Local Knowledge

May 2021


The World Handicap System is comprised of the Rules of Handicapping and the Course Rating System. The Rules of Handicapping replaced the USGA Handicap System, which had been in place since 1911, and the USGA Course Rating System became the Course Rating System.

To assist golf course operators and club committees with conducting net competitions under the World Handicap System, the USGA has produced an easy-to-follow, one-page guide that gives a brief overview of key areas. Among the topics covered include: Which Terms of the Competition should be communicated in advance; Where does rounding take place in the Playing Handicap calculation; and How should the Committee handle multi-round competitions.

To download the WHS net competition quick reference guide, click here.


Encouraged by a successful 2020 introductory campaign in San Antonio, the Texas Golf Association Foundation (TGAF), with the support of local golf clubs, is looking to expand the popular, nationwide Youth on Course (YOC) program throughout the rest of Texas in 2021.

Established in 2006 by the Northern California Golf Association, YOC is a non-profit organization dedicated to opening doors, supporting dreams and transforming the lives of young people through opportunities on and off the course, including subsidized golf to make the game more appealing, inclusive and accessible to nurture the next generation of lovers of the game.

It’s easy for clubs to join the YOC network, and participating courses have the opportunity to fill unused tee times, drive revenue to their courses and welcome in new and loyal customers – all without sacrificing the bottom line.

To learn more about the benefits of being an official YOC course partner and growing the game of golf in Texas, click here.


The Spirit Golf Association (SGA) recently announced the launch of The Spirit’s Drive to End Cancer, a partnership between the SGA, Texas Golf Association, PGA Professionals and golf clubs nationwide to benefit research initiatives at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Beginning this spring, golf clubs around the country can host local tournaments honoring those facing cancer with proceeds from the events going to MD Anderson.

The Spirit’s Drive to End Cancer was created to bring golfers together and provide facilities the opportunity to host events honoring those we’ve lost or who are struggling with this disease. The funds generated will be donated to MD Anderson, one of the world’s most respected centers for cancer research and care.

“There are more than 29,000 PGA Professionals in the U.S. and thousands more golf professionals throughout the world,” SGA President Charlie Epps said. “Our industry has shown before that it can move mountains, and The Spirit’s Drive to End Cancer is a tremendous opportunity for all of us to band together to eliminate cancer while honoring those we love or have lost.”

Any PGA Professional or club/facility can host their own event this year, honoring or recognizing someone special who has faced cancer.

For more information about the Drive to End Cancer, including tournament hosting kits, click here.


The National Golf Foundation (NGF) and Golf Datatech, LLC who for years have collaborated in providing the industry with monthly rounds played reports, are heightening their efforts to recruit more golf courses and operators to participate in the ongoing tracking study, with the goal of producing more finely tuned research for every city and state in the U.S.

Golf Datatech and NGF work together to solicit monthly rounds played information from more than 14,000 U.S. golf facilities, aggregating and analyzing data for reports that detail year-over-year changes in play by region and state, as well as in select major cities. Through their combined efforts, the number of participating golf facilities has risen to almost 18% of all U.S. facilities.

As golf courses and other golf related businesses look to learn whether golf’s 2020 gains in participation and play will carry into 2021 and beyond, the industry’s two leading research companies recently met to discuss ways to further improve the rounds played report.

“This is a unique time and it’s more important than ever for everyone in golf to have reliable, timely rounds-played information,” said Tom Stine, co-founder of Golf Datatech. “The more facilities that participate, the more granular the report can be and therefore more helpful to the entire industry. It only requires sending a simple email once a month.”

While continually appreciative of those who participate, NGF and Golf Datatech are looking to engage an even broader range of independent golf course owners and operators, management companies and PGA sections to help with the effort.

For more information about the rounds played research study and how to get involved, click here.