Your Handicap Index
In order to play in a Junior Tour of Northern California event, you need to have established a handicap index with an NCGA golf club before you attempt to register for a tournament. Handicaps are updated every 24 hours by the USGA. This means that if you want to play in a tournament in May which has signups in April, you MUST have enough scores posted to create a valid index prior to registration opening. In order to have a valid index, you must have five (3) 18-hole scores posted on the update date.
Before you can post scores, you have to be a member of a golf club. See the NCGA Membership page to find out about the various kinds of clubs you can join. You should pay especially close attention to the Youth On Course clubs available through the NCGA Foundation as these are the least expensive options and give you great benefits.
Once you have joined a club, you should post your scores as you play. You can post them on a computer at the course where you played. If you are unable to do that, you can post them on the Internet at www.ghin.com. If you have saved some of your scores from before you joined the club, you can also post them once your membership is active. When posting a score, make sure that you select the correct tees and that you have adjusted for Equitable Stroke Control.
The Handicap Rules require that you post all acceptable scores. This means that if you play 18 holes, you should post the score. If you play 9 holes, you should post it as a 9-hole score. It will be combined with the next 9-hole score to make an 18-hole score. There are many other rules about Equitable Stroke Control and partial rounds which can be read at the USGA’s Handicap FAQ.
The NCGA will post all your scores from Junior Tour of Northern California tournaments and any other NCGA Tournament you play in. Do not post them yourself. These scores are posted with the “T” flag set to indicate it was in a tournament. If you play in other tournaments, you can set that when posting. Tournament scores are analyzed to see if you are playing substantially better in tournaments than at other times and might result in a reduction of your handicap.