The purpose of the USGA Handicap System is to make the game of golf more enjoyable by enabling players of differing abilities to compete on an equitable basis.
The System provides a fair Course Handicap for each player, regardless of ability, and adjusts a player’s Handicap Index up or down as the player’s game changes. A Handicap Index is useful for all forms of play, and is issued only to individuals who are members of a golf club.
Therefore, joining a Golf Club is a prerequisite to obtaining a valid USGA Handicap Index.
However, a large number of social golfers in Singapore do not possess a valid USGA Handicap Index and also do not belong to a specific golf club with a golf course but yet they play golf at many locations. The principal reasons may be:
• The prohibitve costs involved in buying membership rights at the private golf clubs which have golf courses;
• The ease of gaining playing access at golf courses of neighbouring countries without the need to become a member; and/or
• The desire to play regularly at different golf courses.
On the contrary, the main disadvantages of not belonging to a golf club with or without golf course are as follows:
• No access to a valid Handicapping System
• Limited access to organsied or sanctioned golf events
• No access to club purchasing power
• Limited capacity for golf related social interactions
• High green fees
The obvious alternative is joining a golf club without golf course or real estate. Thus, the existence of the SSG is to serve and provide them with all the needs such as:
• Provide members with a framework and structure under which the members have the opportunity to regulate, administer and monitor the way in which they play golf together and other benefits from their collaboration.
• Issue valid USGA Handicap Indexes to its members with free maintenance.
• Offer all the members the economies of scale of a large or established golf club.
Procedure for Obtaining a Handicap Index
The procedure to obtain a valid Handicap Index through the Society is simple. Each member is required to satisfy the following requirements:
• Join SSG as an Ordinary or Associate members;
• Attend the USGA Handicap System workshop;
• Attend the Rules of Golf workshop;
• Submit at least five 18-holes acceptable score cards; and
• Undergo a Handicap Test conducted by an appointed Golf Professional or by the Handicap Committee.