Club Services: USGA Licensing Program

One of the important requirements of the USGA Handicap System is that all clubs in the United States wishing to utilize the USGA Handicap System must be licensed through the USGA. The program was created in order to ensure that all golf clubs are in full compliance with the USGA Handicap System and thus safeguards the system for all golfers.

The following is a check list that allows golf clubs to determine if they are in full compliance and are thus able to issue USGA Handicap Indexes to its members.

Does your golf club comply as follows:

  • Meet the USGA definition of a golf club as defined?
  • Have a Handicap Committee composed mostly of members and chaired by a member? (Section 8-1)
  • Make it possible for players to record the correct USGA Course Rating and USGA Slope Rating with each posted score from every set of tees? (Sections 5-2 and 8-2b and c)
  • Require the posting of all scores made at home and away? (Section 5-1)
  • Require use of USGA procedures to adjust hole scores before posting? (Section 4) ยท
  • Require that nine-hole scores be combined and posted for handicap purposes? (Section 5-2c and d)
  • Insist that the principles of The Rules of Golf be followed? (Section 5-1)
  • Follow the revision schedule and posting season of the authorized golf association having jurisdiction in the region? (Section 8-3a and c)
  • Ensure that all acceptable scores are entered correctly? (Section 5-2)
  • Perform computations and adjustments in accordance with the USGA Handicap Formula? (Sections 8-4 and 10)
  • Make current scoring records and a Handicap Index listing of all members readily available for inspection by others? (Section 6-3)
  • Reduce or increase the Handicap Index of any player whose handicap does not reflect the player's potential ability? (Section 8-4b)
  • Notify an authorized golf association when permanent changes have been made to the golf course so that the association can issue a new USGA Course Rating and USGA Slope Rating? (Section 14-5b)
  • Include the letter "L" after local handicaps which exceed the USGA maximum limits of 36.4 for men and 40.4 for women? (Section 3-4)
  • Utilize the current USGA Course Rating and Slope Rating issued by an authorized golf association? (Section 14)
  • Participation by a representative from the golf club in a USGA Handicap Seminar (whether conducted by the USGA or an authorizedgolf association) including passing a test exhibiting knowledge about the system?
  • Have a signed license agreement in place with a local authorized golf association or the USGA prior to issuing a USGA Handicap Index to its members?

If the answer to all questions is "yes," the golf club is following the USGA Handicap System , and may issue USGA Handicap Indexes to its members.

If any answers are "no," contact the authorized golf association or the USGA to determine necessary action to achieve compliance.


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