There are approximately 25 million golfers in the United States, but only about 2.4 million of them have a recognized USGA handicap index.
That means approximately 90 percent of golfers in this country do not have a proper index, which could be hampering them from having fun, equitable matches for fun with their golf buddies or people they meet playing golf.
For that reason alone, having a recognized USGA handicap index is a good idea. Golfers may be apprehensive about getting a handicap index because they don't play golf that frequently and believe they don't have enough scores to establish a handicap. Or maybe they're worried they don't play often enough to keep an accurate handicap index.
However, with the advent of the World Handicap System, establishing a handicap index has never been easier.
How many round scores must a golfer enter to establish a handicap index?
Under the World Handicap System, a golfer needs to enter just three 18-hole scores -- or any total of 54 holes -- to establish a handicap index. If a golfer uses nine-hole rounds to get to the 54-hole total, the nine-hole rounds are combined into 18-hole rounds in the order in which they're entered.
Upon getting to that 54-hole threshold, a golfer gets a handicap index the next day.
Even better, golfers no longer have to wait up to two weeks after their rounds are posted to update their handicap index. Updates are now issued daily, meaning a golfer will always have an up-to-date handicap index, even if they haven't played in a while.