Handicap

Handicap

The purpose of the USGA Handicap system is to make the game of golf more enjoyable by enabling players of differing abilities to compete on an equitable basis. Having a handicap index allows golfers to:

  • Participate in more events (those that require a handicap index).
  • Have a measurable means of tracking improvement.
  • Allow score adjustments to even the playing field when playing with golfers of different skill levels.

GN21

All EWGA members have the opportunity to obtain a handicap index through GN21 at no additional cost. Golfers keeping score are strongly encouraged to obtain a Handicap Index and taking advantage of this key EWGA member benefit. This system is available via the EWGA.com members-only area (after logging in, you'll see a link to the "Handicap" area along the left side).

Powered by GolfNet, GN21 is a full featured system that enables all members to obtain an official USGA handicap. This system also allows you to enter hole-by-hole scores and statistics such as number of putts so you can see/track your performance statistics. EWGA also recently launched an easy-to-use app for posting/tracking scores on the go! Click here for more info on how to use the GN21 system.

If you're already familiar with the system and want to post your most recent score, click here, log into your myewga.com account, and then look for the "Post a Score" link on the left.

GHIN

Some members may wish to carry a handicap provided by Golf Handicap and Information Network (GHIN). The EWGA Seattle Chapter is a WSGA Member golf club and offers a GHIN handicap through the WSGA for an annual fee of $35. In addition to providing a handicap, this membership option also includes access to WSGA Championships, Casual Golf Days, Golf deals and events put on by the Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA).  "Executive Women's Golf Club" will be listed as your "home club." Membership applications and renewals typically take 10-14 days. If you are a new GHIN member, you need at least six 18-hole equivalent scores to establish a handicap (9-hole rounds can be posted). To apply for a GHIN, you can download the application below and mail in your application, or use a credit card to apply online here

EWGA Seattle GHIN application.pdf

 If you have a question regarding either system or handicaps in general, check the adjacent Handicap Q&A section. If that doesn't answer your question, email it to handicap@ewgaseattle.org. We are also here to help with any questions regarding using either the GN21 system or GHIN, and setting you up with a GHIN account.

 

Establishing a Handicap

The purpose of the USGA Handicap system is to make the game of golf more enjoyable by enabling players of differing abilities to compete on an equitable basis. Having a handicap index allows golfers to:

  • Participate in more events (those that require a handicap index).
  • Have a measurable means of tracking improvement.
  • Allow score adjustments to even the playing field when playing with golfers of different skill levels.

GN21

All EWGA members have the opportunity to obtain a handicap index through GN21 at no additional cost. Golfers keeping score are strongly encouraged to obtain a Handicap Index and taking advantage of a key EWGA member benefit. This system is available via the EWGA.com members-only area (after logging in, you'll see a link to the "Handicap" area along the left side).

Powered by GolfNet, GN21 is a full featured system that enables all members to obtain an official USGA handicap. Click here for more info on how to use the GN21 system.

If you're already familiar with the system and want to post your most recent score, click here, log into your myewga.com account, and then look for the "Post a Score" link on the left.

GHIN

Some members may wish to carry a handicap provided by GHIN. While the handicap is identical to EWGA’s GN21 system, a GHIN handicap is required for most Washington state tournaments. The EWGA Seattle Chapter offers a GHIN handicap with the WSGA for a fee of $35. "EWGA GOLF CLUB" will be listed as your "home club." Membership applications and renewals typically take 10-14 days. If you are a new GHIN member, you need at least six 18-hole equivalent scores to establish a handicap (9-hole rounds can be posted). To apply for a GHIN, you can download the application below and mail in your application, or use a credit card to apply online here

EWGA Seattle GHIN application.pdf

 If you have a question regarding either system or handicaps in general, check our Handicap Q&A page! If that doesn't answer your question, email it to handicap@ewgaseattle.org. We are also here to help with any questions regarding using either the GN21 system or GHIN, and setting you up with a GHIN account.

