A: The purpose of the Club Licensing Program is to ensure that all golf clubs in the United States comply with the USGA Handicap System™. Each golf club must meet the requirements of the Club Compliance Checklist before any are authorized to issue a USGA Handicap Index®. If a club is not complying with some aspect of the USGA Handicap System, then it will not be authorized to issue a USGA Handicap Index to its members.
A: The authorized golf association that has jurisdiction in an area is responsible for monitoring whether any club wishing to become licensed is in compliance with USGA Handicap System requirements. Specifically, the association needs to verify that the golf club follows the correct handicap revision schedule, active/inactive season dates (if applicable) and other items in the Club Compliance Checklist.
If the club complies, then the authorized golf association must sign the application before it is sent to the USGA Handicap Department for approval. If the association is concerned that the club in question does not comply, then the association should forward the application to the USGA with acknowledgement of the concern, but should also provide the golf club with information as to why it is believed to have a compliance issue.
A: The golf association must receive written confirmation from each of its member clubs stating that the club is following the USGA Handicap System. It is up to each golf association to determine how to implement this confirmation process. The USGA must be allowed to access these confirmations upon request. Once a club has confirmed that it complies with the Handicap System requirements, the golf association should send a listing of its authorized clubs to the USGA, so that the club names will be placed on the USGA Web site as authorized golf clubs.
The USGA has initiated an audit program for golf clubs to ensure the integrity of the USGA Handicap System is being maintained. The USGA randomly selects licensed golf clubs to complete the audit program and to provide evidence that they are using the USGA’s formulas and service marks correctly in connection with the USGA Handicap System. All licensed golf clubs are subjected to being audited by the USGA, regardless of whether there is a compliance item in question or not.