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Club Licensing Program
The USGA recently imposed additional requirements on golf clubs and golf Associations beginning January 1, 2005, which require all golf clubs to be licensed by the USGA to use their System and issue Handicaps. Clubs are subject to random audits for compliance. These additional measures are important to protecting the continued integrity of the System.

By virtue of its membership in the AWGA, a club is extended a license through the Association. In order to extend our clubs this license, we administer a club licensing program at no additional charge to our member clubs. For details on the licensing program, please contact us at handicaps@awga.org.

Handicap Certification Standards For Member Clubs

BACKGROUND

The USGA Handicap System requires that all clubs ''have a representative from the golf club participate in a USGA Handicap Seminar ... including passing a test exhibiting knowledge about the system.'' Any person fulfilling these requirements is identified as a club's Certified Representative.

The USGA has several policies regarding minimum standards for Certified Representatives:

  • Every licensed club must have at least one individual take the necessary steps to be certified in the USGA Handicap System during each license period (usually four years).
  • In the event that a Certified Representative leaves a club during the license term the USGA policy allows a club to maintain its license through the end of the current term.
  • A new club must have a Certified Representative before it can obtain a license to issue USGA Handicap Indexes.
  • Associations licensed to issue USGA Handicap Indexes are permitted to set more stringent certification requirements for its clubs
The policies, as stated by the USGA, potentially allow a club to exist for several years without requiring anyone in the club to have knowledge of the USGA Handicap System requirements. For example, if a club's Certified Representative leaves the club during the first year of the current license period, that club has until the last day of the subsequent license period to replace that individual. In a worst case scenario, the period of time that the club is without someone with proven knowledge of the Handicap System could be almost eight years.

Because the Arizona Handicap Network is responsible for licensing over 95,000 members and 700 clubs, we have concluded that more stringent requirements than the USGA's minimum standards are necessary in order to ensure the integrity of the USGA Handicap System in the state of Arizona. The AGA and AWGA are following the lead of other golf associations throughout the country that have put stronger certification requirements on their clubs.

CERTIFICATION STANDARDS

1. In order to be certified in the USGA Handicap System, AZHN member clubs must
a. Attend a seminar (either on-line or in a classroom) conducted by the United States Golf Association (USGA), Arizona Golf Association (AGA) or Arizona Women's Golf Association (AWGA).
b. Pass a test administered by the USGA, AGA or AWGA exhibiting knowledge of the USGA Handicap System.

2. The certification license is in effect for two years from the date the individual successfully completes the test.

3. An individual applying for certification for the first time and individuals renewing their certification may do so either on-line or by attending a seminar, but in no circumstances may an individual renew his/her certification on-line two consecutive times.

4. If the Certified Representative leaves an AZHN club and as a result, the club no longer has anyone certified in the USGA Handicap System, it will have six (6) months fulfill the AZHN certification requirements.

5. Clubs failing to meet the certification requirements may be subject to suspension of membership in the AGA or AWGA.

In order to provide clubs with ample opportunities for certification or re-certification, the AGA and AWGA will provide a series of Handicap Certification Seminars in the spring and fall of each year. The upcoming seminar schedule will be posted on both associations website.

 
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