Headline: Get Ready! The Official Start of the Handicap Season in the Bay State is April 1... Now What to Do!

For Immediate Release: April 1, 2017

Norton, MA — The start of the 2017 handicap season is almost here! In other words, the official start of the handicap season here in the Bay State is April 1st and as of that date golfers can post scores played on local courses.

According to the USGA Handicap Manual, the definition of an “active season” is as follows:

An "active season" is the period during which scores made in an area will be accepted for handicap purposes determined by the authorized golf association having jurisdiction in a given area.

It is a welcome sign as many Bay State golf courses are still planning to open their doors despite the recent weather challenges.

The official start of the score posting season makes many wonder what that means for the golf season and how that impacts April 1st.

Here is some helpful information to make sure you are prepared.

Step #1: Make sure your GHIN # is active with an MGA Member Club. Call your club today to make sure you are active. Click here to access a searchable database of MGA Member Clubs. In addition to score posting, you must have an active and up-to-date handicap index with an MGA Member Club in order to register for any MGA Championship or Member Days.

If you are looking for a new club this year or have never had a GHIN # before, you should check out the MGA Members Now! program which allows golfer to renew or obtain a GHIN # online through participating clubs.

By reactivating your existing handicap index or obtaining a new one through the MGA Members Now! Program, you are eligible to win prizes each month from March through July. You will also be eligible for the grand prize drawing which will include all Members Now! golfers features a new Titleist Driver & Titleist Fairway Metal (customized to the winner's specific specs) and a Full Bag Fitting and $150 gift card to Club Champion in Needham.

Step #2: Understand what scores are eligible for score posting by reviewing the USGA Handicap Manual FAQ on acceptable score posting.

Step #3: Take a moment to review these helpful handicap "quick links"

Many golfers who are new to the game always ask, "What is a USGA/MGA GHIN Handicap index and why should I have one?"

The answer is as follows.

A handicap index is issued by any of our MGA Member Clubs, indicates a player’s skill and is a number taken one decimal place. It compares a scoring ability to the scoring ability of a scratch golfer (i.e. someone who shoots par or better) on a course of standard difficulty. In other words, the USGA Handicap System was created in order to make the game of golf more enjoyable by enabling players of differing abilities to compete on an equitable basis.

Whether you have aspirations of being a scratch golfer or you just want to go out and play once or twice with friends... having a handicap index will make the game more fun for you and the people you play with during the season.

Plus, when you establish a handicap index with any of our MGA Member Clubs, you also receive a complimentary copy of the award-winning MassGolfer™ magazine, electronic e-revisions sent to your email address on the 1st and 15th of each month, a complimentary subscription to Global Golf Post New England, member discounts on Liberty Mutual Insurance, your own personal My MGA Home portal, special access to the MGA Speaker Series sponsored by First Republic Bank, access to the MGA Home mobile app and the ability to register for any MGA Championship or MGA Member Day.

Several years ago, WCVB Sports Reprter Mike Dowling came together with the MGA to help explain the handicap system. Click here to read that informational and entertaining article.

So whatever your reason is for having a handicap index, your friends at the MGA will support your endeavors and wish you a terrific 2017 season.