When the World Handicap System™ was launched in January 2020, one of the primary goals was to make it as easy as possible for every player, regardless of skill level, to establish and maintain a Handicap Index®.
The Rules of Handicapping were developed with this goal in mind: Fewer scores were required to establish an initial Handicap Index, the maximum Handicap Index was increased, and daily updates provided responsiveness for players starting out. However, the options for golfers to sign up for a Handicap Index remained largely unchanged. Until now.
Today, thanks to extensive collaboration with the 58 Allied Golf Associations (AGAs) in the United States, we’re pleased to announce the formation of the USGA/AGA Community: a new, additional pathway for obtaining a Handicap Index that makes it a whole lot easier. Here are three things to know about how it works:
- It truly is easy.
For the first time ever, any golfer in the United States can now sign up for a Handicap Index in a matter of minutes by visiting usga.org/getahandicap. After entering their zip code and state, the player will be assigned to a USGA/AGA Community in their area and presented with an option to sign up on the spot. Once they have joined, they’ll receive a welcome email with account information from the USGA introducing them to their AGA.
- It does not replace traditional methods.
Golfers are still able to sign up for a Handicap Index through a local golf course or even join a club “without real estate.” This additional option is targeted toward players who are not already connected with a local course or an AGA. Also, it provides a consistent sign-up method for players across the United States to get a Handicap Index and start enjoying the game more.
- There are additional benefits.
In addition to receiving a Handicap Index, players who join the USGA/AGA Community will also receive the benefits of an AGA membership – such as access to a mobile app for score posting and stats tracking, playing opportunities, local golf news and Rules education.
In other words, players will be able to deepen their engagement at the local level, thanks to the newfound connection to their AGA.
It’s important to note that a golfer who joins the USGA/AGA Community does not receive a USGA membership.
One final benefit of the USGA/AGA Community? Peace of mind. Along with the traditional paths above, this pathway ensures that the player has registered to establish a Handicap Index – the gold standard in golf. A Handicap Index promotes fair play among golfers of various skill levels, it tracks performance, it’s a portable number that can be used on any course with a Course Rating™ and Slope Rating®, and finally, its calculation is the same for millions of golfers around the world.
Don’t have one yet? Visit usga.org/getahandicap and join this growing community today!