So You Want to Establish a Handicap Index... What's Next?

The purpose of the USGA Handicap System™ is to make the game of golf more enjoyable by enabling players of differing abilities to compete on an equitable basis. The USGA Handicap System makes the game of golf fun, fair and allows players to understand their potential ability. The following will assist you in getting acquainted with the USGA Handicap System and guide you on your way to a Handicap Index.

Welcome to the club! In order to establish a Handicap Index, a player must first join an authorized golf club. An authorized golf club doesn’t have to be a private golf club or a “green grass” facility. For a golf club to use the USGA Handicap System and issue a Handicap Index to its membership it must be authorized by either the authorized golf association or the USGA.  

    What to do:

Go Play!
Now that you have joined an authorized golf club, you will need post at least five adjusted gross scores to your scoring record.

National Revision Schedule: For U.S. golf clubs, a Handicap Index is revised/updated on the 1st and 15th of every month.

For an international golf club, each Handicap Index must be revised no less often than once a month and no more often than once every two weeks during the active season in accordance with the revision schedule as established by the authorized golf association that has jurisdiction in its area.

Adjusted Gross Scores: See Section 4

Get to know the Handicap Committee at your golf club
. The Handicap Committee is an essential human element of the golf club. The Committee is responsible for all aspects of the USGA Handicap System, including the computation of each member’s Handicap Index.

Any questions that arise regarding a player’s scoring record should be brought to the attention of the Committee and they are able to assist.

Education: The USGA Handicap Department offers a variety of educational materials to learn about the USGA Handicap System: