How To Get A Golf Handicap [2019 Update!]

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You may know how the golf handicap system works and see exactly what the benefits are but be left wanting to know how to get a golf handicap in 2023.

Well if so then don’t worry you are in the right place. This guide is designed to give you all of your options and answer any questions that you have when it comes to sorting your handicap out once you are ready to start golfing more regularly.

Handicapping doesn’t need to be difficult and in this guide we will prove to you that the process really isn’t!

Get Golf Handicap Overview

Roughly 2 million golfers in the US have a golf handicap index according to GHIN. (Golf Digest) and there are several different options that you have if you are wanting to establish your handicap score but you are full of questions. In this guide we shall answer your questions and give you a range of options going forward ranging from the traditional methods to alternate methods for more casual golfers or those who are not a member of a golf club.

Method 1: Through A Golf Club

Summary: Simply become a member at a golf club, play at least five times and submit your adjusted gross scores for review by your fellow members and the handicap committee at the course.

golf club member

The most popular and traditional method is to join a traditional golf club. This would mean that you can enter into the competitions that the golf club run, complete your golf scorecard and also enter official USGA events.

You will then receive your own GHIN number which will allow you to update your handicap score as you play more rounds and your golf game develops.

How Do I Get A GHIN Number If I Don’t Belong To A Club?

Unfortunately you will be required to be a member of a club to get your GHIN number. Most of these clubs will be based at golf courses but it is not something that is restrcited to courses themselves and can also be a group or association.

You can search here for USGA approved clubs.

Once you join one of the choices on the list in your area you will be able to get a GHIN number as only clubs on this list that are USGA approved are able to assign GHIN numbers.

How Long Does It Take To Get A Golf Handicap?

Quick Answer: You can get yours after a minimum of five complete 18 hole rounds.

It won’t take too long for you to get a golf handicap. However, you will be required to have a minimum of five rounds of 18 holes. These will need to be reviewed to qualify and give you your handicap.

From this point onwards you will be able to track and update your handicap index with the scores from the best ten rounds out of your last twenty rounds played.

However, starting out you should mainly focus on getting your first five rounds in to get your handicap.

How To Get A Golf Handicap Without Joining A Club

As stated above you will need to join a golf club to get your handicap index. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be a brick and mortar facility as long as it is recognized by the USGA themselves. Once your scores have been reviewed by your clubs handicap committee you will receive your handicap index.

Method 2: Use An Online Golf Handicap Service

Summary: If you want an official service for your online handicap then check out The Grint for a free, USGA compliant index.

the grint app
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With the rise in technology it was always inevitable that there would be a rise in online golf handicap services. Our #1 rated online golf handicap service to try out would be The Grint.

This is because unfortunately despite many online services being free they also may not be “official” and while this is great for an amateur golfer who just wants to keep track by themselves unfortunately it may not be suitable for in competitions where your handicap should be USGA compliant.

Getting A Golf Handicap Summary

Depending on your preference you can choose to get yours through a golf club or online. Now that you know the different methods for getting a handicap in golf the decision is all up to you!

Additionally, it has never been easier to track your handicap using an app such as hole19 or an easy golf handicap calculator and this will make your life easier when it comes to golf scoring.