Handicapping - MASSGOLF


Handicaps are a unique and integral part of the game of golf. Today, handicapping remains Mass Golf’s most visible and widely used service with more than 120,000 Bay State golfers utilizing the Mass Golf Handicap Service.


A Handicap Index® represents a golfers demonstrated playing ability – and the number is based on scores posted. It takes just 54 holes worth of golf to establish a Handicap Index.

Through its status as an Allied Golf Association of the USGA, Mass Golf is able to offer its members a Handicap Index as part of their membership.

In other words, by becoming a Member of Mass Golf, you will be given a GHIN® # and will be able to establish a Handicap Index. For those who already have a GHIN # through a Mass Golf Member Club, you are an official Member of Mass Golf.

One of the benefits of becoming a Member of Mass Golf is getting a Handicap Index.

MORE ABOUT: handicap index

Do you need a Handicap Index (GHIN #)?

If you are looking to establish an Handicap Index (also referred to as getting a GHIN #), you have two options.

  1. You can obtain one online via the Members Now! program – CLICK HERE.
  2. If a club you would like to affiliate with is not online, you can contact a course in your area and ask them to set up a Handicap Index for the season. Once you do that, you can start posting scores through the GHIN app (a USGA service) and take advantage of the many benefits offered by Mass Golf.

Your Mass Golf Membership includes a complimentary subscription to the quarterly and award-winning MassGolfer Magazine as well as email updates on the 1st and 15th of each month. Members are also eligible to participate in Mass Golf Member Days and Mass Golf Championships & Tournaments.

Do you already have a GHIN #?

If you are looking to renew your Mass Golf Membership to maintain your Handicap Index, you can do so through the Members Now! program. Once your existing membership has been renewed and updated, you can view your Handicap Index and start posting scores.



2024 World Handicap System™ Revisions

The USGA and The R&A have jointly introduced several major changes to the World Handicap System™. The changes predominantly focus on making more rounds of golf count towards a Handicap Index®. The changes went into effect on January 1st, 2024, in regions where active score posting season extends year-round (note: active score posting season in Massachusetts runs from April 1st to November 14th).

Three Key Changes:

  • Shorter courses are now eligible for an official course rating
  • 10-17 holes rounds can be posted with the use of expected Score Differential™
  • 9-hole scores no longer require another 9-hole score to be paired with in order to count towards your Handicap Index


To learn more about these changes, please visit Mass Golf’s 2024 World Handicap System Revisions page.




The USGA and The R&A collaborated with the six existing world handicapping authorities to create a single set of Rules for Handicapping. Launched in 2020, the World Handicap System (WHS) enables golfers of all skill levels to compete on an equitable basis. By obtaining/maintaining a Handicap Index, golfers (regardless of age, gender, skill level) are provided a universal measure of playing ability.

To help explain the many updated rules of handicapping, golfers are encouraged to visit Mass Golf’s WHS PAGE. This page highlights the key features of the WHS and includes full collection of videos to help explain handicapping more clearly.




The World Handicap System was created by the USGA and The R&A to enable golfers of different abilities to play and compete on a fair and equal basis.