Policies and By-Laws

Handicap Policy

In accordance with the USGA Handicap System, the Board of Directors of the Men’s Golf Association (MGA) of Hidden Creek Country Club (HCCC) has established this Handicap Policy.

“The purpose of the USGA Handicap System is to make the game of golf more enjoyable by enabling golfers of differing ability to compete on an equitable basis. The System provides a fair Course Handicap for each player regardless of ability, and adjusts a player’s USGA Handicap Index up or down as the player’s game changes. At the same time, the System disregards high scores that bear little relation to the player’s potential ability and promotes continuity by making a Handicap Index continuous from one playing season or year to the next. A USGA Handicap Index is useful for all kinds of play, and is issued only to individuals who are members of a golf club. Two basic premises underlie the USGA Handicap System, namely that each player will try to make the best score at every hole in every round, regardless of where the round is played, and that the player will post every acceptable round for peer review. The player and the player’s Handicap Committee have joint responsibility for adhering to these premises.”

The complete USGA Handicap System manual is available online at www.usga.org. MGA members are encouraged to familiarize themselves with this guidance.

We firmly believe that “a player must earn a USGA Handicap Index. No player has an inherent right to a USGA Handicap Index without providing full evidence of his ability to the golf club’s Handicap Committee.” Any questions regarding this policy should be directed to the MGA Handicap Chairman.

1. Handicap Committee. The elected members of the MGA Board of Directors shall serve as the MGA Handicap Committee. The MGA Handicap Chairman shall be appointed by the Chairman of the MGA Board of Directors.

2. Establishing and maintaining a Handicap Index. MGA members MUST maintain their handicap at Hidden Creek Country Club in order to use that handicap in MGA events. Members who are also members of other clubs are responsible for ensuring that their scores from those clubs are transferred to Hidden Creek in a timely manner. Members who are not in the handicap system at Hidden Creek Country Club as of the final sign up date for a given tournament will be assigned a course handicap no greater than 0 for that tournament.

For new members without a USGA handicap index, the Handicap Committee will make every effort to obtain any previous scoring records available, with corresponding USGA Course and Slope Ratings (through the player’s previous golf club, authorized golf association, or computation service, or by communicating directly with the player) so that a continuous history can be maintained. If such a scoring history is unavailable, the new member must return 5 scores to establish a USGA Handicap Index at the next revision period.

3. Posting scores. Fair handicapping depends upon full, accurate information regarding a player’s potential scoring ability as reflected by a complete scoring record. A player should post all acceptable scores as soon as practical, preferably within 24 hours of their occurrence, and must post scores prior to the next revision period. Scores should be posted using the computer system in the Pro Shop or the men’s locker room. Internet posting is also available through the GHIN system at www.vsga.org. Refer to Section 5 of the USGA Handicap System for a complete discussion of acceptable scores.

Scores must be adjusted using Equitable Stroke Control (ESC) prior to posting.

Unless otherwise directed by the golf course staff, the active season for Hidden Creek Country Club is year-round. Winter season scores made at Hidden Creek Country Club must be posted.

4. Peer Review. Peer review is an essential part of the USGA Handicap System and will be in place at all times at this club. Member’s scores may freely be viewed by any other member at any time by printout listing member’s score history and on the GHIN computer. It is a responsibility of club membership to keep each other honest. Please point out to your fellow players when they are not observing either the Rules of Golf or the Handicap System. If a player refuses to abide by the proper procedures, please contact the Handicap Committee. We want to keep our games fair and can only do so if everyone follows the same code.

5. Tournaments. The Tournament Committee for any MGA event shall consist of the Tournament Director (a designated MGA Board member), the President of the MGA, and the Director of Golf/Head Golf Professional.

The Tournament Committee shall be responsible for determining how MGA member's Handicap Indexes are used to determine their respective handicaps for each tournament. The rules for specific tournament handicaps will be published by the Tournament Committee prior to the start of the tournament. The Tournament Committee shall also be responsible for posting MGA tournament scores in accordance with the rules.

Handicaps and tournament performance will be carefully reviewed by the Handicap Committee. The Handicap Committee may reduce or raise a player's handicap, or uphold or override an automatic reduction, based upon careful review of all the facts in order to ensure fairness for all MGA tournaments. Only the Handicap Committee can make an adjustment decision to a player's Handicap Index.

In order to participate in MGA events where a handicap is used, an MGA member must have a valid USGA Handicap Index as of the latest USGA revision date prior to the event. If the member does not have a valid Handicap Index, his Course Handicap for the event will be no greater than 0.

All MGA events where handicaps are used shall be based on the player’s USGA Handicap Index as of the last USGA revision date prior to the tournament (or the round of the tournament, for ongoing events) unless otherwise specified in the rules of the tournament.

Players who have posted a minimum of 10 scores at Hidden Creek Country Club over the 12 months prior to an event will receive 100% of their Course Handicap (which will then be adjusted based on the handicap allowance associated with the form of play for the tournament). Players who do not have the minimum number of scores posted at Hidden Creek Country Club over the 12 months prior to an event will receive 80% of their Course Handicap (which will then be adjusted based on the handicap allowance associated with the form of play for the tournament). For example, if the handicap allowance for a tournament is 90% of a player’s Course Handicap, a player with the requisite minimum scores posted would receive 90% of his Course Handicap. A player with less than the required scores posted would receive 90% of 80% of their Course Handicap.

Prior to any competition, it is the player’s responsibility to make sure his Course Handicap is correct, USGA Rule 6-2.

6. Handicap Index Adjustments. The Handicap Committee has the responsibility for making certain that a player has a USGA Handicap Index reflecting his potential ability. In certain circumstances it may be necessary for the Handicap Committee to adjust the player's Handicap Index to ensure fair and equitable competition in MGA events.

These handicap adjustments may include a) setting a fixed handicap for the player for MGA events that the Handicap Committee believes is more reflective of the player's potential ability, b) applying a penalty score to the player's postings, and/or c) reducing the player's index by a fixed percentage for a period of time. If it is necessary to attach a penalty score, it will be denoted as a "P" score on the member's score history. If a player's USGA handicap index is adjusted, or a penalty score is applied to the member’s scoring record, the member will be notified and provided a description of the infraction(s) or event(s) necessitating the adjustment and what the adjustment will be to his Handicap Index. The member will have a reasonable time to respond to the Committee prior to the official adjustment being implemented.

If a member persists to violate clauses within Section 5-1 of the USGA Handicap System and thereby does not observe the spirit of the USGA Handicap System, the Handicap Committee is to consider withdrawal of the player’s Handicap Index.

We ask that you support all your fellow members and assist us in providing equitable and accurate handicaps at our club by complying with all of these policies. Your role is essential in helping to make the game of golf at the Hidden Creek Country Club both fair and enjoyable.