Forming Your Own Golf Club

Forming a golf club is not at all difficult. A "golf club" is an organization of at least 10 individual members that operates under by-laws with committees (including a Handicap Committee) to supervise golf activities, provide peer review, and maintain the integrity of the USGA Handicap System™ (see Compliance Checklist, Section 8-2m; Decision 2/7). A golf club must be authorized by the USGA® to utilize the USGA Handicap System. A club can obtain an authorization agreement directly from the USGA or through its membership in an authorized golf association that is already authorized by the USGA and that has jurisdiction in the geographic area that includes the principal location of the golf club.

Members of a golf club must have a reasonable and regular opportunity to play golf with each other. They must be able to return scores personally. These scores must be readily available for inspection by others, including, but not limited to, fellow members and the club's Handicap Committee.

Each golf club must determine its type. A golf club is one of three (3) types:

1. It is located at a specific golf course with a valid USGA Course Rating™ and USGA Slope Rating® where a majority of the club's events are played, and the club's scoring records reside; or

2. Its members are affiliated or known to one another via a business, fraternal, ethnic or social organization. The majority of the club members had an affiliation prior to organizing the club; or

3. The members had no prior affiliation and a majority of the recruiting and sign-up of the membership is done by solicitation to the general public (e.g., Internet, newspaper).

An organization of golfers at a public course is considered a golf club if it satisfies the above conditions. If a "golf club" that utilizes the USGA Handicap System is not readily available to you, you can create such a club with a minimum of 10 golfers. The club can be formed from business associates or just golfing friends, provided that they live in a close geographic area and play golf regularly together.

Click to review a sample set of possible by-laws. The USGA Handicap System manual, which explains all procedures, can be purchased through the USGA Publications Store.

We want to make it possible for every golfer to get a Handicap Index®. Golf is much more fun when you can compete equitably with any other golfer.