For any golfer looking to play in regular competitions, a handicap is an important part of the game. Even recreational golfers benefit from having official handicaps, as it makes it much easier to mark your scores against your buddies.
And helpfully, the USGA has made it easy for players to monitor handicaps with the release of the USGA GHIN app, which is used by millions of golfers across the country.
But what’s the USGA GHIN app actually like, and is it easy to use? In this article, we take a look at the app in detail and explain what you need to know about entering your scores and managing your golf handicap from your smartphone.
- Is There an Official USGA Handicap App?
- Is the USGA Ghin App Free?
- What is the Difference Between GHIN and USGA Handicap?
- How Do I Download and Use the USGA GHIN App?
- How Do You Get a Handicap on the GHIN App?
- What is the Best Golf Scoring App?
- Troubleshooting: Why is the Ghin App Not Working?
- Do GHIN Numbers Expire?
- The Recommended App for Official Handicap Tracking
Is There an Official USGA Handicap App?
There is an official USGA handicap app that is available for download on iOS and Android. The app, known as GHIN (Golf Handicap Information Network) enables you to post your scores, track your stats, and calculate your course handicap.
It is designed to be used exclusively for golfers accessing the GHIN services through their golf association.
If you’re looking for an easy way to manage your game while tracking your handicap in real-time, then the USGA’s GHIN system is precisely what you need to add to your phone.
We introduce you to the different things you need to know about using the USGA app throughout this article.
Is the USGA Ghin App Free?
The USGA GHIN app is free to download on iOS and Android, but you will need to upgrade by paying a subscription fee to access all of the premium features within the app. The free version of the app allows you to track your scores and monitor your handicap, as well as access a basic GPS tracker.
But the paid version of the app, which currently costs $39.99 per year – provides you with access to the enhanced GPS features that include an approach shot heat map, putt break map, and shot tracking.
This is ideal if you’re looking for your golf handicapping app to do more than just track your scores.
Ultimately, the USGA GHIN app is ideal if you have a golf handicap and are looking to monitor it independently, particularly when you play at different clubs that aren’t your own.
And if you pay to subscribe to the app, you will access an impressive array of features that will help you improve your game.
What is the Difference Between GHIN and USGA Handicap?
A USGA handicap is something that can be issued to golfers at golf clubs and throughout the country. GHIN, on the other hand, is the Golf Handicap Information Network that is run and managed by the USGA.
In terms of the app, if you search for USGA or GHIN app, you will be directed to the same place, so you don’t need to worry about semantics.
The best way to look at the difference between the two is that your individual USGA handicap is managed within the Golf Handicap Information Network, alongside the millions of other golfers that currently have official handicaps.
According to Forbes, approximately 2.5 million American golfers currently have a handicap, and the GHIN is the perfect way for each of these players to access and manage their data.
This certainly beats the old system of seeing your score pinned up on the board of your golf club locker room!
GHIN basically allows you to access your real-time handicap data, no matter where you’re playing in the country, which ultimately makes life easier for golfers and those arranging tournaments and golf events.
How Do I Download and Use the USGA GHIN App?
The first thing you need to do to make use of the GHIN mobile app is to download it from the Apple or Google Play store and activate it on your smartphone. The app is free to download, and it will appear on your home screen as soon as it is available.
The next thing you need to do is to create an account and enter your personal details by following the instructions that appear when you open the app.
Once you have entered your general information, you can then start to use the GHIN app to submit your scores, which you can do hole-by-hole or for an entire round if you prefer.
You can search and find your home club as well as the other clubs that you play on a regular basis to save yourself some time when it comes to entering your scores.
At most golf clubs, you can use GHIN instead of submitting a paper scorecard after your round, but you will have to check the competition rules to ensure you’re not disqualified.
How Do You Get a Handicap on the GHIN App?
In the US, in order to get a handicap index, you need to be a member of a USGA authorized golf club, which relates to nearly all public and private courses in the United States. To find a club, you can search your local Allied Golf Association or simply turn up to your local club to get started.
You are then required to submit three cards that have been marked by other members, and your average score will serve as your handicap index.
For men, your handicap will be somewhere between 0 and 28, and for women, it will be between 0 and 36.
Once you have your official USGA handicap, you can then link it up to your USGA GHIN app by registering and submitting your course membership details.
Thereafter, the GHIN app does complicated calculations for you and enables you to track the progression of your golf handicap in real-time.
What is the Best Golf Scoring App?
There are lots of good golf scoring apps out there, but if you’re using the USGA GHIN to track your scores and monitor your handicap, then there’s no need to download a third-party app as well.
One of the reasons we love the USGA GHIN app is that the paid version of the app incorporates a range of excellent features, including advanced GPS, ball tracking, and putting maps, which all contribute to the improvement of your overall golf game.
But if you’re not planning to make the most of the USGA GHIN app and you’re not bothered about maintaining your handicap online, you can download other iPhone and Android apps.
These include mScorecard, EasyScore, Golf GameBook, and GolfStatus, all of which enable you to track your score from your smartphone.
Troubleshooting: Why is the Ghin App Not Working?
Perhaps the most common issue with the GHIN app is that you’re trying to use it on old software, so you might need to download the latest operating system on your iPhone or Android.
Just like other apps you have on your smartphone, there are times that your USGA GHIN app won’t work when you need it to, which could be a result of various issues.
Another thing to try is to delete the app and re-install it, as you might be using an outdated version of the app that contained bugs that have been fixed by the developers – this often rectifies the issue and enables you to start afresh.
If you’ve tried both of these quick fixes and your GHIN app is still not working, you will need to contact the GHIN app support team via the Apple or Android store and ask them to look into it in more detail for you.
There could be lots of reasons why the GHIN app isn’t working on your smartphone so the final action to take is to get in dorect contact with the dev team.
Do GHIN Numbers Expire?
Your golf handicap and your GHIN number never expire, so you don’t need to worry if you’re planning to take some time away from the course. But remember, your GHIN number is linked to your golf club membership, so if you cancel your membership, your GHIN will become inactive.
If you’re moving from one golf course to another, then it’s easy enough to transfer your GHIN number to your new course; you will just need to speak to the professional or handicap secretary for advice about how to go about it.
But if your GHIN has been inactive for a number of years and you’re returning to the golf course following a hiatus, you will need to contact the USGA via the Golf Handicap Information Network in order to retrieve your GHIN if you have forgotten it.
The Recommended App for Official Handicap Tracking
Even if your golf club still registers and manages scores using pencils and cards, downloading and signing up for the USGA GHIN app is an excellent way to keep track of your scores while regularly checking in with your current handicap.
Hopefully, this article has provided you with all the information you need to download and access the USGA Handicap App, and you can make your life a lot easier when it comes to managing your official golf handicap.