Why do I need a Handicap

Why would I want a handicap? 

Handicap is not just a number. It is the reflection of a golfer’s continuing progress as she journeys through the challenges presented with each round of golf. It is a measure of an individuals playing potential. In tournaments, the handicap system enables players of similar or disparate ability levels to compete with each other. Using handicaps helps to even the playing field, making the game more fun for everyone.

What is a handicap? 

The 'handicap index” is a term used to recognize a golfer's playing ability. A standardized formula is used to compute handicaps by factoring in a player's score on a specific golf course and the difficulty of the course played. Handicaps travel with you. If you play a course that is more difficult than your home course, your course handicap will be higher for that course. On an easier course, your course handicap will be lower for that course. At each golf course there is a chart of Course Handicaps which translates an individual players “handicap Index” to their “course handicap” for that day of play.For example, if a player with a 20 handicap has a score of 100, her net score is 80 (100 - 20 = 80) while a player with a 27 course handicap and a score of 107 also has a net score of 80 (107 - 27 = 80).

For more information, please see Handicap Basics.

When should I get a handicap? 

If you are just learning the game of golf and spend the majority of your time taking lessons or practicing, then it may be too early for you to get a handicap.Once you start playing 9 or 18 hole rounds, or join a league; you should start entering all scores. It takes 5 18-hole rounds (or equivalent) of golf to establish your first handicap. As you continue to enter all rounds played, the system revises and maintains an up to date profile on the golfer. Handicaps are reported to golfers on the 1st and 15th of the month.

How do I get a handicap?

EWGA provides a complimentary handicap service as a valued benefit of your membership. It is called GN21 (offered through the USGA approved GolfNet Handicap System) and is offered to every member affiliated with an EWGA Chapter. In order to use this service, you must first activate your account. You then must enter a minimum of 5 18-hole scores to establish your handicap.

If you have questions about using the system or obtaining a handicap, please contact our Handicap Chair by clicking this link and we will be happy to help you. For more information on Handicaps visit the USGA website handicap section or www.rcga.org (for Canadian handicaps).