GHIN is the Golf Handicap Information Network provided by the USGA. It is a system designed to account for the differences in player ability, golf facility difficulty, as well as differences in golf course tee marker locations. By following the Rules of Golf and the rules provided by the USGA for recording your golf score, a Handicap Index is computed to provide for fair competition. It can be used by tournament committees, as well as for less formal competitions to level the playing field between golfers of different skill level.
An account is necessary to record and track your scores. The account is provided by the USGA via the GHIN system. Buena Vista Country Club can establish and activate your GHIN account.
A Handicap Index is a number which is computed based upon several factors. The primary piece of information is the score that you record from a round of golf. Other important pieces of information are where and when you played this round of golf and from what tee markers. More information includes whether or not you made the score during a tournament, as well as adjustments that were made to your score based upon various Handicap rules.
The Handicap Index is not something that you can use directly to apply to your score. Furthermore, you must always report your adjusted gross score when reporting your score to the GHIN system.
A Handicap is applied to your score for purposes of determining your standings in a tournament. To determine the Handicap, or strokes that will be reduced from your score, the Handicap Index is compared to a chart that relates directly to the golf course and tee markers that you play your round upon. For example, if your Handicap Index is a 9.8, and you are a man playing at Buena Vista CC from the White Tee Markers, your Handicap would be an 8.
Playing at a different facility from the White Tee Markers may generate a different Handicap. The reason for this difference is that the course difficulty is taken into account. Therefore, at a very easy golf course, a golfer would receive fewer strokes than they would at a difficult golf course. This is due to the added challenge which would prevent the golfer from scoring as well.
Computation of your Handicap Index will occur twice a month during the Active Season. This frequency is set by the NJSGA and may be different in other states. In any given month, the computation process, otherwise known as a Revision, is performed overnight on the 14th, and then again on the last day of the month. The Active Season begins on April 1 and concludes with a final Revision on November 14.