Why do I need a Handicap

Why would I want a handicap? 
Handicap is not just a number. It is a reflection of your continuing progress as you journey through the challenges presented with each round of golf. It is a measure of your playing potential. A golf handicap makes it possible for fair competition between players of different ability whether it’s in competitive matches, a friendly wager between friends, or a skins game with money on the line just like the Pros! To put it simply, handicaps are equalizers. If you get invited to play in a company or charity golf tournament, they will likely want to know your handicap in order to make the event fair for everyone. By having a handicap, you can be paired properly. 

What is a handicap? 
The "handicap index” is a term used to recognize a golfer's playing ability.  A standardized formula is used to compute handicaps by factoring in a player's score on a specific golf course and the difficulty of the course played. Handicaps travel with you around the world. If you play a course that is more difficult than your home course, your course handicap will be higher for that course. On an easier course, your course handicap will be lower for that course. At each golf course there is a chart of Course Handicaps which translates an individual players “handicap Index” to their “course handicap” for that day of play. For example, if a player with a 20 handicap has a score of 100, her net score is 80 (100 - 20 = 80) while a player with a 27 course handicap and a score of 107 also has a net score of 80 (107 - 27 = 80).

When should I get a handicap? 
Once you start playing 9 or 18 hole rounds, or join a league; you should start entering all scores. It takes 5 18-hole rounds (or equivalent) of golf to establish your first handicap. As you continue to enter all rounds played, the system revises and maintains an up to date profile on the golfer. Handicaps are reported to golfers on the 1st and 15th of the month.

How do I get a handicap?
Chapter members have two options:
The LPGA Amateur Golf Association provides a complimentary handicap service. It is called GN21 (offered through the USGA approved GolfNet Handicap System). In order to use this service, you must sign in and activate you’re my Handicap account from the LPGA Amateurs Clubhouse

LPGA Amateurs Northern New Jersey Chapter is also a recognized 
golf club member of the New Jersey State Golf Association. Chapter members may pay an annual fee to activate a GHIN handicap (also a USGA recognized Handicap system). This enrollment entitles the member to all benefits of the NJSGA including eligibility for Member tournaments, Member Playdays, play and travel discounts and other on line resources.
 
Register for/Renew GHIN
You can register for or new new your GHIN here. If you have questions about using the system or obtaining a handicap, please contact our Handicap Chair. For more information on Handicaps visit the USGA website handicap section or www.rcga.org (for Canadian handicaps).