Keeping a golf handicap is a good idea for most serious golfers, as it allows you to see where your game is at and potentially use it for tournaments. A golf handicap is even more useful if you plan to golf overseas though, as many courses require below a certain handicap in order to play.
For example, when I was in Singapore a couple of years ago, they mentioned that you need a handicap of 24 and below to get onto one of the golf courses. Even though my handicap would be below this, I didn’t have an official handicap to show them. This is where the USGA comes in, as they have something called the GHIN.
GHIN stands for the golf handicap index network, and it is a service offered by the USGA. To sign up for a GHIN, you can just go to your local golf course and ask them to create an account for you. Typically, the fee is $30/year, but this fee can be waived if you are a junior. Once you’ve registered for GHIN, you can then go ahead and download the GHIN mobile app. This app allows you to keep track of your actual handicap and post scores when your round is done (you can also input your scores as the round is going on to get an even more accurate picture).
The GHIN mobile app has now been updated to act a bit like SwingU, in which it can give you distances and track certain key metrics from your round. While I still prefer the SwingU app for this, the GHIN is the official app from the USGA, which is what you will need for international courses. Opening and keeping track with GHIN is definitely a must for golfers!
GHIN Recommendation Rating: 4
This post has now been updated to reflect a new ratings system that I have implemented, which is scored as follows:
1: Something worth checking out if you have time
2: Something that is a hit for some people, but not a must for everyone
3: Something worth prioritizing if interested
4: Something worth making time to check out
5: An absolute home run, worth going out of your way for
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