Texas Golf Association, Since 1906
Texas Golf Association, Since 1906

The Rewards of Membership

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#4 | The Benefits of Having (and Establishing) a USGA GHIN Handicap

GHIN stands for "Golf Handicap and Information Network" and is an elite handicap service provided by the USGA to state golf associations. GHIN members can post scores, calculate handicaps and retrieve handicap information online from any computer or mobile device. Individual Handicaps are tracked and re-calculated every month on the 1st and 15th. Members will receive an email on these days with their latest handicap.
Simply put, the USGA Handicap System™ allows for golfers of very different abilities to compete on an equitable basis. Naturally, some people are better at golf than others. The purpose of the handicap system is to level the playing field so that a less experienced golfer has a chance to compete against an advanced player by giving the less experienced golfer strokes on certain holes to ensure a fair match. (A handicap can’t do much to offset a bad day, sorry to say.) Other sports do have a handicap system, but nowhere does it work as effectively as in the game of golf.
No matter your age, skill level or how often you play (even if it’s just once a month with your friends), you’ll find your time on the course is much more rewarding when you have a handicap. Also, if you plan to compete on any level in golf, from club events to member-guests to national championships, then having a verifiable, established handicap is a must. 
A minimum of five scores have to be submitted to establish a handicap. As a player turns in more scores, the lowest ten from the last twenty rounds are used to determine that player’s current handicap. Contrary to what many people may think, a handicap is not an averaging of scores, but rather a measurement of potential ability.
A lot of factors are taken into consideration in computing a handicap, including score and tees played, as well as course and slope rating. It’s all a rather complicated process but the good news is that the number crunching is done for you; all you have to do is turn in your score!  Because a handicap is revised every four weeks, the player gets an accurate measurement of their progress over an extended period of time.
These days it’s so easy to establish a handicap, there’s no good reason not to get one. Best of all, the Texas Golf Association (TGA) will be glad to help guide you through the process!

Get Your Handicap Through The TGA

While the USGA does not allow individuals to establish a handicap directly through a state or regional golf association, you can get your handicap through the TGA! We currently have approximately 120,000 individuals who have established handicaps at more than 500 clubs all across the state, including private, semi-private, daily-fees, municipals and 9-hole courses, giving new members plenty of options in locating a member club in close proximity to where they live or work.
As a member of the TGA, you have options to play in tons of events at courses all over Texas. We have Men, Women, Senior, Team and Fun events, allowing you access to courses you may not ordinarily get to play on. Enjoy a day on the links with fellow TGA members in our non-competitive events for golfers that don't want to take themselves too seriously on the course.
Learn more about all the benefits of a TGA Membership and join today at http://www.txga.org/JoinTGAOnline.html.
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