"What's your handicap?"
Other than "Is that good?", that's probably one of the most frequently asked questions in golf.
How to get a USGA golf handicap
Figuring out how to get a USGA golf handicap is a question that a lot of golfers want the answer to but are too afraid to ask. However, there are several ways to obtain a handicap subscription.
Do I need to be a member of a club to keep a USGA handicap index?
If you want a USGA Handicap Index, you have to maintain a handicap by joining a golf club. That doesn't mean you have to join a country club. That means you have to join a USGA approved golf organization or club, meaning, for example, it could be a state golf association or a group at a local municipal course. You can join a virtual golf club, too, which does not have a physical or permanent home.
Your handicap index is portable, meaning you don't have to play at the same place over and over to keep it.
Can I get and maintain a handicap online?
You can purchase and maintain a handicap online. Depending on your handicap service, you can enter scores online or through a mobile app and get statistics, analysis and a printable USGA card to certify your handicap for leagues and tournaments.
In fact, you're in luck! With USHandicap, you can get a USGA handicap index that you can purchase and maintain online. For just $30 per year, you'll be join a USGA licensed golf club and be able to enter scores online.
Do I have to have a GHIN number?
Having a GHIN number and having a handicap index are not one in the same. The GHIN (Golf Handicap and Information Network) is the USGA-owned handicap system. It is the most popular handicap-tracking system, but you don't have to be on GHIN to have a handicap index. You can use a number of other systems approved by the USGA, including USHandicap, which allows you to get a handicap without being a member of a country club or GHIN-affiliated club. However, most people do use GHIN.