For some, the snow has melted away, the sun has made an appearance and the courses are drying out nicely. For others, the weather conditions are still less than stellar. But the golf season is just around the corner for all of us – just over a month away (starts March 1st in the OGA region of Oregon and Southwest Washington). If you haven’t already, you’re going to be dusting off the clubs, thinking about hitting the range, maybe signing up for lessons. But what about your USGA Handicap Index? Time to join a club and get it activated!
Q: Do I have to wait until the season starts on March 1st to join (or renew) my membership?
A: No – you can get that ball rolling right now. Many clubs will take payment with a credit card over the phone, so give them a call. Then, it’s literally a few seconds to activate your record on GHIN.
Q: Can’t I just join online?
A: Some clubs do have the ability to collect dues payments via their websites. And some OGA Member Clubs choose to participate in our Online Membership Program through our website at www.oga.org. Going through our Online Membership Program is fast and easy! Choose a club, enter your GHIN number if you already have one, and very quickly your record will be activated. If you don’t already have a GHIN number, one will be assigned.
Q: I used to have a GHIN number, but let my membership lapse. How do I know if my record is still in the system?
A: Just give us a call at 503-981-4653 and we’ll search for your record. Even if you’ve been inactive for a few years, there’s a chance we can find it.
Q: But what about my old scores? They don’t reflect how I play now.
A: If your record is available on GHIN then it will be activated when you join. The rules of the Handicap System don’t allow for “starting over” if your old record exists. However, if your game has changed dramatically and your scores do not accurately represent your current potential ability, you can appeal to your club’s Handicap Committee about the possibility of modifying your Index.
Q: What if you can’t find my old record? How many rounds will it take to re-establish my Handicap Index?
A: If you discover your old record has already been purged, a new GHIN number will be assigned. But luckily you can get your handicap going again after posting only five rounds! Handicaps are updated year-round on the 1st and 15th of each month.
Q: I played a few times last year but didn’t join. Can I post those scores now?
A: Yes, scores can be backdated in GHIN. For rounds played in our region, they must be posted with the dates between March 1 – November 30, as that is the parameter of the OGA season.