Handicaps & Course Rating | Oregon Golf Association

Handicaps are a unique feature of the game of golf. The Handicap System is the very best method for golfers to compete equitably on any course with others of differing abilities.

The game is a lot more fun when it’s fair and the golfer has an understanding of their potential ability. Whether you are a seasoned golfer or one who just picked up a club, you’re bound to be asked the question: What’s your handicap?

What exactly is a handicap?: A golf handicap, more specifically a USGA Handicap Index™, is a numerical measure of a player’s skill, taken to one decimal place. Once at least five scores are posted, a Handicap Index® will be established for the player, and the system will adjust the Handicap Index® up or down as the player’s game changes. Handicaps are updated on the 1st and 15th of each month.

How do I get one?: To obtain a USGA Handicap Index™ and GHIN number you must first join an OGA Member Club, either online or in person at your local club. A golf club is simply an organized group of at least 10 individuals at a golf course facility (public, private or resort) or via a business, fraternal, ethnic or social organization. They’ve come together over the love of the game, and are looking for you to join them!

Now go play!:  The Pacific Northwest is home to some of the most beautiful, unique courses in the country, and rounds played on our courses can be posted to your GHIN handicap record from March 1 – November 30. We’ve officially rated all the courses in our region to assure accuracy in handicapping, using the USGA Course Rating System.

Oregon Golf Course Superintendent's Association
First Tee of Greater Portland
Oregon Chapter PGA