Local Knowledge

September 2021


The Rules of Handicapping include safeguards to ensure a player’s Handicap Index accurately reflects their demonstrated ability. However, in rare instances where the handicap calculation and safeguards do not accurately reflect their demonstrated ability, it will be necessary for the Handicap Committee to consider taking action.

The Handicap Committee plays a vital role in the successful administration of a player’s Handicap Index and is equipped with tools to intervene when the calculated Handicap Index is no longer reflective of the player’s demonstrated ability. Used appropriately, these tools, which include Applying Applicable Penalty Scores and Adjusting the Handicap Index, are designed to ensure that players are treated fairly and consistently from golf club to golf club.

When considering any adjustment to, or withdrawal of, a player’s Handicap Index, the Handicap Committee must ensure that the player is:

• involved in the process,

• fully informed of the level of any adjustment or withdrawal, and

• made aware of how long it applies.

Rule 7 of the Rules of Handicapping provides details on the process for each of these steps. These procedures are designed to both assist the Handicap Committee and ensure that each player is treated fairly and consistently from golf club to golf club.

If it is determined an adjustment to the Handicap Index or Low Handicap Index is appropriate, as a courtesy, the golf club performing the adjustment is strongly encouraged to notify ALL other golf clubs where the player is an active member.


The Texas Alliance of Recreational Organizations (TARO) will be hosting an Allied Association Meeting on Tuesday, October 26 at Lakeside Country Club in Houston.

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 Managers, 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 Joe Trauger, VP of Government Relations for the National Club Association, 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, click here.


Native Texan Stacy Lewis, a 13-time LPGA champion and frequent star on the worldwide golf stage, will return as captain of Team USA for the 2021 Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship (The Spirit). Lewis was the captain of the 2019 Team, which featured eventual Men’s Team champions Andy Ogletree and Cole Hammer along with top-ranked women members Kaitlyn Papp and Emilia Migliaccio.

The Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship is a premier golf event featuring the world’s best men and women amateur golfers representing their respective countries in team and individual competitions. The biennial event is scheduled for Nov. 1-7, 2021, at Whispering Pines Golf Club in Trinity. The event is hosted by the Spirit Golf Association, which promotes amateur golf through philanthropy and has raised more than $13 million since launching in 1999.

“The Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship is such a unique and fun event for so many reasons,” Lewis said. “I look forward to returning this year and building on the success Team USA has experienced in this competition over the years.”

The Spirit features 80 competitors from 20 countries, representing six continents. It is a 54-hole championship with five concurrent competition categories: Combined International Team, Men’s Team, Women’s Team and, new for 2021, Men’s and Women’s Individual Stroke Play. Gold, Silver and Bronze commemorative medals are awarded to the top three golfers in each competition.

“There is so much to be excited about for the 2021 Spirit, including the updates to the Whispering Pines championship course and the addition of the stroke play competition for the men and women,” said Charlie Epps, President of the Spirit Golf Association and the captain of Team USA in the 2001 inaugural Spirit event. “We are also thrilled to have Stacy back as captain of Team USA as she is a local product and a first-class example for these young players in how to represent your country and the game.”

For more information about the 2021 Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship, click here.


In today’s competitive club world, having every advantage is key. Data analytics take the guesswork out of some of the most important — and expensive — decisions a club has to make.

As well as being a sweet place to relax, play a round of golf or hit the treadmill, your club is rich with valuable data, and building expertise in data analytics can help you run your club in a more efficient manner.

The key is capturing the data, understanding its patterns and then making decisions based on facts, not speculation. Are kale salads really increasing in popularity? You can find out for certain. Is twilight golf making money? The data will tell you.

The use of data analytics was once limited to big enterprises: Netflix, Amazon, Google, Apple and the Oakland A’s. (Think “Moneyball.”) But that’s changing. Any club, no matter the size, can benefit. Using such tools can help a club run as smartly as possible on a daily — check that — hourly basis.

When planning major strategic moves, analytics should be your go-to before you propose new amenities to members, experts say. It can help make certain the additions are indeed needed and will pencil out before you show off any enticing renderings.

To read more about the importance of data analytics, click here.