Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Handicapping
Listed below are just a few, but certainly not all, of the most frequently asked questions posed to the Texas Golf Association. If you have a question and can’t find the answer you’re looking for, please click on the Handicap Resource Center link on the right for more information. If you’re still looking for an answer after your search, please submit your question to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can I establish a USGA Handicap Index® and become a member of the TGA?
To ensure the integrity of the USGA Handicap System, the USGA Handicap rules require that you belong to a club of at least 10 individuals who have a reasonable and regular opportunity to play golf together. Club members must be able to return scores, and those scores must be available for review by fellow club members, which is also known as “peer review.”
When you establish a Handicap Index via a TGA Member Club, you automatically become a member of the TGA and are entitled to participate in TGA events, and receive all the many other benefits associated with membership. There are two ways to establish a Handicap Index and become a member of the TGA: 1) Join Through a TGA Member Club; 2) Establish Your Own Club.
1) Join Through a TGA Member Club: To locate a listing of current TGA Member Clubs on this web site, please look under “Membership Services,” and on the lower left, select “Texas Golf Course Directory” and then for GHIN Clubs, select “Yes” and run the search. You will find that we have many daily fee/semi-private member clubs. Note the fee to join varies. Some clubs require that you join the men’s or women’s association/league at their course and the handicap fee is included. It depends upon the club, so if you play at several different courses, check with each of them to see which one best fits your needs.
2) Establish Your Own Club: If you are unable to locate a club, the other option is to form your own “club without real estate.” Forming your own club will give you the benefits of a TGA membership plus the ability to maintain handicap indexes for your members via the GHIN service. The USGA Handicap System requires that a club meet the following requirements:
- Must have at least Ten Members—This means you need to have at least nine other golfers that you have a reasonable and regular opportunity to play golf with in order to form your own club. A typical club would consist of people from the same workplace, church, or neighborhood.
- Requires Club Bylaws, Handicap Committee, Handicap Chairperson—the TGA will provide you with a sample set of bylaws. These bylaws, which may also be customized (within reason), explain the structure of the group and guidelines to follow, as recommended by the USGA. Your club would also need to form a Handicap Committee, and elect officers, including a Handicap Chair. The Handicap Committee is responsible for making sure all requirements of the USGA Handicap System are met, as explained in Section 8 of the USGA Handicap System manual, of which the club should have a copy.
- Members must have a Reasonable and Regular Opportunity to Play Golf Together—or “Peer Review” where club members can view the scoring records of other members of the club and be able to play golf with one another.
If you are interested in forming your own club, please contact the Texas Golf Association – Mary Harrison in the North Region at 214.468.8942 to obtain additional information.
I signed up for GHIN and posted a couple of scores, but my scoring record shows NH. Why?
Establishing a USGA Handicap Index is not something that happens instantly. Many golfers not familiar with handicapping mistakenly believe that your Handicap Index should change every time you post a score, but that is simply not the case. According to the rules of the USGA Handicap System, first, you must first post five 18-hole scores or ten 9-hole scores to establish an index–Until you have that quantity posted, your scoring record will show as ‘NH’ or No Handicap. Second, you must also go through what we call a revision (or recalculation), as well. We revise (recalculate) Handicap Indexes on the 1st and 15th of every month according to the National Revision Schedule, which you may review via our web site www.txga.org (at the top, select “handicapping/course rating” and then on the subsequent page, along the right side, see the “Quick Links section and the link titled “Revision Schedule”). There is also a stated cutoff time by which you must post for those scores to be included in the calculation. For example, if the next revision date is on the 15th, all scores must by posted by 11 pm cst , the night prior to the revision date, to be included in that recalculation. Basically, you will post scores and nothing changes until the handicaps are revised or recalculated on the 1st or 15th. In the meantime, even though your scoring record shows as “NH,” it does not mean your scores are not there. To review scores that have been posted, pull up your record by going to www.GHIN.com, and in the upper left select “Handicap Lookup,” enter your 7 digit TGA/GHIN# in the space provided (with no dashes) hit the “Lookup” button and once the subsequent screen comes up, click on the tab titled “RECENT SCORES.” There you can see scores posted since the last revision.
What is Equitable Stroke Control?
