Local Knowledge

October 2022


While it is ultimately up to the Handicap Committee at each course to determine their stroke index allocation – the order of holes at which handicap strokes are to be given or received – the World Handicap System includes a recommended method designed to accommodate both stroke play and match play.

The procedure can be summarized in the following three steps:

Step 1: Course Rating data is evaluated

The course contacts the Texas Golf Association (TGA) to start the process and determine the best tee to use for each gender in the evaluation. The TGA then uses effective playing length and obstacle data gathered during the most recent Course Rating™ as the basis for evaluation.

The benefit of using Course Rating data is that it provides a simple, objective method without having to collect scorecards from a wide range of players, which can be challenging and produce inconsistent results.

Step 2: Holes are ranked based on difficulty

The Course Rating data is then used to generate a raw ranking of the difficulty of each hole relative to par. This results in net par and net double bogey calculations that are more equitable.

To help spread out strokes over 18 holes, the front 9 is assigned odd strokes and even strokes are assigned on the back 9. This can be switched if the back 9 is decidedly more difficult than the front 9.

Step 3: Additional adjustments may be made

Match play is most equitable when consecutive low strokes and low strokes at the beginning or end of each nine are avoided. As a result, other minor adjustments may take place.

For a more in-depth look at Stroke Index Allocation under Appendix E in the Rules of Handicapping, click here.


Building on the successful introductory campaign of Youth on Course (YOC) in several Texas cities over the past two years, the TGA Foundation (TGAF) is committed to expanding the life-changing program across the state. To achieve this goal of providing affordable and accessible golf and personal development opportunities to as many junior golfers as possible, the TGAF is looking to partner with courses who want to help grow the game from the ground up.

The core purpose of YOC, a national 501(c)3 organization that began in 2006 as an initiative of the Northern California Golf Association, is to help young people grow and succeed both on and off the course by providing opportunities to play, learn, grow, and build relationships through affordable, inclusive access to play. More than 130,000 YOC members play more than 1,700 golf courses for $5 or less, benefit from career opportunities through the caddie and internship program and receive college scholarships.

Becoming a YOC Partner Course is easy, and the benefits are numerous. Course operators are in full control and decide when YOC members can play the course at the YOC rate. In addition to receiving a monthly check for the subsidized rounds, course operators reported that at least 60% of the time, a parent or guardian joined the junior golfer and paid full price for their round. For course operators, that means additional revenue from green fees, cart fees, pro shop merchandise sales, and food and beverage purchases.

If you would like to learn more about YOC in Texas, click here. If you would like to be a part of the YOC community and have questions about getting started, please contact Kelly Kilgo, Managing Director of the TGA Foundation and Director of Outreach.


The good news from that past couple of “boom years” for the golf industry is that we’ve been able to retain some of the rounds and golfers added during that time.

But how should golf course operators be preparing for an inevitable recession? The National Golf Foundation (NGF) strongly believes the answer is to strengthen the customer experience.

The NGF’s ongoing engagement with the most successful golf course operators and management companies reveals a common thread: ambition to create consistently memorable experiences using a recipe that combines good people and good product. Particularly in the face of a looming recession, it’s about focusing less on hard-dollar initiatives and more on creating happy customers.

Improving the customer experience is neither a new nor novel idea, and yet for most businesses it remains exactly that: just an idea. Meanwhile, those who’ve made it part of their culture and strategies continue to outperform the competition. Think of companies like Apple and Chick-Fil-A, or businesses where “good people” help to elevate an otherwise undifferentiated product. Southwest Airlines, maybe?

To learn more about what the NGF considers eight of the best practices to improving the customer experience, click here.


The Texas Alliance of Recreational Organizations (TARO) will be hosting its Annual Allied Association Meeting on Thursday, October 27, at Royal Oaks Country Club in Dallas.

This event is open to all club industry professionals and allied association members, which includes but is not limited to the Northern and Southern Texas Sections of the PGA, Texas Chapters of the Club Management, Golf Course Superintendents and United States Tennis Associations of America, Texas Golf Association, and Texas Turfgrass Association.

The foremost purpose of TARO is to participate effectively in the state’s legislative and regulatory processes for the benefit of its supporters and their constituents. TARO also serves to educate its supporters on issues affecting them and to foster good will among its supporters by preparation and circulation of periodic publications and sponsorship of educational programs.

This year’s keynote speakers will be Brad Steele, Founder, Private Club Consultants, and Gib Lewis, TARO Lobbyist and former Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives.

Registration is complimentary; however, attendees are asked to make a voluntary donation to TARO PAC, which supports the campaigns of those committed to maintaining a healthy business environment for Texas clubs. (By law, TARO PAC can only accept personal checks from individuals.)

For more information and to register online for the TARO 2022 Allied Association Meeting, click here.