For me or not for me … that is the question!
Establish a handicap?That’s a point to ponder as we start the season.Many recreational golfers never do; others find it an elemental part of the game.
What is a golf handicap index?
The USGA Handicap System enables golfers of all skill levels to compete on an equitable basis.Read more from the experts – USGA Handicap Manual and GAM’s Handicapping For Dummies – Back to Basics.
WHEN to consider establishing a handicap
If you are just learning golf and spend most of your time taking lessons or practicing, it’s probably too early for a handicap.If you’re playing 9 or 18-hole rounds, you’re ready.
WHY establish a handicap
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- Competition – Handicaps are required to play in officially sanctioned tournaments
- Friendly competition – Handicaps accurately measure skill and enable players of all levels to compete against each other.That’s fun and fair for everyone, whether it’s league play, a special event such as an invitational, or a round with friends.
- Incentive to practice and improve – Is there any better reward than watching your handicap index drop?Set a target number and see if you can get to it.
Establishing a handicap index is not difficult.
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- A Golf Association of Michigan handicap provider or “club” is the first step. Miles of Golf is an authorized provider. Players sign up at gam.org or they can come into the store; the cost is $25 for the year. Once signed up, players post scores online – coming into the store is not necessary. Membership can be renewed annually online or in store. Other GAM handicap providers include public courses and private clubs. Just ask!
- Submit a minimum of five 18-hole rounds to establish a handicap
- Keep submitting your 9- and 18-hole scores
- As a GAM member, you’ll receive a monthly email with your current index
GAM membership offers other benefits too!
- Swing & Save at golf courses around the state
- Exclusive Tee Times at private clubs
- Michigan Links Course Directory
- GAM competitions
- 1 Year subscription to Golf Digest Magazine
- And more!
FAQ – A handicap index does NOT describe your AVERAGE golf score.
It’s all about potential, based on your average number of strokes over par on a good day.Really, a golfer plays to her handicap in only one out of four rounds.