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How to Get a Golf Handicap Card

By Jennifer Gregory

A golf handicap card verifies your USGA (United States Golf Association) Handicap Index. A handicap card is needed to play in most amateur golf and local tournaments. The Handicap Index measures a golfer’s ability and levels the playing field between golfers of different skill levels. The USGA develops the formula and establishes the procedures for calculating Handicap Indexes. The actual Handicap Index is calculated through local golf associations licensed by the USGA. The local golf association then issues the handicap cards to their members.

Join a golf club or local golf association licensed by the USGA. You can also start a golf club instead of joining an existing one. Check with the USGA for the requirements for starting a new golf club.

Post at least five golf scores using the paperwork provided by a member club of the local golf association. Make sure all rounds are played under the USGA “Rules of Golf.”

After the next revision date in your area passes, your local golf association will issue your handicap card. To find out the revision dates, go to http://www.usga.org/playing/handicaps/understanding_handicap/handicap_revision_schedule.html.

Continue to post golf scores. After you post twenty scores, the golf association uses your top ten differential scores to calculate your Handicap Index. If your Handicap Index changes, the local golf association will send you a new card.

Get the USGA course rating and USGA slope rating for any course you play that is not your member club. You can usually find this information on the scorecard provided by the course. Post this score at your member club to be included in your Handicap Index.

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