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mburton

Help with establishing a handicap.

12 posts in this topic

hello everyone.. long time lurker, first time poster.  i've played golf off and on for a long time now.  however, until recently i've never been interested in keeping official scores or playing in any kind of super serious manner.  however, seeing as how i'm approaching 30 i'm starting to embrace golf as a much more dominate hobby instead of some other competitive sports i've played in the past and see it only getting more so in the future. so i've got a few questions i know you guys can help me with, seeing as how i'm extremely new to the serious/competitive side of golf, although very excited about it.

1. how do i go about establishing a handicap and do i do it through an independent person or is that something that a local club could offer, should i choose to join one? (considering a few courses near me)

2. i'm very interested in getting into competitive golf (local tournaments, leagues, etc.) once i've established a handicap and solidified my game a little.  is it necesary to be apart of a club to do these things? (best?)

i really appreciate any help you guys can give me, and plan on being an active member on these forums now that i've broken the first post seal. haha

thanks!!

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Want to get rid of this advertisement? Sign up (or log in) today! It's free!

This link and sublinks should give you more in depth information. Basically, you need to join a golf club and post all of your scores no matter how ugly. You have to be honest. You also need to know and play by THE rules of golf.

Glad you decided to start posting and happy handicap hunting. :-)

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Alternatively, if you just want to know what your handicap would be, out of curiosity, until you join a club, then there's a handicap tracker at Today's golfer . Com After you post your first 3 cards you will be given a hc, and then just keep punching in the scores after every round for it to be updated. This is what I use for the moment, and I believe they're accurate to the correct system... In the uk anyway!
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@mburton , assuming you live in the U.S., there is no need to join an actual club.  Where are you located?  Your local state golf association will likely provide you access to an "e-club" that will satisfy all USGA requirements.  You'll pay an annual fee, usually about $30 and will submit your scores on-line.

Nothing could be easier.

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If you are unable to find a club soon and register for a handicap through them, you can PM me some of your recent scores (it has to be at least five to work properly) and I can figure it for you using the formula that the USGA uses.

The first step is to find the differential for each of your scores. To do this you must know the course rating, the slope rating, and your score. It goes into an equation that looks like this:

Differential = (Score - Course Rating) x (113 / Slope Rating)

Next, you need to figure out how many, and which, differentials to use in calculating your index. It depends on how many rounds you have played and entered scores for as follows:

5-6 rounds  ---   1 lowest differential

7-8 rounds  ---   2 lowest differentials

9-10 rounds  ---   3 lowest differentials

11-12 rounds  ---   4 lowest differentials

13-14 rounds  ---   5 lowest differentials

15-16 rounds  ---   6 lowest differentials

17 rounds  ---   7 lowest differentials

18 rounds  ---   8 lowest differentials

19 rounds  ---   9 lowest differentials

20 rounds  ---   10 lowest differentials

Note that you are only allowed to pick differentials from your most recent 20 rounds.

Finally, the handicap calculation itself. The equation is as follows:

(sum of differentials used / number of differentials used) x .96

This is basically taking the average of your best differentials, and then multiplying it by .96 to give a "bonus for excellence". The reasoning behind this is that, since you are only taking 96% of their differentials, a lower handicapped individual will actually win a majority of the time in net competitions. This is because that 4% reduction in handicap affects a higher handicap much more than a lower handicap. For someone who's average differential is 25, their handicap will be reduced by a full stroke to 24. For someone like me at a 2.4, it means that I have an average differential of 2.5 and my handicap is only reduced by a tenth of a stroke.

If you have any further questions about the calculations, or would like for me to calculate your handicap for you while you look to register (either online or through a course), shoot me a PM and I'd be more than happy to help.

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I use ushandicap.com.

If you are unable to find a club soon and register for a handicap through them, you can PM me some of your recent scores (it has to be at least five to work properly) and I can figure it for you using the formula that the USGA uses.

Note the OP is interested in tournament play, and therefore wants/needs an official, recognized handicap.

One additional point.... USGA / GHIN handicap services are provided on an annual, calendar-year basis.  Signing up for one on or after 1 July results in a prorated 50% cost savings.  So don't sign up before tomorrow! ;-)

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Note the OP is interested in tournament play, and therefore wants/needs an official, recognized handicap.

One additional point.... USGA / GHIN handicap services are provided on an annual, calendar-year basis.  Signing up for one on or after 1 July results in a prorated 50% cost savings.  So don't sign up before tomorrow!

I was told ushandicap.com is a USGA approved handicap index? GHIN is not the only service allowed from what I understand.

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I was told ushandicap.com is a USGA approved handicap index? GHIN is not the only service allowed from what I understand.

My apologies, you're right, ushandicap is compliant.  GHIN is however the gold standard and accepted everywhere, whereas you may run into tournaments and clubs unfamiliar with ushandicap.

My strong recommendation is to stick with GHIN.....there's absolutely no reason not to.

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thanks for all the help so far, i'm located in the us in southern illinois.  i've seen GHIN pop up a lot on this site, is that something i can use without joining a club?  i'm just not exactly sure which one i'd be most interested in joining just yet.

also about the being honest and playing by the rules of golf, it's amazing how much that will change your perception of your current skill haha.  i've been playing that way the past 2 or 3 rounds that i've played, and thanks again to this site, which is where i've learned the official rules of golf over the past year or so, just haven't implemented them until recently

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thanks for all the help so far, i'm located in the us in southern illinois.  i've seen GHIN pop up a lot on this site, is that something i can use without joining a club?  i'm just not exactly sure which one i'd be most interested in joining just yet.

also about the being honest and playing by the rules of golf, it's amazing how much that will change your perception of your current skill haha.  i've been playing that way the past 2 or 3 rounds that i've played, and thanks again to this site, which is where i've learned the official rules of golf over the past year or so, just haven't implemented them until recently

Here's the link to your local golf association.

http://sigagolf.org/

Joining a club for handicapping doesn't entail anything more than signing up and giving them your $30.  The clubs listed below allow you to post scores via the internet.  Pick one that's near you and give them a call and they'll take care of you.

http://sigagolf.org/clubs.asp?flt=op&pid;=6

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wow, thank you very much, i'll be signing up with the club!!

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