In an effort to better educate clubs on the inner workings of the USGA Handicap System, the NCGA embarked on a bold educational initiative in 2002. Dubbed the “NCGA Handicap Certification Program,” a series of half-day seminars were conducted region-wide to provide clubs with the tools to better organize their Handicap Committee and better administer the Handicap System. Special emphasis was placed on dealing with those golfers who abuse the System for their own benefit.

These seminars clearly triggered a rededication by clubs towards handicap-related duties. In short, more and more clubs took a closer look at the posting activities of their members and at the accuracy of the Handicap Index being issued.

Topics of discussion at the seminars included individual golfer and club responsibilities, penalty options for System abusers, software training, and a review of NCGA membership policies.

Buoyed by the success of this NCGA program, the USGA stepped up and made it mandatory that every club in the country complete such comprehensive education every four-year cycle of the USGA Handicap System (we are currently in the 2012-2015 cycle). Under USGA requirements, a club that fails to complete such approved education forfeits its ability to issue “official” handicaps.

What does this mean to your club?

In short, a representative of your club MUST complete the NCGA Handicap Certification seminar no later than December 31, 2015. If your club fails to fulfill this requirement by the deadline, you will not be able to issue handicaps effective January 1, 2016.

But fear not.

In lieu of half-day “live” seminars, the NCGA has developed an online version broken up into 19 sections or “holes.” Some sections are as short as two minutes, the longest is 31 minutes. Rather than being forced to complete the seminar in one sitting, users can come and go as they like and complete it on their own terms and according to their own schedule, so long as they complete it by December 31, 2015!

Click here to get started, but more importantly, take what you learn back to your club. Together we usher in an era of fair and honest handicapping throughout Northern California!

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