You guessed it! In the early days of golf, betting was a big part of the game. Clubs kept books of bets and odds on their players. There were lots of different types of bets, too. Strokes could be given every third hole, every other hole or every hole. The term ‘handicap’ came from horse racing. A jockey’s odds for a race were distributed in a cap. (hand-in-cap)
In the late 1800s and early 1900s golf tournaments became very popular. Many English clubs started using the term ‘handicap’ and held Handicap Contests/Tournaments which included odds. However, different clubs had different methods for giving odds/handicaps. As you can imagine, this led to many lively discussions. Soon, a proposal was made for a central authority to set and enforce uniform standards for handicaps. In Ireland in 1897, the first formula was devised to allow golfers to take their handicaps to other courses.
Today, Golfsoftware.com’s Handicap System software takes the work out of handicapping. You can choose USGA, RCGA, or even design your own custom handicap. For league play, League Manager will calculate weekly handicaps with the click of your mouse.
Participating in a golf tournament away from your home club? Travelling to play different golf courses? Moving to a new area or joining a new club? These are all great reasons to have a golf handicap card.
Golf handicap cards are credit-card size cards with your name, home course handicap, issuing golf club/association, USGA Handicap Index and last 20 scores. An effective date is also included. Taking your handicap information with you keeps the game of golf competitive and fun. Many clubs and golf tournaments insist on a golf handicap card as verification of your current handicap.
GolfSoftware.com’s Handicap System software prints golf handicap card labels which are ready to be placed on a wallet-sized plastic card. You can print labels for your whole group on a regular basis or for an individual when needed. Our price for the labels &/or plastic cards includes taxes and shipping. 250 labels sell for $12.95. (500 for $19.95, 1000 for $34.95 or 2000 for $59.95) Blank, white plastic wallet-size cards are 0.15 each. You can order online or by phone at 1-919-460-7424 or 1-800-697-9989.
If you use the right software, will your handicap be “official.” Not necessarily. Software may help with the accuracy of your golf handicap calculation, but it cannot give you an official USGA handicap. The USGA says:
Q. Does the USGA® offer or recommend any handicap software?
A. The USGA does not offer or recommend handicap software to golf clubs.
How then do you acquire an official USGA handicap? Whether you use software, a spreadsheet or scribbles on a napkin, ultimately it is an approved golf club – organization – that provides you with an official USGA Index which can be used to calculate a course handicap. Here is what the USGA Handicap Manual says:
Section 2 of the USGA Handicap System™ defines a golf club as follows:
A “golf club” is an organization of at least ten individual members that operates under bylaws with committees (including a Handicap Committee) to supervise golf activities, provide peer review, and maintain the integrity of the USGA Handicap System (see Compliance Checklist, Section 8-2m; Decision 2/7). A golf club must be licensed by the USGA® to utilize the USGA Handicap System. A club can obtain a license agreement directly from the USGA or through its membership in an authorized golf association that is already licensed by the USGA and that has jurisdiction in the geographic area that includes the principal location of the golf club.
Each golf club must determine its type. A golf club is one of three (3) types:
1. It is located at a single specific golf course with a valid USGA Course RatingT and USGA Slope Rating® where a majority of the club’s events are played and the club’s scoring records reside; or
2. Its members are affiliated or known to one another via a business, fraternal, ethnic or social organization. The majority of the club members had an affiliation prior to organizing the club; or
3. The members had no prior affiliation and a majority of the recruiting and sign-up of the membership is done by solicitation to the general public (e.g., Internet, newspaper).
Our Handicap System software calculates exact USGA Indexes. However exact it is, though, it is a club licensed by the USGA that provides you with a golf handicap with its “official” USGA stamp of approval.