USGA Handicap Link


Establishing a golf handicap: The USGA (United States Golf Association) is the game's governing authority of the World Handicap System, dedicated to serving all golfers - men, women, and juniors. The SCGA (Southern California Golf Association) is the Southern California region’s AGA (Allied Golf Association) and will issue GHIN (Golf Handicap and Information Network) numbers to members.

Your GHIN number allows you to post scores that determine your handicap and is established through your membership in SCGA. It is independent of belonging to LPGA Amateur Orange County but can be facilitated through your membership to our organization. The cost to become a member of the SCGA handicapping system is $36. LPGA Amateur-OC has a direct link where you may sign-up and pay for your SCGA membership online. If you already have a GHIN number, you may go straight to the link and renew. You must be a member of LPGA Amateur Orange County to have your SCGA Handicap through us. You may also join SCGA through other clubs, at various golf stores, or online.

The $36 SCGA fee is independent of your LPGA Amateur membership fees. If you do not have a GHIN number, SCGA will assign you one. You would then record your scores at the golf course, scga.com, ghin.com, or on the GHIN app on your phone. You will be issued an initial handicap index after you have recorded 54 holes of either 18 hole rounds or 9 hole rounds. Your index will be used to determine your handicap on golf courses. Handicap indexes are updated the next day after you post a round.



SCGA membership includes:

  • SCGA/USGA Handicap Index
  • Access to Tournaments (All Skill Levels)
  • Discounted Tee Times
  • Access to Premier Private Facilities
  • Subscription to FORE magazine
  • Worldwide Golf Discount Card

Note: LPGA Amateur provides a free online handicap, but NOT GHIN and NOT SCGA.



A golf handicap makes it possible for fair competition between players of different ability whether it’s in competitive matches, a friendly wager between friends, or a skins game with money on the line just like the Pros! To put it simply, handicaps are equalizers.  As the USGA states, “It is to make the game of golf more enjoyable by enabling players of different abilities to compete on an equitable basis.”

If you get invited to play in a company or charity golf tournament, they will likely want to know your handicap to make the event fair for everyone. By having a handicap, you can be paired properly.

For any of you who plan on playing courses abroad, a handicap index may be required. Many courses will not let you have a tee time without a verifiable handicap.

Now many of you may be thinking, “But, I don’t play in tournaments so why should I establish a handicap?” Keeping a handicap is a great way to track your improvement throughout the season. As you improve, you can expect to see your handicap gradually go down. You can even use your handicap posting service to track your game statistics like number of putts, fairways hit in regulation, greens hit in regulation, etc. which will give you valuable information on areas where you might need to focus your learning and practice.

Now you know a few good reasons for getting a handicap. Let us help you! We are here to answer questions and assist you in the development of your golf game and it starts with a Handicap.


Handicap Committee responsibilities:

  • See that all acceptable scores are posted per the World Handicap System (WHS)
  • Ensure that all rounds posted were played according to the rules of golf
  • Perform checks of scoring records to assure that rounds are reflective of the member’s playing ability
  • Assist members with corrections or edits of their scoring records
  • Be prepared to adjust a member’s handicap when appropriate
  • Maintain the integrity of members’ handicaps

Member’s Responsibilities:

  • Follow the principles of the Rules of Golf and the World Handicap System
  • Post all acceptable rounds, including 9 hole scores at home and away
  • Post scores the day they are played
  • Know your Course Handicap for the tees you play and the holes on which you receive strokes
  • For posting purposes, the Maximum Allowed Score for any hole is Net Double Bogey (Double Bogey plus Handicap Strokes)
  • Most Likely Score is recorded for holes not finished (e.g. picked up in match play); no limit to number of unfinished holes in a round


    What is an Acceptable Score?

  • If 14 or more holes are played in an 18 hole round
  • If 7 holes are played for a 9 hole round [GHIN system will combine two 9 holes]
  • Match play, stroke play, and team competitions
  • If a player is requested to pick up when out of contention, including team competitions
  • If a player is disqualified from a competition but has an acceptable score, it must be posted


    Acceptable Posting Methods:

    Post your score by midnight the day of the round. The player’s Index will be updated the following day.

    Members can post using any of these available methods.

  • Posting computer at any USGA/SCGA golf course utilizing GHIN
  • Directly by the player on GHIN.com or the USGA GHIN mobile app
  • Return a signed scorecard to the Handicap Chair or Tournament Committee for posting (i.e. any Tournament Round)


Any questions, please contact your LPGA Amateur-OC Handicap Committee:


World Handicap System

1.     Revision cycle changed to daily between 12 AM and 1 AM (Local):
        a.     It is imperative that all scores are posted on the day of play
        b.     Revision used for event(s) left to discretion of Tournament Committee
        c.     LI begins anew on 1/1, HI on that date equals initial LI, then updated from that point forward

3.     Equitable Stroke Control (ESC)  (maximum allowable strokes per hole)  table changed to “Net Double-Bogey”, for any handicap, for any par, on any hole  (Stroke Allocation now Stroke Index): 
  a.    Par 3:    3 + 2 + Stroke Index;
         b.    Par 4:    4 + 2 + Stroke Index;
         c.    Par 5:    5 + 2 + Stroke Index; etc.

4.     Obtaining a Handicap Index changed from 5, 18-hole rounds, to 3:
         a.    Max HI changed to 54.0, irrespective of gender

5.     Handicap Index (HI) formula change:
        a.     From:     Average best 10 of last 20 postings x 96%
        b.     To:          Average best 8 of last 20 postings

6.     Course Handicap (CH) formula change:
        a.     From:      HI x Slp / 113
        b.     To:           (HI x Slp / 113) + (Rtg – Par)

7.     For detailed information, visit SCGA’s web site at:
        a.     www.scga.org/whs-hub

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