How to Get a Golf Handicap Without Joining a Club?

When starting to get into the hobby of golfing, a handicap should be one of the first things that a golfer sets up. Lucky for us, there is an easy way for golfers to set up a handicap nowadays compared to the past.

I will cover the new way and also the old ways that a golfer can set up a golf handicap without joining a club! First, we will point out the most popular and well-known ways that golfers can establish a handicap without joining a private club.

Read next: Want help lowering your handicap? Check the prices on the best golf clubs this year.

Apply for an Online Official Handicap with an Online Golf Club


The method that is popular among golfers that do not want to have to go to a physical location for their handicap is applying for an online official handicap with an online golf club. A USGA rule with this method is as follows:

The residence or business address of each member of the golf club must generally be within approximately 50 miles of the principal location of the golf club.

So, the only rule is that the golfers who are in the online club should be around 50 miles within a central location. This works out for golfers who do not live very close to other courses and want a cheap way to set up a handicap.

The cost of this method is around $25 a year, which surely beats having to join a private club to set up an official handicap. Also, some of the same benefits as a private club can happen with this method.

For instance, at a private club, there is a sense of community, and with online golf clubs, there is also a sense of a community and a social atmosphere with social events in some cases. Joining an online golf club is a great way to set up a golf handicap without joining a club.

Track Your Own Handicap

While it may be a cheap answer to track your own, sometimes that is all that golfers need. Tracking your own handicap is not official but it gets the job done for most golfers.

The Grint is a great tool for tracking your own unofficial handicap.

If you have no need for having an official handicap for golf events, then a free option is totally understandable and a smart choice in my opinion.

Handicap Services at a Public Course

Another very cheap method to track your handicap is to sign up for a handicap at a public golf course for around $25. The price of this service can shift depending on your area and the course, but usually, this is very affordable.

If the golf course is compliant with the USGA, then they will most likely be able to help you out and get your handicap set up for a great price.

The World Handicap System

The three methods above are all popular methods for getting a golf handicap without joining a club, but The World Handicap System is a new way in 2021 for golfers.

The new plan is to combine all 6 handicap associations into one handicap system so that it makes the whole handicap system relatable across the world. Before, some parts of the world have a totally different system than others, and The World Handicap System is going to change that.

You will have to check out your country on their website and see what the status is for The World Handicap System in your area. Hopefully, we will all be on the same page in the world with handicaps in no time!

There you have it for ways to get a golf handicap without joining a golf club. Hopefully, it helped you with your dilemma and you can get a handicap now!

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Nick is the founder of GolfSpan and an avid golfer. He's not quite a pro but has over 15 years of experience playing and coaching golfers worldwide. His mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience when it comes to choosing the right golf gear and finding the right setup for your game.

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