Handicap Hints

Blog Post 1

Under The Radar Services

The SCGA provides an array of services in support of golf outside of the issuance of a Handicap Index, yet a few of these may not be in the limelight. Here are a few of the many behind-the-scenes handicap-related services:

Stroke Hole Allocation Analysis

Have you ever wondered how it is determined where handicap strokes are received on the scorecard? There may be scenarios where coins have been flipped or rock, paper, scissors or even darts were used, but the SCGA does offer a Stroke Hole Allocation analysis. Scores from golfers playing the course make sense as tangible data to utilize. This analysis can be accomplished two ways: providing scorecards or spreadsheets with hole-by-hole scores and allowing the SCGA to convert that into an analysis, or providing a software program that allows a club to enter data and get the results. The information gives two different analyses, a comparison method and a regression method, the two main choices identified by the USGA in the USGA Handicap System manual. We could write an entire article about philosophy associated with handicap stroke holes, but we’ll just scratch the surface for now: the concept of handicap stroke holes and where they should be received is tied to the most common form of golf played on a daily basis – a match involving individuals or teams – where a stroke is an equalizer and should be available where it mostly likely will be needed by a higher-handicapped player/team to obtain a half.

Pace Rating

The SCGA uses obstacle data determined during the Course Rating process, along with course policies (starting time intervals, play mostly walkers or cart riders, whether carts are restricted to paths, distances between greens and tees, etc.), and calculates a Pace Rating that can be used as a guide for what might be a realistic expectation pace wise for a particular golf course/set of tees. Between the obstacles that help determine the difficulty and a course’s practices, this provides a standardized analysis.

USGA Short Course Rating and Short Course Handicap

Not every golf course is eligible to receive a USGA Course Rating that is the basis for the portability of a Handicap Index. Some courses are short in length, which makes it difficult to gauge how golfers would overcome this distance on much longer courses. The USGA determined that courses less than 1,500 yards for nine holes, or less than 3,000 yards for eighteen holes, are eligible to have a USGA Short Course Rating and Short Course Handicap that can be used at that facility to measure game improvement and allow for competition. This can be great for introducing golfers to the game and provides a welcoming atmosphere. The SCGA determines the Rating and provides equipment and self-contained software that positions individuals to take advantage of this opportunity, as a no cost service.

Free Measuring Service

While every golf course needs to have its hole lengths measured for rating purposes, the SCGA offers additional measuring opportunities, using its state of the art GPS measuring equipment, to address driving range distances, certain yardage to green measurements, and others. This also allows for confirmation that what is on the scorecard might not really be what is transpiring on the course.


Every SCGA member can accomplish some statistics tracking with the eGolfer tool. Access starts via GHIN.com. The find a score function with this product gives SCGA members easy and customizable access to older scores that may be impacting the Handicap Index, the Low Handicap Index, etc. After entering some hole by hole scores and statistics, a member can compare to other members who have done the same thing and see where they fit in all kinds of statistical categories. One reminder: the user name/password Login and profile is not tied to an SCGA.org profile.

Letters of Introduction

Some SCGA members, especially when traveling overseas to play golf, are required to provide a letter of introduction that confirms which club the member belongs to, as well as verifying the Handicap Index. You can receive yours by contacting [email protected].

Handicap Certification/Education

As part of the SCGA’s efforts to make sure the Handicap System is working as effectively as possible, the SCGA conducts Handicap Certification classes. While the majority of attendees are club handicap chairs, all SCGA members are welcome to participate and learn.