UNITED STATES GOLF ASSOCIATION
Golf Handicap Information Network (GHIN)
Privacy Policy

Last Updated: January 2020

The United States Golf Association (“USGA” or “we” or “us” or “our”) recognizes the importance users of our websites and mobile applications place on the privacy of their information. We created this privacy policy (“Privacy Policy”) to demonstrate our firm commitment to protecting the privacy of your information as described below and to explain the privacy policies and procedures of the USGA.

This Privacy Policy describes how the USGA collects, uses, and shares information gathered from users of the suite of products and services that are part of GHIN platform distributed through USGA’s (or it’s licensor’s) websites and properties (“GHIN Websites”) and associated mobile applications (“GHIN Mobile Apps”). The GHIN Websites and the GHIN Mobile Apps are collectively referred to as the “GHIN Products”.

Table of Contents

Please click on a section title below to skip to that section of this Privacy Policy.

 

1.               Policy Changes

We suggest that you review this Privacy Policy periodically, as we may modify it from time to time as our services evolve. We will notify you of material changes or updates to our Privacy Policy as required by law.

 

2.           What Information Does the USGA Collect?

The USGA collects two types of information from users of the GHIN Products: (1) non-personal information that are collected as you interact with the GHIN Products that cannot, in itself, be used to specifically identify or contact an individual (except as described below) (“Non-Personal Information”); and (2) personal information that can be used to specifically identify or contact an individual (“Personal Information”).

Non-Personal Information

If you are using any component of the GHIN Products, we will automatically capture certain Non-Personal Information about you and your use of the product. For example, we automatically recognize and collect:

  • your Internet service provider and domain name;
  • usage and “clickstream” data, which includes: the type of device and browsing software you are using and their settings (including language settings), your browser ID, general geographic information derived from your IP address, URL information, the address of the web site from which you linked to a GHIN Product, the pages, content or ads you see or click on during your visit and when and for how long you do so, items you download, any search terms you have entered on the GHIN Products or a referral site, the time stamps of your visits to the GHIN Products and other similar types of information;
  • counts of the screens and features of the GHIN Mobile Apps that are used, the countries from which the GHIN Mobile Apps are used, time stamps of uses, device language settings, and the types of devices, operating systems, carriers, wireless connections you are using and other similar types of information;
  • unique numerical identifiers, including mobile device identification numbers;
  • information about your interactions with our email messages;
  • geolocation information, including precise information about the location of your mobile device, to the extent that such information is provided by your device.

Personal Information

When you use a GHIN Product, you may be asked to provide or choose to provide Personal Information about yourself, or we may otherwise collect Personal Information about you, including, but not limited to:

  • your Internet Protocol (IP) address;
  • contact information, such as your name, address, email address, telephone number, and/or GHIN number or other golfer identification number;
  • password or other login credentials to create and access your account on the GHIN Products;
  • demographic information, such as gender and birthdate to the extent such information is connected to any of the above Personal Information; and
  • certain play statistics (such as how, when and where you played) about your golf round to the extent such information is connected to any of the above Personal Information.

The above are only examples of the types of Personal Information we may collect. The actual types of Personal Information collected depend on the specific product or service you request, the types of transactions you conduct on the GHIN Products, and the various activities in which you participate.

In some areas of the GHIN Products, you will also have an opportunity to provide us with Personal Information of third parties (i.e., other golfers, member golfers in your club or Regional Association). You represent that you have the required permission to do so and all such information will be treated within the GHIN Products in accordance with this Privacy Policy and applicable law. As used herein, the term “Regional Associations” shall mean Allied Golf Associations, State and Regional Golf Associations and any other golf associations that can access and use the GHIN Products.

3.           How Does the USGA Collect My Information?

We collect information about you over time as you use the GHIN Products, contact us through the GHIN Products, view our emails and as you interact with other websites. We may also have third parties collect information this way, such as ad networks, web analytics companies, and social networking platforms. The USGA also uses passive tracking tools to automatically collect certain information, such as browser cookies, Web beacons, pixels or similar technologies. To learn more about our use of cookies and other tracking tools, and your choices, please click here.

We also receive information about you from third parties. For example, business partners, service providers, Approved Technology Providers, Regional Associations, member clubs, and other golfers may provide us with information about you.

We combine information. Information obtained through the GHIN Products (including both Personal Information and Non-Personal Information) may be combined and used in conjunction with information obtained through sources other than the GHIN Products or at different times, including both offline and online sources. 

4.           How Does the USGA Use My Information?

The USGA uses your information to:

  • administer and manage your use of the GHIN Products;
  • manage tournaments;
  • calculate, manage and administer the Handicap System;
  • better understand your needs, provide you with better products and services, and deliver the specific product, service, or information you requested (for example, we may use the information you provide for processing and evaluating your entry application, for processing your membership application, for processing your registration on certain GHIN Products, and for contacting you with regard to your membership, registration, transactions and other activities or accounts on the GHIN Products);
  • communicate with you or update you about your account, our relationship, or with regard to this Privacy Policy or the GHIN Terms of Service;
  • send you emails and marketing information, including updates on products, services, and benefits relating to the USGA and select third parties in whose products, services and offerings we think you may be interested;
  • personalize your experience on the GHIN Products;
  • serve you tailored ads on the GHIN Products and elsewhere based on your interests and history with us. To learn about your choices with regard to interest-based advertising and marketing communications, please see the Choices section below;
  • contact you for market research;
  • send you relevant push notifications and other information through the GHIN Mobile Apps; and.
  • for security purposes (for example, we may use your information to protect the USGA, Regional Associations, member clubs, golfers, and our users, employees, sponsors and business partners) and to protect the GHIN Products.

We may use the information we collect through the GHIN Products as otherwise permitted by law or as we may notify you from time to time.

5.           Sharing with Regional Associations, Member Clubs, Golfers and Approved Technology Providers

The USGA will share your information with Regional Associations, member clubs, other golfers, Approved Technology Providers, and sometimes the general public as described herein. The term “Approved Technology Providers” shall mean technology providers who have entered into a separate contract with either the Regional Associations or the USGA or both.

  • We provide the GHIN Products to you at the request of your Regional Association and member club so any information you provide will be shared with them.
  • All Regional Associations and member clubs are tasked with the administration and governance of the Handicap System for their golfers and accordingly information about you may be shared among the USGA, the Regional Associations and member clubs to the extent reasonably necessary to fulfill that purpose.
  • When a Regional Association or a member club manages a golf tournament using USGA Tournament Management, then all information collected by the Regional Association or member club through such GHIN Product will be shared among all organizations, entities and persons affiliated with that tournament. Additionally, to the extent you or any third party submits or uploads any information about you on USGA Tournament Management component of the GHIN Product, such information may be available to the general public and outside the control of the USGA.
  • Regional Association(s) and club(s) to which you may be a member have superior rights to your information relative to other Regional Associations and clubs. For example, prospective member club(s) have access rights to information to add golfers to their membership, but after golfers have been added to their membership, they have edit rights to the information.
  • If the USGA permits access to your information by an Approved Technology Provider at the request of the Regional Association, then such Approved Technology Provider will have access and edit rights to your information as a service provider for the Regional Association.
  • As part of the peer review process, certain parts of a golfer’s information, such as name, golf club affiliation, and golf data (scores, locations of play, dates played, etc.) will be generally available golfers who use GHIN Products; the level of available information on dates and location played will depend on whether the person looking up the golfer is a member of the same club as the golfer or a different club. If you would like more information on peer review, please refer to: Definition of PEER REVIEW.

THE SHARING OF INFORMATION WITH REGIONAL ASSOCIATIONS, MEMBER CLUBS, GOLFERS, AND APPROVED TECHNOLOGY PROVIDERS AS DESCRIBED HEREIN IS AN ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENT OF THE GHIN PRODUCTS AND ADMINISTRATION AND GOVERNANCE OF THE HANDICAP SYSTEM. YOU DO NOT HAVE ANY CHOICE WITH REGARD TO SUCH SHARING. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO SUCH SHARING OF INFORMATION THEN YOU SHOULD IMMEDIATELY STOP USING THE GHIN PRODUCTS AND REQUEST THAT THE MEMBER CLUB(S) AND THE ASSOCIATED REGIONAL ASSOCIATIONS NOT INCLUDE ANY OF YOUR INFORMATION IN ANY GHIN PRODUCTS AND APPROVED TECHNOLOGY PROVIDERS.

