap Committee by sending written notice to the USGA within 30 days after being notified of the loss of its ability to utilize the USGA Handicap System. If the golf club elects to appeal, its representative must be given reasonable notice of that Committee's next meeting at which the matter is to be heard, and will be entitled to present its case. The USGA Handicap Committee will issue a final decision on the matter using all information provided by the golf club together with the findings and recommendations of the staff.

Reinstatement Policy and Procedure

A golf club that has lost the privilege of utilizing the USGA Handicap System will be required to apply for reinstatement of that privilege and resubmit an application for a license agreement. Upon receipt of the completed application, the USGA will provide a list of requirements that need to be satisfied in order for the application to be considered. Upon the golf club satisfying the USGA that these requirements have been met, the USGA will notify the golf club and all parties that were previously notified of the club's non-compliance that the club is again eligible to utilize the USGA Handicap System. However, the reinstated golf club is subject to the audit process during each of the next two years.

Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

Chevron image

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.

Rolex image

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

AmEx image

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

AmEx image
American Express

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment

AmEx image