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NCGA Staff

The Clock Is Ticking.. . A

very serious deadline is approaching. ..a dead-

line that your club cannot afford to miss. But first, a quick history

lesson. It is well known that

the NCGA conducts the most ambitious tournament program in the country with a special emphasis on championships for ordinary golfers, not just elite players. Our Zone Championship is a perfect example and has to rank as one of the most suc- cessful events across the land. Running net events,

however, is not without its risks and pitfalls. I am speaking, of course, of the scourge to honest competi- tion, sandbagging. Back in 2002, the

NCGA decided to ad- dress this issue head-on by requiring every member club to complete an extensive seminar on the subject of handicapping. The thought was to teach clubs how to organize their handicapping efforts and how to bring their own “trouble” golfers to justice before they could plague our tournaments. Little did we know at the time that the USGA would view our Handicap Certi- fication program (and that of the SCGA’s) as a model for all clubs nationwide to follow. But that is exactly what happened and in 2006 the USGA adopted its own educational requirement. In

By Jim Cowan Director of

Course Rating & Handicapping


short, the USGA mandates that if a club does not com- plete formal training on the Handicap System, it cannot issue so-called “official” handicaps. The USGA goes on to state that this educa- tional requirement has to be satisfied within each four- year handicapping cycle. So here we stand just

weeks away from the end of the 2008-2011 cycle, with dozens and dozens of NCGA clubs out of compliance. The consequences could not be more dire if a club does not complete the required education between now and December 31 as the NCGA will be compelled to with- draw the handicaps of the en- tire membership as of January 1, 2012. Individuals within such a club will retain their NCGA membership and will be able to continue to post scores, but where numbers signifying a Handicap Index once stood, the letters “WD” will appear in their stead. But fear not, the NCGA

online Handicap Certifica- tion Seminar stands ready,

66 / NCGA.ORG / FALL 2011

willing and able to handle an onslaught of last-minute “holiday shoppers.” And bet- ter yet, you need not com- plete the online certification offering in a single sitting. Instead, you can come and go as you please and knock out the content on your own timetable...just as long as that timetable concludes by December 31. To date, hun- dreds of clubs have satisfied their USGA requirement via this vehicle without mishap. And for those who

prefer the back and forth interaction of a seminar in person, two last-minute “live” seminars have been scheduled. The one caveat is that with the advent of our online offering, for the first time we will be forced to charge a nominal fee ($25 per individual) for the live seminars to defer a portion of the facility, lunch and administrative costs. Please visit the Handicap

Certification section of the NCGA website to verify that your club has satisfied the USGA requirement for

the 2008-2011 cycle. If your club’s name appears on our “good” list, no worries, all is well and no action on your part is required. If your club’s name does not appear on this list, you need to get crackin’. Please feel free to contact

the NCGA Handicap Department with any ques- tions regarding this topic or your club’s present status, 831/625-4653.

TWO SEMINARS ARE SET: Saturday, December 3, Stockton GCC Saturday, December 10, South San Francisco Conference Center Details and registration available at

• •

Let Your Voice Be Heard


ith the majority of the 2011 season behind us I would first like to take this opportunity to thank those of you who participated in the NCGA championship program this year. Whether you play at the scratch level or participate in our many net events, the program as a whole does not work without the participation of NCGA members of all skill levels. With my first year at the helm as director of championships and events almost behind me I extend an invitation to all those who have participated in any event over the years as well as players contemplating

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