Supporting and promoting golf in Northern California

Handicap Certification

In an effort to better educate clubs on the inner workings of the USGA Handicap System, the NCGA embarked on a bold educational initiative in 2002. Dubbed the “NCGA Handicap Certification Program,” a series of half-day seminars were conducted to provide clubs with the tools to better organize their Handicap Committee and better administer the Handicap System.

Special emphasis was placed on dealing with those golfers who abuse the system for their own benefit. These seminars have clearly triggered a rededication by clubs toward handicap-related duties. In short, more and more clubs are taking a closer look at the posting activities of their members and at the accuracy of the Handicap Index being issued.

Topics of discussion at the seminars include individual golfer and club responsibilities, penalty options for system abusers, software training and a review of NCGA membership policies. Interaction in the form of questions and answers is highly encouraged.

Completion of a Handicap Certification seminar by all member clubs is mandatory each and every four-year cycle of the USGA Handicap System (we are currently in the 2008-2011 cycle). Under USGA requirements, a club that fails to complete such a seminar forfeits its ability to issue “official” handicaps.

There are two means by which a club may satisfy this requirement:

  • Attendance and completion of an NCGA “live” handicap certification seminar or
  • Completion of the NCGA online certification seminar

The online seminar (coming soon) offers clubs the convenience of completing the seminar on its own terms and pace. With the advent of this online offering, it is expected that fewer “live” seminars will be conducted in future years.

We trust your club will continue to support this massive educational undertaking. The tools to promote better handicapping and abolish sandbagging are at your disposal and it is the NCGA’s intention to teach all clubs how to utilize these tools. A one-day commitment every four years by a member of your club is not too big a price to pay for better handicapping!

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