Golf Handicap- GHIN

What is a Golf Handicap?

The United States Golf Teachers Federation USGTF defines handicap as "a measure of the golfer's current ability over an entire round of golf, signified by a number. The lower the number, the better the golfer is."

Handicaps are based on recent play and can change over time as a golfer improves their game.

Why should I have a Handicap?

Handicaps allow golfers of varying abilities to compete against one another in a fair match, based upon the discrepancies in their respective handicaps.

  • For instance, a 10-handicapper must offer a 15-handicapper five strokes before the round even commences (think of it as a head start of sorts, to use a racing analogy). In stroke play, the golfer who shoots the lowest net score (total strokes minus handicap) wins the round.

Having a Handicap will allow for friendly competition with friends or in a more formal setting, such as a tournament or league play. 

How do I establish a Handicap?

First you must establish a GHIN Number.

  • If you are a member of one of our golf leagues your membership cost includes your annual handicap fee (unless you have a handicap established and maintained through another club).

  • If you are not a part of our leagues you can purchase your GHIN Handicap Membership for a $50 annual Fee.

Once you have a GHIN subscription you post your score for all rounds played using our computer in the pro shop, online at home or you can download the GHIN App to your smart phone or tablet.


All rounds should be posted on the day of play as the new 2020 World Handicap System (WHS) will use a Playing Conditions Calculation to account for weather and adjust players’ Score Differentials to better reflect their actual performance. This calculation is driven by scores posted at a golf course on a given day. Any adjustment will be clearly identified in the player’s scoring record for transparency. 

When posting you will select the course you have played, so you can post for rounds played anywhere.

After posting a total of 54 holes (a combination of 9- or 18- hole rounds) you will establish a handicap number.


Note: we post the scores of all rounds played if you are a league member. 


How do I find my Handicap number?

Our handicap system through GHIN will send out emails twice a month to your registered email address and provide you with your handicap. At anytime you can also view that information through the online portal where you post your scores.

It's important to remember that your handicap will change as your scores change, so you will see the number decrease as your game improves and throughout your golf career. New for 2020, your handicap may change daily based on scores posted. 

What Scores do I post?

You should post scores from all rounds played. You must complete at least 7 of 9 holes to post a 9-hole round and at least 14 of 18 holes to post an 18-hole round. 


The only exception is in northern states rounds played after November 15 and before April 1 should not be posted. However, if you travel to a southern state during that period you can post rounds played. 



Does my Handicap Transfer?

Yes, if you have previously established a handicap at another club you can activate for the current year at Sunken Meadow, to make this your home course.



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PARKS.NY.GOV/GOLF / 631-544-0036

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