Frequently Asked Questions
We have created this list of some of the most frequently asked questions that we receive about handicapping and course rating. Please read these before contacting us to see if the answer to your question is already here.
USGA Handicap Index is calculated in a way to reflect a golfer’s POTENTIAL ability. It is not the average of all your scores. A golfer is expected to play to his/her Course Handicap only about 25 PERCENT of the time.
The “R” indicates that a golfer is being reduced due to exceptional tournament scores. The reduction is an automatic part of the index calculation. Eligible tournament scores stay in a stored tournament file for a year from the date they were posted or within the scoring record. Each month, the computer looks at what the golfer’s calculated (10-2) Handicap Index is. If there are at least two tournament differentials in the file at 3.0 points below the calculated index, then the golfer may be reduced. The calculation also takes into account the total number of tournament games the golfer has posted over the last 12 months. If the golfer has shown they can play to a certain level but the current index is not reflecting that potential, the system automatically reduces the golfer down to his or her playing potential.
To be clear, this is not a penalty, but rather part of the formula for calculating a player’s Handicap Index. If you feel this reduction is not warranted, you can speak to your Handicap Chair about removing or modifying the reduction.
The “NH” stands for No Handicap. Do not be alarmed as this is an automatic function of the system when reactivating a GHIN number. Once you are reactivated, you must experience a Handicap Revision or “update”. Once you go through a revision with your active GHIN number, your index will re-populate. During our active season, revisions occur the 1st and 15th of every month.
When a member posts a score to his/her handicap, they are posting against the Course Rating and Slope of the given tees he played. These rating values were calculated by Course Raters during the peak playing condition of the course. When winter hits Colorado, these playing conditions change considerably (i.e. greens are slower, rough height is shorter, less foliage, drives can roll farther, etc). These altered playing conditions will in many cases lower scores across the board, ultimately lowering handicap indexes to a value that cannot be played to during mid-season. Another way to look at it is to imagine what the Course Rating and Slope would be if the courses were rated in January. This is why authorized golf associations across the nation determine their respective inactive seasons that golf clubs in their jurisdiction must follow. Colorado’s starts on November 15th and ends on March 15th. As a side note for you snowbirds that are traveling to warmer climates, check to see if your destination is seasonal or year-round. Remember, you must post rounds played at courses in states that are active, even if Colorado is not!
To have a score corrected or removed, a golfer must contact the Handicap Chair at his/her golf club. We do not perform any file maintenance requests that come directly from individual members.
CGA membership runs from January 1st to December 31st. Now, it’s important to realize membership is handled at the club level. This means the individual club you joined through will decide when to inactivate your membership. If you joined in June, your membership is good through December 31. Keep in mind some clubs will start inactivating members right after December, but some may leave you active until end of April! It is good to know the club’s policies when it comes to membership so be sure to ask before joining/renewing.
The purpose of the USGA Handicap System is to make the game of golf more enjoyable by enabling players of differing abilities to compete equitably. It’s based on the premise that a handicap should measure a golfer’s ability to play, not necessarily how he is currently playing.
While the USGA developed the rules of the Handicap System and the formulas used in its calculation, it does not issue them directly to individual golfers. The USGA grants a license to utilize its system – either through an authorized golf association or an independent golf club. If a golf club or authorized golf association does not follow ALL of the procedures of the USGA Handicap System, it is not permitted to use any part of the System or to refer to any handicap that it issues or certifies as a Handicap Index, or as a handicap authorized by the USGA.