Originally Posted by Duff McGee
So I don't have to join a club to establish a GHIN handicap? Can I do this online? Or do I have to go to a course and register?
Originally Posted by chernandez25
I also use Thegrint... you get a USGA Compliant Handicap when you Join them. They will Assign you to a Type 3 Club (virtual club) so you can have a USGA Handicap.
Originally Posted by David in FL
You can join an "eclub" through the Washington State a Golf Association.
You'll receive a GHIN number and can enter your scores on-line. There's also a simple mobile GHIN app that you can use with your phone once you have your GHIN number.
No need to mess with any other services that are USGA "compliant" when you can have the real thing, just as easily.
As a couple of the responses have indicated, you can get a valid USGA Handicap Index through online services. The USGA Handicap Manual requires that your scores be subject to peer review by a Handicap Committee of your club, so that's where the "club membership" requirement comes from. The manual allows this "Club" to be an online club, as referenced in both of the posts I've mentioned. If you want to read more, you can look up the Handicap Manual online at:
The various forms of a valid "Club" are defined in Section 2.
The Ghin system is simply a for-pay handicap computation system that sells its services to qualifying state or regional golf associations. It seems to have become the most commonly used service, but its definitely not the only way that valid USGA handicaps are maintained. For the best portability, however, I'd strongly suggest that you consider working through your State Golf Association, and that will probably mean using the Ghin system.