6.           Sharing with Other Third Parties

In addition to the USGA sharing your information with Regional Associations, member clubs, other golfers and Approved Technology Providers as stated above, the USGA may also share your information with other third parties in certain circumstances. For example, we may share your information:

  • with our affiliates;
  • with our vendors, consultants and service providers who are under contract with the USGA;
  • with third party auditors;
  • in order to comply with legal requirements, such as in response to court orders or subpoenas, or as part of a government or administrative agency investigation;
  • to permit us to investigate suspected fraud, harassment, or other violations of any law, rule, or regulation, the rules or policies of the GHIN Products, or the rights of third parties, or to investigate any suspected conduct which the USGA deems improper;
  • when we have reason to believe that someone is causing injury to or interference with our rights or property, other users of the GHIN Products, or anyone else that could be harmed by such activities;
  • to an acquirer or successor entity in the event that the GHIN Product, or a substantial portion of it, undergoes a business restructuring, transfer of ownership, or similar transaction; and
  • as otherwise permitted by this Privacy Policy.

Except as provided, the USGA does not share your Personal Information with any third party without your opt-in permission.

We may share Non-Personal Information with third parties for any reason, including for marketing purposes, with or without your consent. We may also disclose Non-Personal Information regarding our users and user behavior as a measure of interest in, and use of, the GHIN Products to third parties, including, for example, aggregate data, such as overall patterns or demographic reports that do not describe or identify any individual user.

Certain components of the GHIN Products may permit you to share information about yourself and others through third party social media platforms. Any such conduct shall be governed by the privacy policies of those social platforms.

7.           Third Party Advertisers

Please note that advertisers on the GHIN Products and their and our ad service providers (including affiliate network providers and third party ad servers) may set cookies or use related technologies or web beacons when you view and/or click their advertising banners, links or other ads. Information from cookies, tracking pixels, clear GIFs and other tracking technologies placed through third party ads and links may be collected directly by those advertisers and ad service providers and used to cause relevant ads to be displayed to you. For example, these companies may collect and use information about you and your visits to the GHIN Products and other Websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. These advertisements may appear on the GHIN Products and on other Websites. The advertiser’s privacy policy and/or that of its service provider will govern the use of this information and we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such companies. We encourage you to read these businesses’ privacy policies to learn about how they treat your information.

8.           How Does the USGA Try to Protect My Information?

The security of your information is important to us. However, while we strive to protect your information, due to the inherent open nature of the Internet we cannot guarantee that communications between you and any GHIN Products, or information stored on any GHIN Products or servers, will be free from unauthorized access by third parties. By using the GHIN Products, you are acknowledging this risk. We also cannot guarantee or assume any liability for the security and safeguarding of your information by the Regional Association, member clubs, other golfers or Approved Technology Providers after we have shared your information with them. We encourage you to follow up with the Regional Associations, member clubs and Approved Technology Providers directly to obtain information on the procedures they use to secure and safeguard your information. It is also important that you review and appreciate the rules governing what the Regional Association, member clubs and Approved Technology Providers do with any information we share with them and any information you provide to them directly. Please make sure to review their terms of use and privacy policy, if any. If you have any questions on identifying who your Regional Association, member club or Approved Technology Provider (if applicable) is, please contact us at GHINsupport@usga.org and we’ll try to assist you in identifying them. When contacting us, please make sure to provide us with your name and GHIN number.

You should be aware that any information and content, including Personal Information, you post to message boards, community tools, or other publicly accessible forums may be viewed and used by anyone with access to such forums. By using these services, you assume the risk that the Personal Information provided by you may be viewed and used by third parties.

9.           Your Choices

You can control cookie and tracking tools. To learn how the USGA uses cookies and other tracking tools, and to read our Do Not Track policy, please click here. If you turn off cookies, certain features and functions of the GHIN Products may not be available to you.

You can opt out of receiving promotional emails from the USGA. To do so, email us at GHINprivacy@usga.org or follow the instructions in any promotional message you get from us. Please understand that if you opt out of receiving promotional correspondence from us, we may still contact you in connection with your relationship activities, transactions and communications with us.

If you wish to stop receiving push notifications through the USGA Mobile App, you may change the settings for the USGA Mobile App and/or your device.

The precise geographic location of your device will be transmitted to our servers in real time any time that the USGA Mobile App is running (sometimes even if you are not actively using the USGA Mobile App or it is minimized on your device). You may stop allowing us to have access to your device’s location information by accessing the USGA Mobile App’s location settings on your device and setting your device not to share its location with us.

