Golf Association

Serving & Promoting Amateur Golf in Alabama Since 1915

(205) 979-1234

Club Handicap Licensing

All golf clubs that completed the Licensing program requirements by December 31, 2015 will remain licensed through 2017. In 2016 the USGA Handicap department will be introducing and implementing a new club compliance and education assessment that will be required for all golf clubs. This assessment will be an annual requirement and will be administered electronically through the authorized golf associations and the USGA. The assessment will aid the authorized golf associations to identify clubs in its geographic jurisdiction that may need additional assistance regarding the USGA Handicap System.
In addition, any new golf clubs in for 2016-2017 will be required to satisfy the handicap seminar participation and passing of the open-book quiz either online at or through its authorized golf association’s education program. This will allow authorized golf associations who will be asked to give attention and collaborate in other areas to spend more time on those efforts, and to prepare for the 2018 Handicap System implementation. 

The USGA and the AGA list all licensed clubs in Alabama. These obligations exist for all Alabama clubs that offer USGA handicap services to members.

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The USGA licensing program is an assurance from each club to the USGA that it complies with essential handicap requirements. AGA member clubs return this agreement to the AGA rather than to the USGA.

The certification program described above is one of 17 requirements.

Some of the handicap requirements are covered for member clubs by the AGA and GHIN. However, all clubs that offer handicaps are required to sign the licensing agreement and return it. After signing, a club will be listed on the USGA website as a club that is licensed to provide USGA handicaps.

The USGA also has begun a club handicap audit program. The USGA handicap department will audit golf clubs throughout the U.S. to determine if each is following handicap guidelines.

After the USGA performs this IRS-like audit, they will notify the club and the AGA if it is deficient in following specific guidelines. If a club is found deficient in some areas and does not cure its problems within a prescribed time frame, then the USGA will drop the club from its list of authorized golf clubs. This would mean that the club cannot use the USGA handicap system or call their handicaps USGA or AGA handicaps.

The USGA will randomly select up to three clubs in each state to audit.

Contact the AGA office at 205-979-1234 or send us an email via the Contact Form