Obtain or Renew MassGolf Handicaps
LPGA Amateur membership includes the LPGA Amateurs Handicap. This Handicap Index can only be used at LPGA Amateur events and competitions.
Basically, all you need to know is: Get a handicap, play golf, and post your scores daily hole by hole.
There are a lot of calculations that go into determining your handicap. Most of these happen behind the scenes. If you want to enter your total score for a round instead of hole by hole, make sure you review some of these rules of handicaps to do it properly.
Here are some basics. A handicap, or handicap index enables golfers of different abilities, age, and sex to play and compete on a fair basis, in any format, on any course, and anywhere around the world as the USGA just implemented the World Handicapping System.
The most common reason for getting a handicap index is for use in competitions. Many of you participate in leagues or Mass Golf Member Days and tournaments. Most require a handicap index to play.
If you don’t compete, it’s still useful to get a handicap index. It’s a good tool to watch your progress over the season and feel good about your successes. Tracking your scores pushes you to improve and because you must enter a valid score, it teaches you to pay more attention to and learn the rules of golf and handicaps. It also makes a friendly match more fun. It’s exciting when the winner of the ice cream is not determined until the last putt.
As a member of LPGA, you have the option of getting an LPGA handicap index or a Mass Golf Handicap Index.
An LPGA index, also referred to as Golfnet or GN21, is free, but it can only be used for LPGA competitions. A Mass Golf GHIN costs $32 (which is a bargain!). It is needed to play in any Mass Golf event, members day, women’s tournament or mixed tournament. It also allows you to play in charity events, work events (think networking!) and other events where an “official GHIN” is required.
Only 54 holes are needed in any combination of 18- or 9-hole rounds to get your first handicap index and the maximum handicap index is now 54! So, do it!
The biggest misconception about a handicap is that it indicates the average number of strokes you generally score over par. Because the basis for an index is now calculated using the lowest 8 scoring differentials of your most recent 20 rounds, it is more of an indicator of your potential playing ability. You should be extra proud when you actually play to your course handicap.
To get started with a LPGA handicap, simply go to Member Clubhouse – Choose My Handicap, then click on Post A Score. Continue to post scores in this manner each day that you play. There is no renewing year to year, just keep entering scores. You can also use the phone app.
To obtain a Mass Golf GHIN number click the link above this article. Those of you who need to renew your Mass Golf GHIN, should also use this link each year. To post scores, use massgolf.org, ghin.com or the GHIN app.
As I said, if you don’t enter scores hole by hole, you need to know a few more things.
Before you play, convert your handicap index to a course handicap. USE YOUR APPS TO DO THIS. This determines how many handicap strokes you get on each hole and is sometimes called “personal par”. Kate posted a great article on this on our home page under Den Caddy. Here is an example of how you might stroke your holes before you play. This player had a course handicap of 34 so gets two strokes on all holes except 17 and 18, where she gets one handicap stroke.
Course Handicap (34) = Personal Par
Before you submit your total score, you might need to adjust some bad holes. This used to be the Equitable Stroke Control procedure. The new rule for the highest score you can post on a hole is Net Double Bogey. That is two over par plus any handicap strokes received on a hole. That is why you need to know your course handicap.
Highest Score you can post
Here is an example scorecard for a player with a course handicap of 34 showing the adjustments for net double bogie. Note on holes 9 and 15, both par 3’s, the player adjusted one but not the other even though she shot 7 on both. This is because she got two strokes on the number 16 hardest hole and only one on the number 17 stroke hole.
You also may need to fill in some scores for holes you started but did not finish using your Most Likely Score. Here is the new guidance to determine how many strokes to add to the number of strokes you were at when you stopped playing the hole:
Remember, if you are past your net double bogie, you may pick up at any time to speed play.
Handicap rules require that you post a 9-hole score if between 7 and 13 holes are completed. If you play 14 or more, a player must post an 18-hole score.
For holes you did not start use net par, again based on your course handicap or personal par, as shown above. If that player did not finish holes 16-18, her scores would be 7,6,6 (net par).
And lastly, remember post after you play. Your handicap index will adjust the next day.
For more detailed explanations of the calculations and rules of handicapping, check out this site. https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/handicapping.html
If you missed this virtual event, use the button below to access the recording with our chapter handicap chair, Val Casella.
Learn about handicaps, why you should have one, and new changes for 2020
Review how to get a handicap index and post scores
If you have questions, need assistance, please email our chapter Handicap Chair at email@example.com