Local Knowledge

July 2021


There are many different handicapping options available to USGA TM users when setting up a tournament. The options available will depend on the format, competition, and balls being used. USGA TM currently features 17 handicapping options for tournaments.

Along with all of these Playing Handicap options, tournament administrators will also be able to enter the Handicap Allowance (percentage of Playing Handicap) to be used. In addition, the system allows users to manage more advanced handicapping options (e.g., max handicap, decimal handicaps, etc.) in the tournament setup.

To learn more about the USGA TM handicapping options, click here.

For a refresher on setting up a tournament format, including Stroke Play, Skins, Match Play and much more, click here.


When the Rules of Golf were modernized in 2019, one of the most significant changes was the introduction of a new Local Rule that provides an alternative to stroke and distance penalty for a ball that is lost or out of bounds.

Implementing Local Rule E-5 at your course can improve pace of play by eliminating the need for golfers to walk back to the spot of the previous stroke to play under stroke and distance. Additionally, it allows golfers to play by the Rules and post a legitimate score even when they unexpectedly lose a ball or find that their ball is out of bounds.

The USGA suggests Local Rule E-5 be used in all casual and general play. It would not be appropriate to use in competitions that are limited to highly skilled players, such as professional or elite amateur competitions.

There is some room for judgment here as there are certain types of club-level competitions where the Local Rule E-5 might be appropriate to use. It is up to the Committee in charge of that competition or the golf professional staff to make that decision.

At the club level, a golf course may elect to have Local Rule E-5 in effect for general play, but then decide to not have it in effect for the Club Championship or other tournaments. When this is the case, it is important that all players in that specific competition be made aware of this change before play begins.

To learn more about Local Rule E-5, click here.


All sorts of people view the golf shop as the place to sign in, to pay green fees and to grab the urgent needs for the day: the golfers’ small convenience store. While all of this can be true, in his article for Golf Inc. author Jack Dillon believes the golf shop can serve as the hub for social connection at the club.

When viewed in this light, as opposed to being a quick pit stop before hitting the first tee, the golf shop is more like the “kitchen” of the property, a place where people hang out to talk about their game, sports and everything else that is important to the daily social fabric. Creating a welcoming atmosphere and building a better golf shop experience can mean more visits, longer visits, more sales, and bigger transactions.

To read more about Golf Shop Talk: Dollars and Sense, click here.


When the pandemic hit, much of the tech world turned its focus to tackling problems brought about by COVID-19. Club technology will likely continue to trend toward convenience and ways to keep members feeling secure.

Talk about sexy tech upgrades. Charlotte City Club in North Carolina last year added needlepoint bipolar ionization to its HVAC system.

And Marietta Country Club in Kennesaw, Ga., installed a Synexis BioDefense System, which produces dry hydrogen peroxide from ambient oxygen and humidity.

And name a club that didn’t add key innovations, such as the Purell ES8 Automatic Touch-Free Sanitizer Dispenser.

Yes, it was that kind of year …

But is the club world ready to move on from COVID-19 and embrace the latest and coolest tech advancements that aren’t necessarily pandemic-related? Who hasn’t had enough of disinfectants such as Maquat MQ2525M-CPV, after all?

In his article for CMAA’s Club Management Magazine, author Mike Stetz looks at a number of other COVID-19-related issues clubs have been facing in which tech has come to the rescue.

To read the full article, click here.