Please note that the USGA is not responsible for removing your information from third party lists or databases. You can restrict certain of your Personal Information by select direct mail companies by contacting: Mail Preference Service c/o Direct Marketing Association, P.O. Box 9008, Farmingdale, New York 11735-9008.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE CHOICES AVAILABLE IN THIS SECTION DO NOT APPLY TO THE SHARING OF INFORMATION WITH REGIONAL ASSOCIATIONS, MEMBER CLUBS, OTHER GOLFERS AND APPROVED TECHNOLOGY PROVIDERS, AS DESCRIBED IN THE SHARING WITH REGIONAL ASSOCIATIONS, MEMBER CLUBS, GOLFERS AND APPROVED TECHNOLOGY PROVIDERS SECTION ABOVE. YOU ARE NOT ABLE TO OPT-OUT OF SUCH SHARING AND SHOULD NOT USE ANY GHIN PRODUCT IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO SUCH SHARING.

10.        Links to Other Websites

The GHIN Products may contain links, banners, or advertisements to other websites. When you click on such links, banners, or advertisements, the privacy policies of the websites to which you are linked and/or their service provider (as applicable) will govern the use of your information collected on such sites. The USGA does not have access to or control over any technologies or practices that may be used by third parties.

This Privacy Policy applies solely to information collected by the USGA via its GHIN Products. We are not responsible for the privacy practices of other websites. We encourage our users to read the privacy statements of each and every web site visited after leaving any of the GHIN Websites through such a link, banner or advertisement, in order to learn how such third parties may treat your information.

11.        Children’s Online Privacy Protection

The GHIN Products are not intended for children under the age of 13 years.  Children under 13 are expressly prohibited from providing any Personal Information via the GHIN Products. USGA does not knowingly collect or solicit Personal Information directly from children under 13 or allow them to register to use any GHIN Product. In the event the USGA learns that we have collected Personal Information from a child under 13 without verifiable parental consent, we will delete such information as quickly as possible.

In order for a child under the age of 13 to obtain and maintain a Handicap System, their parent or legal guardian must register the child on the GHIN Product. Thereafter, only a parent or guardian may interact with the GHIN Products and act on behalf of the child.

12.        Consent to Worldwide Transfer and Processing of Personal Information

The GHIN Products are not intended for use by residents of the European Economic Area. By using the GHIN Products, you agree and acknowledge that the GHIN Products are hosted in the United States and that information collected through the GHIN Products (including Personal Information) will be stored and processed in the United States. By using the GHIN Products, you consent to such transfer and the application of the laws of the United States, which may not be as protective or comprehensive as those that exist in your home jurisdiction. Your information may also be transferred to entities other than the USGA and its affiliates, which entities may be located in countries outside the European Economic Area, including the United States. Each of these countries has different privacy laws that afford varying levels of protection for your personally identifiable information, and such laws may not be as protective or comprehensive as those that exist in your home jurisdiction.

13.        Change Information

You can access, view and change your preferences, profile, and other information by visiting the applicable profile section of the GHIN Product, to the extent available, or emailing us at GHINsupport@usga.org, calling us at (908) 234-2300, or writing us at the United States Golf Association, 77 Liberty Corner Road, Liberty Corner, NJ 07938. You may also inform us of such changes by following the procedures described in the Contact Us section of this Privacy Policy, and the USGA will take reasonable steps to correct any information about you that is incorrect.

14.        Account Deactivation

To deactivate your user account, you may email GHINsupport@usga.org, call us at (908) 234-2300, or write us at the United States Golf Association, 77 Liberty Corner Road, Liberty Corner, NJ 07938, or follow the procedures in the Contact Us section of this Privacy Policy, or use the deactivate feature in the GHIN Product, if available. We will remove your profile from the GHIN Products but may retain any record of your information that is necessary to comply with applicable federal, state, or local law. The USGA may maintain and continue to use anonymized data for any lawful business purposes. Please keep in mind that (a) the deactivation of your user account on the GHIN Products will not affect the information that Regional Associations, member clubs and Approved Technology Providers (if applicable) may have about you, if any, and (b) if you made use of communication features, e.g., sending a personal message, or using community tools (such as posting on message boards or other publicly accessible forums, to share information with other individuals on any of the GHIN Products), such communications are generally not removable. By registering for a user account, you acknowledge and consent that, even after removal of your profile and Personal Information from a GHIN Product, your information may remain viewable in cached and archived pages of individuals who have copied or stored such information or content.

15.        Contact Us

The USGA welcomes your questions and comments about privacy. Please feel free to contact us by sending an e-mail to GHINsupport@usga.org, calling us at (908) 234-2300, or writing us at the United States Golf Association, 77 Liberty Corner Road, Liberty Corner, NJ 07938.