Why Club Licensing/Certification?
In 2005, the Colorado Golf Association and Colorado Women's Golf Association began a handicap education campaign in conjunction with the USGA. The objective of the licensing/certification program is to ensure that clubs have a better understanding of the Handicap System so that it is implemented more consistently between clubs. Ultimately, this will help achieve the goal of making the game of golf more enjoyable to golfers of differing abilities.
What is the Handicap Licensing/Certification Program?
The requirements of the Handicap Licensing/Certification Program are as follows: clubs must meet all the points listed in Section 8-2 of The USGA Handicap System manual and sign a "licensing" agreement stating that it has met the checklist requirements. As part of the club licensing program, the USGA requires that a representative from each member club attend a USGA-sanctioned Handicap Seminar during each four-year handicap cycle (current cycle is 2016-2019) and pass a quiz exhibiting their knowledge of the system (Handicap Certification). Once the requirements are met, the member club will have the capability to administer Handicap Indexes to their members.
If a club does not get re-certified within the four-year term, the club will not be allowed to issue USGA Handicap Indexes or use any of the trademarks associated with the USGA Handicap System.
Who needs to be certified?
All clubs will have from 2016-2019 to send at least one representative to become certified and fulfill certification requirements for their club in the new term. The club can select anyone to attend the seminar and receive certification, but ideally that person would be a handicap chair, a golf professional, or a handicap committee member.
Keep in mind that if the certified person only serves a two-year term in their position or even leaves the club altogether, the club will retain its certification status throughout the remainder of the four-year cycle. However, you are certainly welcome and encouraged to send another representative to one of the scheduled seminars.
Every club must have a Handicap Chair or Handicap Representative and that member MAY NOT be an employee of the club or accept payment for their services.
How will the CGA help?
The CGA conducts multiple state-wide seminars primarily during the first three years of the four-year handicap cycle (currently 2016-2019). Ideally, the CGA recommends completing the certification earlier in the 4-year cycle to learn the new material associated with the new manual rather than waiting. By also attending one of the handicap seminars hosted by the CGA, you will get to answer any questions you have about handicapping while having the face-to-face interaction with the staff.