 

Handicap Q&A

Handicap Q&A- Chapter Championship

Eligibility to participate
To be eligible to play in the Chapter Championship, golfers need to have at least two 18-hole scores posted in a USGA index approved system (i.e. GN21, GHIN or EZ-Links) as of the deadline to enter (deadline varies each year). This can be any two 18-hole scores OR four 9- hole scores from this year which officially began in the PNW for golfers on March 1, when the "active season" started. The highest eligible index for this competition is 40.4. There is no lowest eligible index, as long as you don't have pro status.

I started keeping a handicap last year, but my index is in the mid-30s and though I'm interested, playing in a tournament makes me nervous; I've played with some outstanding golfers at a few weekend events. Am I going to be out of my league?
If you are curious enough to ask and are showing interest, we encourage you to give it a try. This is actually where your handicap index will help you and make it a fair event for all. Did you know that there are actually five flights in stroke play plus a scramble format? The different flights mean you are only golfing against golfers of the same ability. Here are the flight levels and index ranges for the stroke play format:
Also, we recognize winners in both gross and net categories for stroke play. For the 4-woman scramble event, handicaps make up what's called a "Team Composition Factor" for scramble teams, helping ensure that all teams are playing on a similar level. We really hope you do join in and become part of the largest women's amateur tournament in the world.

What handicap revision is used for the tournament?
The tournament directors will use the revision that comes out closest to the tournament date (usually mid-July update) to place golfers in their flights and to calculate the "Team Composition Factor" for scramble teams. Keep posting all rounds played by the rules of golf and we'll see you at the tournament.
All of the details on the tournament are included in informative materials and entry forms posted on the EWGA Seattle website as soon as available. And, as important as it is to know the information shared, we also hope that you do join in this event, either as a play or a volunteer. Come out and see what the fun is all about!



April, 2012 Handicap Q&A


What should I shoot?

 

Do you find yourself asking, "Why do I rarely shoot my course handicap?" The answer is: it is perfectly normal for this to happen under the USGA Handicap System. 

 

This is because the USGA Handicap System is based on the potential ability of a player rather than the average of all their scores. In fact, years of research by the USGA shows us that on average a player should only shoot their course handicap 25 percent of the time. They should shoot three strokes higher than their course handicap on average, and in their last 20 scores have a best score of only 2 strokes better than their course handicap. 

 

A player's Handicap Index reflects their playing potential due to the fact that it is based only on her best scores for a given number of rounds. The most accurate Handicap Index would be one based on the best 10 differentials out of the last 20 scores. Since those 10 worst differentials are not included in the calculation of a player's Handicap Index, it only reflects their best days.

 

The bottom line is there is no need to worry if you don't shoot at or near your course handicap on a given day. Every golfer with a Handicap Index is in the same boat because USGA Handicap Indexes are based on the potential ability of a golfer, not the average of all their scores. 

 

Why is there an "R" after my Handicap Index?

 

One of the most common questions we get at the WSGA office is "why does my Handicap Index have an 'R' next to it?" The simple answer is that your Handicap Index has been automatically reduced (not restricted) due to exceptional tournament scores, which the USGA defines as being at least 3 strokes better than your Handicap Index.  

 

You may then ask yourself, "If I haven't played in a tournament since last summer, this must be a mistake." In actuality, a tournament score will stay in your scoring record for at least one year or even longer, if it is still part of your 20 most-recent scores.  If you have two exceptional tournament scores in your record at any given time, you may be eligible for an automatic reduction.

 

This time of year, golfers often see their Handicap Index reduced. The main reason is that many Northwest golfers are shooting higher scores as they start to shake off the winter rust.  It might also be due to the fact that golf courses are playing longer with cold and wet conditions. As Handicap Indexes increase due to these higher scores, a tournament score from last summer may now become an "exceptional tournament score" as defined above in paragraph one.

   

Many golfers dread seeing the "R" after their Handicap Index, and believe it means they are "sandbagging" or cheating the system. However, the "R" simply means that you have shown a scoring potential that is better than your current Handicap Index.  If you have a question for Handicap Q&A, email our chapter Handicap Chair. We are also here to help with any questions regarding using either the GN21 system or GHIN, and setting you up with a GHIN account.