Handicapping

The Nebraska Golf Association is an Allied Golf Association of the United States Golf Association, and is authorized to issue Handicap Indexes through the World Handicap System to individuals golfers through its member clubs. The NGA has over 150 member clubs, servicing close to 23,000 golfers.

The World Handicap System is an integral part of the game, and allows golfers of all skill levels to compete on an equitable basis. Visit our WHS Resource Center to learn more.

The inception of GHIN began in the spring of 1980 when a Regional Golf Association wished to change its handicap service vendor. In an effort to provide a quality service to maintain handicaps, the USGA® was approached and asked to help in providing this type of service. GHIN was organized and developed by the spring of 1981 and provided handicap computation services initially for the Metropolitan Golf Association, in New York.

GHIN has now become the world's largest handicap computation service. GHIN is provided through 71 State, Regional or National Golf Associations to over 12,000 clubs and approximately 2.3 million golfers. GHIN is maintained by the United States Golf Association® and the staff is composed of USGA employees.

Any Handicap Index issued through a Golf Association by a golf club is designed to allow golfers of differing abilities to compete on an equitable basis and thereby increasing the enjoyment they derive from a round of golf. A Handicap Index is revised throughout the golf season and is based on golfers' scores, as well as the relative difficulty of the courses on which their rounds are played.

To establish a Handicap Index, an in individual in Nebraska must become a member of the Nebraska Golf Association. This can be done by visiting our Join page and either joining online or finding a NGA member club to join in person. A NGA member club is any club, course or association with at least ten individual members that have a reasonable and regular opportunity to play golf with each other, provides peer review, and maintains the integrity of the World Handicap System™.

If joining in person, ask the club about establishing a handicap index. Upon paying a nominal fee (NGA membership), the club will add you to the Golf Handicap and Information Network (GHIN) Service. GHIN is the computation service used by the NGA, which provides the GHIN software to clubs without cost.

New members will receive a GHIN number and have the ability to begin posting scores. At least THREE 18-hole scores (or six combined 9-hole scores) must be posted to establish a Handicap Index.

To re-establish a handicap index, use our online Join option to reactivate your membership, or contact any NGA member club and ask them about establishing a handicap index. Present to them your old GHIN number (or have them look it up). If it has been less than two years since that number was active, the club can add you with that existing number and pick up your handicap index and 20-score history from the GHIN Enterprise Server. You may begin posting scores to your old records

Your Handicap Index will update each night after you post a score. If you download and use the GHIN Mobile App, you can check your Handicap Index at any time. You will receive emails on the 1st and 15th of each month from the NGA with your latest Handicap Index as well.

Visit GHIN.com to lookup your current Handicap Index.

Handicap Indexes are now revised daily under the World Handicap System. The active season for posting scores made on a golf course in Nebraska begins March 15th and concludes November 14th. Scores made on a golf course in Nebraska during the inactive season shall not be posted for handicap purposes. Scores made on a golf course in an area observing an active season (e.g. Arizona) during the inactive season in Nebraska shall be posted.

Member Club Handicap Seminars

One of the duties of the Nebraska Golf Association, as an Allied Golf Association of the USGA, is to educate golfers on the Rules of Handicapping under the new World Handicap System. With the new Rules of Handicapping going into effect on January 1, 2020, the NGA has a robust schedule of educational opportunities to reach all key segments, including member clubs and staff, allied associations, as well as the general golfer.

The curriculum for these seminars will be a presentation on the major changes to the Rules of Handicapping, or they can be tailored to fit the needs of the member club. Any member club/course or association interested in offering their members further educational programs should contact NGA Manager of Membership & Women's Programs Sam Oehm at (402) 505-4653, ext. 103 or soehm@nebgolf.org.

There are also several digital learning tools available on our WHS Education Page.

The Nebraska Golf Association, as an Allied Golf Association of the United States Golf Association, determines course and slope ratings for all golf courses in our region

Established golf courses are rated on an 10-year cycle, and upon request if major renovations have been made to a course. New golf courses are re-rated every five years for the first 10 years to ensure the ratings are accurate as a course rapidly matures.

Course ratings are conducted by NGA staff and a group of experienced volunteer course raters across the state. NGA course rating teams visit 20-25 golf courses per year. This program is vitally important to the integrity of the World Handicap System since the entire system revolves around accurate Course and Slope ratings.

Volunteer raters usually work mid-week to avoid crowded courses, in groups of three or more. Course rating consists of quantifying the difficulty of each hole on fourteen different factors for both Scratch (0 handicap) and Bogey (18 handicap for men, 20 handicap for women) players. The team is attempting to predict the scoring of a scratch player and a bogey player. The difference between the two creates the Slope rating--the larger that difference, the higher the Slope.

If you are interested in learning more about the Course Rating System and becoming a course rating volunteer please contact Ben Vigil at bvigil@nebgolf.org.

National Course Rating and Slope Database