Why should I establish a handicap rating?

  • A handicap index allows all golfers, no matter what level, the opportunity to compete in a fair match at any golf course worldwide.
  • LPGA Amateur Golf Association offers myriad opportunities to play golf for pleasure and competitively. Any member who would like to compete in a LPGA Amateur Golf Association event must have a handicap. 
  • Beyond competing, your handicap is a way for you to track improvements in your golf game.

10 Things for Golfers to Know After Signing Up for a Handicap Index

  1. A handicap index represents your demonstrated playing ability. Your index number is based on your scores relative to the course and tees played during your posted rounds.
  2. After you post a score, it is converted into a score differential, which accounts for the course rating and slope rating of the tees played.
  3. A handicap index is calculated by averaging your 8 best score differentials from your most recent 20 scores. There are also built in safeguards applied when:
    • You post an exceptional score, or
    • There is extreme upward movement in your handicap index
  4. Your first handicap index will be issued the day after you have posted scores from 54 holes to your scoring record. These scores can be made up of any combination of 9- or 18-hole rounds.
    • A handicap index can be established with as few as three 18-hole scores. When fewer than 20 scores are in your scoring record, a lesser number of scores are used to calculate your handicap index.
  5. A handicap index is updated at midnight local time the day after you post a score. As a result, it's important to post your scores on the same day of play.
  6. course handicap is the number of strokes needed to play to par of the tees being played. You will have a course handicap once a handicap index has been established (see #4).
  7. The max hole score for handicap purposes is a net double bogey, equal to double bogey+any handicap strokes received based on your course handicap.
    • Until a handicap index is established, the max hole score is 5 over par
    • If using the hole-by-hole option to post, the adjustment for max hole score is made automatically
  8. If you don't play a hole (eg, due to darkness), the score recorded is net par, equal to par+any handicap strokes received based on your course handicap.
    • You must play at least 7 holes to post a 9-hole round and 14 holes to post an 18-hole round
  9. If you start but don't finish a hole (eg, because a hole is conceded during match play), the score recorded for handicap purposes is your most likely score.
  10. It's important to post all acceptable scores so your handicap index continues to accurately reflect your game.

Source: usga.org

    How do I establish a handicap?

    You can purchase a handicap through the LPGA Amateurs or through your home course.

    A popular method for posting scores is through a mobile app such as the GHIN app or the WSGA app. For additional ways to post a score or for help correcting a score posted in error, contact a member of the Handicap Committee.

    You can determine your course handicap using the GHIN app.

    Madison Chapter Handicap Committee

    LPGA Amateur Golf Association -Madison has dedicated board members to help you understand and establish your handicap. Questions should be directed to Ginger Zimmerman at jzimmerman@murphydesmond.com or Jeanne Whitish at jwhitish@purplecoworganics.com.   

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