Mass Golf | Active Season Starts Today in Massachusetts


For Immediate Release: APRIL 1, 2018

NORTON, Massachusetts – Following what felt like a very long winter and spring, the start of the 2018 handicap season has arrived! 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.

ONLINE: Handicapping Home | USGA Handicapping

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 a Mass Golf Member Club. Call your club today to make sure you are active. Click here to access a searchable database of Mass Golf Member Clubs. In addition to score posting, you must have an active and up-to-date handicap index with a Mass Golf Member Club in order to register for any Mass Golf Championship, Tournament or Member Day.

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

Step #2:

Understand what scores are eligible for score posting. While the start of the active season is exciting, it is important to know that the USGA Handicap Manual is very clear about what scores are and are not permissible for posting even when a state is technically in an “active” season.

To help guide golfers through the spring season, Mass Golf would like to make you aware of the following policies set forth in the USGA Handicap Manual. These policies will help you understand your score posting options.

4-2. Holes Not Played or Not Played Under The Principles of The Rules of Golf

If a player does not play a hole or plays it other than under the Rules of Golf (except for preferred lies), the score recorded for that hole for handicap purposes must be par plus any handicap strokes the player is entitled to receive on that hole. This hole score, when recorded, should be preceded by an “X.”

[Click here or on the image to the right for a guide on how to post a score for temporary greens/tees.]

Example: A player with a Course Handicap of 10 receives a handicap stroke on the first 10 allocated handicap-stroke holes. If the player does not play the sixth allocated handicap-stroke hole, which is a par 4, because of construction on the green, the player must record a score of par plus one for handicap purposes, or X-5. (See Decision 4-2/1 and Section 5-2b.)

If you have any questions about this issue or anything handicap related, feel free to contact Mike Wice at

Step #3:

Take a moment to review these helpful handicap “quick links”