The USGA Handicap Index is the most recognized measure of a player's potential ability on the golf course.  A player's Handicap Index can be used at any golf course with a USGA Course and Slope Rating to determine that person's ability on that particular golf course.  The Handicap Committee is the key entity between fellow club members and the USGA Handicap System, created to make the game of golf more enjoyable for us all.

The role of the Handicap Committee in fair and equitable competition is critical. Players throughout the club depend the committee to:

- Know the USGA Handicap System
- Communicate the System to the players
- Faithfully apply the System at your club

Know the USGA Handicap System

The SCGA and the USGA are here for you.  We are your most valuable resources to assist you as a Handicap Committee member.

Here is how you can learn more:

- Read The USGA Handicap System Manual, a detailed description of all aspects of the USGA Handicap System.
- Attend a USGA Handicap Seminar, a 3-hour presentation on the USGA Handicap System.
- Visit the USGA Handicap Web Site, your need-to-know web site for everything that has anything to do with Handicapping.

Once again available in 2016 is the USGA Club Licensing Program, a Handicap System Licensing Program to ensure the accuracy of the USGA Handicap System.  For more information on the Handicap Licensing Program, please contact James Park, Director of Member Services.  Remember, the authorization of your club to issue USGA Handicap Indexes to its members is contingent upon following all of the procedures of the USGA Handicap System. 

Communicate the Handicap System at your Club
The compliance of the USGA Handicap System depends primarily on the communication of information about the System to its members.  An effective Handicap Committee will continually provide instruction and information about the System to its members.  The following are some ways that the Handicap Committee better communicate with their members:

- Send an Annual Notice, including information specific to your club, where and how scores can be returned, how handicap cards are issued, when revision dates occur.  Use this opportunity to get the word out about your System.
- Send a Notice of Player Responsibilities, including the player's fundamental responsibilities of the Handicap System.
- Get USGA Publications, the USGA has readily available information for your members on the Handicap System.  Contact the SC Golf Association or go to USGA Shop for more information.

- Display the USGA Course & Slope Rating for your club in a prominent location.

- Post Handicap Lists & Scoring Records in a highly visible area for all members to see.

Apply the Handicap System at your Club
Perhaps the most important job as a member of the Handicap Committee is to ensure that all acceptable scores for handicap purposes are posted and available for peer review.  To ensure that this is done properly at your club here are some helpful hints:

- Make score posting easy...the easier it is to post scores, the more likely your members will post every score!
- Take action in a case of failure to post...chances are it won't happen again if you tend to it the first time!
- Work with other Committees to provide guidance for Handicap Stroke Allocation, determination of par, course set-up, etc.
- Review Tournament Scores from your club whenever possible to ensure the System is working properly!

A Final Word From the USGA About the Handicap System Manual:

The USGA Handicap System manual contains all the rules and regulations for the USGA Handicap System.  The manual is updated and reissued every four years.  Be sure your Handicap Committee is relying on the latest edition.

For more information about handicapping, contact the SC Golf Association or the USGA for Handicap resources and publications.