Equitable Stroke Control (ESC) is a procedure whereby abnormally high individual hole scores are adjusted downward prior to the score being posted. ESC sets a maximum number that a golfer can post on any hole, depending on the golfer’s Course Handicap (not his Handicap Index). Effective Feb. 1, 1998, individual hole scores will be adjusted for handicap purposes per the following table:
|Course Handicap||Max. Number on any hole|
|9 or less||Double Bogey|
|10 – 19||7|
|20 – 29||8|
|30 – 39||9|
|40 or more||10|
What do the different letter(s) mean next to my scores?
The letter(s) immediately following each adjusted gross score indicate(s) specific aspects of a score within a player’s scoring record. The following is a list of possible score types:
A = Away
I = Internet
AI = Away Internet
P = Penalty
C = Combined Nines
T = Tournament
TI = Tournament Internet
CI = Combined Internet Scores (at least one nine posted via Internet)
What does an “R” mean next to my Handicap Index?
The “R” signifies that a “reduction” has been placed on your Handicap Index. The USGA has a section in its Handicap System that automatically reduces the Handicap Indexes of players who consistently score better in competitions than in informal play. To be used, the procedure requires that a player have two or more eligible tournament scores and a minimum of two tournament score differentials which are at least three strokes better than the player’s current USGA Handicap Index.
What most players don’t realize is that an eligible tournament score under Section 10-3 of the USGA Handicap System Manual is a tournament score made within the current year or a tournament score contained within the player’s last twenty scores. All tournament scores posted will stay on a scoring record for a year from the date that they were shot. A tournament score may stay on a record longer if in a year it is still a part of the most recent twenty scores. The Handicap Committee at the golfer’s club, not the Texas Golf Association, may decide to override a reduction in certain cases.
For more information, visit the Handicapping section of the USGA website (usga.org).
How do I correct a wrong or duplicate score that has been posted to my handicap?
To correct or delete incorrect scores in your record, contact the handicap chairperson or the golf shop staff at your club. They will be able to make the corrections for you as the Texas Golf Association does not have the authority. This also applies to scores posted via the Internet. It may take a few days for the correction to become effective, because your club must make the change then send it to the GHIN server. Once this has been done, your handicap score history will be corrected. The scoring record, which appears online at www.ghin.com, will not be updated until the next Handicap Revision. However, if you click on “Recent Scores” the change will be reflected immediately.
Can I post scores via the Internet?
The USGA Handicap System allows individual clubs to decide whether or not they will permit their members to use the Internet option. Therefore, if the club does not allow GHIN Internet Posting, its members cannot use it. However, if a golfer is a member of a club that accepts Internet scores, scores can be posted directly to the Internet by clicking on the “Post Online” icon on the TGA website or by clicking on the “Post Scores” link at www.GHIN.com. The scores will immediately become part of the golfer’s scoring record and be included in the golfer’s USGA Handicap Index by the next revision. The scores will appear on the club’s handicap computer the next time the club connects to the GHIN network.
Can I lookup someone’s GHIN number?
To protect the security and privacy of our members, the Texas Golf Association nor GHIN gives out member numbers to the general public; therefore, you cannot find that number on either Web site. You can, however, search by name and state. The result will show all Association members with that name and the club they belong to. Please note that the search is “nickname” sensitive, so should you type in a first name of William and the member has been entered as Bill or Billy, no member information will appear. Once you select the member you will be able to view his or her current Handicap Index and scoring history, but you will not see a member number. If Club Professionals, Handicap Chairpersons or members themselves need to verify indexes, they may do so by calling the Texas Golf Association directly at 214.468.8942.
Can I view my score history and USGA Handicap Index via the Internet?
Yes. Visit www.GHIN.com to view the following information about your active GHIN account: the 20 scores that were used to compute your USGA Handicap Index, your USGA Handicap Index, and your most recent scores. Only the scores posted via the Internet and scores that have been transmitted (sent) from clubs to the GHIN server will be listed.
How many scores do I need to establish a USGA Handicap Index?
You will need five 18-hole scores or ten combined 9-hole scores to establish an 18-hole USGA Handicap Index or five 9-hole scores to establish a USGA Handicap Index (N) (a 9 hole Handicap Index).
What are the maximum Indexes for Men and Women?
The maximum index for a male golfer is 36.4, and the maximum handicap index for a female golfer is 40.4.