What is a Handicap?: A golf handicap is a numerical measure of a golfer's potential ability. In stroke play, it is used to calculate a net score from the number of strokes actually played during a competition, thus allowing players of different proficiency to play against each other on somewhat equal terms.
The USGA Handicap System™ is the best method for all golfers to compete fairly on any course while numerically measuring their progress by posting scores. The system provides a fair Course Handicap® for each player, regardless of ability, and adjusts a player’s Handicap Index® up or down as the player’s game changes.
At the same time, the system disregards high scores that bear little relation to the player’s potential ability and promotes continuity by making a USGA Handicap Index continuous from one playing season or year to the next. A Handicap Index® is useful for all forms of play, and is issued only to individuals who are members of a licensed golf club.
USGA-OGA Partnership: The USGA licenses and authorizes the Oregon Golf Association to administer the USGA Handicap System for the region. To fulfill our agreement with the USGA, the OGA must ensure that each of our Member Clubs’ Handicap Chairs demonstrate solid knowledge of the system. Our program gets detailed policies and procedures of the System directly into the hands of the people who have the greatest impact on the integrity of OGA members’ Handicap Indexes – our Handicap Chairs.
How Does It Work?: To obtain a USGA Handicap Index you must first join an OGA member club (either online or in person at your local club). A member club is defined by the USGA Handicap System™ as any group of 10 or more individuals that operate under a set of bylaws, elect officers and have a regular and reasonable opportunity to play golf together (among other things). Once you have joined an OGA member club, you will be asssigned a GHIN Handicap Number.
What is GHIN?: GHIN (pronounced "jin") is an acronym that stands for "Golf Handicap and Information Network," which is a handicapping computation service provided by the USGA to participating associations and clubs. In order for you to work toward and maintain a USGA Handicap Index, you must be dilligent about posting your scores.