UNITED STATES GOLF ASSOCIATION
Golf Handicap Information Network (GHIN)
Last Updated: January 2020
Table of Contents
- Policy Changes
- What Information Does the USGA Collect?
- How Does the USGA Collect My Information?
- How Does the USGA Use My Information?
- Sharing with Regional Associations, Member Clubs, Golfers and Approved Technology Providers
- Sharing with Other Third Parties
- Third Party Advertisers
- How Does the USGA Try to Protect My Information?
- Your Choices
- Links to Other Websites
- Children’s Online Privacy Protection
- Consent to Worldwide Transfer and Processing of Personal Information
- Change Information
- Account Deactivation
- Contact Us
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”).
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.
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.
3. How Does the USGA Collect My Information?
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);
- 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
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.
8. How Does the USGA Try to Protect My Information?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.