Handicap How & Why

Why should I have a Golf Handicap Index?
Having a handicap can make your game more fun!

Handicaps level the playing field. Everyone comes to the first tee at the same level so when you win, it's because you played better that day, not because you're a better player all the time.
Handicaps travel with you. The more difficult the course, the “more handicap” benefit you get.
Handicaps give you a method to track your progress. As you learn more and play more, you'll see your handicap go down.
Handicaps allow you to play in tournaments. Many events require an official handicap. Having a handicap means you're ready to play!

Golf Handicap Index

Did you know that one of your EWGA benefits is the maintenance of a 
FREE golf handicap index?
(This service is usually fee-based, between around $25 and $40 annually)

But how do you go about getting a handicap index?  And why should you have one?
There are several different ways to maintain an official golf handicap index:

  • Your local golf course (or club) where you play may offer this service to you for a fee (or free if you are a member)
  • Quite a few companies offer this service online (for a fee)
  • You can obtain an index on the EWGA national website - FREE!

Golf Handicap Index with the EWGA

I want to get a golf handicap index with the EWGA as one of my member benefits, what do I do?

1) Play some 9 or 18 hole rounds of golf*

2) SIGN ON to the national EWGA site with your member ID and Password.  You can't sign in as a guest!

After logging onto the national site, your options on the left sidebar change. 
3) On the left side bar, click on "Handicap" (NOT the "Verify Handicaps" link that you see before you sign in.)

Okay, you're in!  Let's enter some scores.

4) Note that our EWGARI "club" or association for handicapping is Rhode Island Golfers Association, and the default golf course is Crystal Lake Golf Club. Since that is probably NOT the course you played, you have to LOCATE the course you did play, or enter it manually on the EWGA handicap portal.

If your course cannot be located in the system, you will have to enter the SLOPE and RATING for the set of tees you played.  This is all located on your scorecard, so that's easy.  But there's GOOD NEWS!  Most courses are in there, and if you enter a score once for the course, it will then be on your permanent "drop-down" for course selection.  

5) Enter all your scores whenever you play.*  Once you start to maintain a handicap index, you have an obligation to keep posting your scores, but it's painless.  If you keep score on a scorecard, just remember to log onto a computer at least once a week to enter your scores.  Especially near the middle and end of a month, when most clubs update the indexes.   

*There are a few more details about how to enter your scores.  If you're new to golf handicap indexing, check it out on the USGA website, or ask one of your more golf-knowledgeable friends.  The FAQs (frequently asked questions) on the USGA website explain it all in detail in a very user-friendly manner!  A handicap won't be calculated until you have at least the equivalent of 5 18-hole rounds posted in the system.  They can be 9-hole rounds that the system combines into "18 hole" equivalents.