It’s officially handicap-posting season: Here are 4 things to remember

Golf season is finally here.

Getty Images

Winter is finally over, and golf season is finally here. So, dust off the clubs, pull your polos out of storage and get ready for the months of golf ahead.

Thursday, April 15 marks the official beginning of golf season — or, at least it’s the beginning of the active season according to the USGA. You can finally start posting scores for handicap purposes in all 50 states. Here are four things you need to know about handicap-posting season.

1. How to get a handicap

You need to join a club to post scores for handicap purposes. This doesn’t mean you need to shell out serious cash to join a swanky private club, this just means you need to connect with a local golf course and have them walk you through the sign-up process. Most golf courses are authorized to do this, and many can set you up on the spot. If not, you can also sign up for an electronic club, or E-Club, which allows you to pay dues and obtain an ID Number (such as a GHIN number) via the internet. So, if you want to get a Handicap Index this season, reach out to your local course to get started or follow the link here.

2. All scores count

Prior to today, it was not the recognized active season in all 50 states. What that means is that some northern states were still in the inactive season, which happens during the winter months. Scores are not counted for handicap purposes during these months because playing in the harsh, cold conditions do not accurately reflect someone’s playing ability. But now that we are in the active season everywhere in the country, every round you play is eligible to be posted for handicap purposes.

3. Net double bogey is max

Although you may make some big numbers on the card this golf season, the max score you can take on any hole is a net double bogey. Specifically, a net double bogey is a double bogey plus any handicap strokes you receive on that hole. If you are playing a hole where you receive one stroke for handicap purposes, the max score you can take for the hole is a triple bogey, or a net double bogey.

4. Not all rounds are created equal

Although some scores you post may be lower than others, they might be viewed as “better” because of course difficulty. But did you know that scores posted on the same course can be viewed the same way? That’s because of the playing conditions calculation that is used to more accurately gauge performance on any given day. Courses can vary in difficulty from day to day for a number of reasons, so this calculator uses data to determine if an adjustment is needed to reflect your performance on that day.

Zephyr Melton Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf.