I can't decide which association to join ... the Nine-holers or the Women's Association (18 holes). Can you help me?

Both associations welcome new members. I can only speak for the Nine-holers and tell you about our group.

Our current Nine-hole members have handicaps that range from quite low to very high. We also have members who are just learning to play golf and have not yet established a handicap.

Some are members because the 'timing' fits into their schedule. They want to play but only have time for nine holes. Others belong to the Nine-holers because they enjoy competition. As a Nine-holer any member can be a part of team play, compete in all WNHGA events with other clubs in Northern California. Your handicap, as a nine-holer, is valued by the group ... no matter what that handicap is.

Still others want a group where there is no competition, just a relaxed atmosphere to play golf.

As a Nine-holer, you will find that there is a place for you no matter what your level of play or whether or not you want to compete. If you also enjoy playing 18 holes, you will find many nine-hole women who play 18 holes other days of the week and will welcome you. They simply find the Nine-hole Association is a comfortable, non-stressful fit.

I've never played golf. Will you teach me how?

We don't teach the techniques of golf. We do, however, encourage you to take lessons from one of the Club Pros. In addition, the Pros at our Club give 'free' clinics to our group several times a year covering such topics as bunker shots, short game, putting, hybrids, and the long game, as well as golf rules and etiquette.

While you are in the beginning stages of learning the game, you are still welcome as a member of the Nine-holers. We have a 'golf' program for our new golfers that will acquaint you with the course, golf rules, etiquette, and pace of play.

It is up to you to decide when you want to begin to establish your handicap. In the interim, you can play the game and enjoy the camaraderie of the group.

The idea of 'golf tournaments', no matter how fun you say it is, frightens me. Should I stay home on tournament days?

Absolutely not! You can always just play golf and choose not to participate in the game of the day. When I first started to play, I never competed in games (sweeps). I was too intimidated. Now I love them and find that they sharpen my game but it took me some time before I reached this stage.

Remember, golf is a game. We only have a couple of times each year when we play a true tournament. (And not everyone participates in those tournaments.) Otherwise, our games are things like 'fewest putts', or throw out your three worst holes', or 'four blind holes'... nothing very serious but almost always postable.

Golf should not be frightening nor a chore. As a Nine-holer, there is a place for everyone. Last year, we had a new member who is now one of our top golfers with a low handicap. She loves competition and was ready from day one. We also had people join that were just learning and did not want to compete. Everyone fits in.

You mentioned a group called Women's Nine Hole Golf Association (WNHGA). What is that?

In the 1970's, several nine-hole groups in Northern California petitioned the USGA for the right to start a 'sanctioned' association. Before that time, it was a loosely run group that just got together whenever they could. Today, WNHGA is the only sanctioned nine-hole group in the country.

Being sanctioned, means that our Nine-Holers have a nine-hole handicap. Many of us also have 18-hole handicaps but we do not belong to an 18-hole association.

The WNHGA organisation then supports events throughout Northern California. We play other private courses on Open Days (just fun golf with other women from all over the area), participate in Team Play with Nine-Hole groups from our district, get invited to invitationals at other clubs, go to Rules seminars, etc. We find that WNHGA enhances our experience and gives those of us who enjoy competition a legitimate format for play

That all sounds good but I don't want to travel to play golf. Do you have to?"

No. The WNHGA events are just an addition to our regular play. You will find that many of our Member's do not travel to other courses for Open Days but there are definitely some of us who enjoy that aspect of golf so it is available to us. We tend to car pool so driving is not a major issue.

Can you describe how the day looks when you play golf?

Sure. We play on Thursday mornings. We try to get to the clubhouse by 8:15. We then check in with the proshop and then go to the Woman's Locker Room where we find out who we will be playing with and what time we tee off. Members who have children that need to get to school, can request a late tee time (around 9:15). Then, depending on how you like to warm up, you can practice at the range, on the putting green, or the practice bunker. We then arrive at the tee box ten minutes before our tee time.

Because of the Pace of Play regulations set up by our Club, we have two hours and eight minutes to complete our nine holes. We are very strict about that rule but find that it is easily accomplished. We generally have only three women in each group.

After you complete your round, we get together in the library for lunch. We order off the menu. Our Co-captain then figures out who won the game of the day, and announces the winner. If there are any rules questions that come up during play, we address those at that time. Otherwise, it is a very social event. On most days, you are finished with lunch by one o'clock.

If I join the Nine-Hole Group, can I change to the 18-Hole group later?

First, please remember that the most important thing is that you enjoy your golf experience. Each Association has something to offer that will make belonging to our Country Club much more fun.

Second, many women join the nine-holers and then switch to the 18-hole group. Still others move from 18 to 9. It really depends on you and how you want to play the game.

I want to join. How do I do this?

First, welcome! Just call the Nine-hole Captain, Nine-hole Membership Chair or Nine-hole Secretary and let them know you are interested.

Your dues will be billed to your member account. Once paid you can begin to play golf with us immediately.


If a 9 hole member has an 18 hole GHIN number as well as her 9hole GHIN, what needs to be done before the end of the year

The 9 hole member should notify the proshop that she wants to inactivate her 18 hole GHIN. This should be done as soon as possible to ensure she is not charged $39 directly from NCGA through the proshop.

Why can't ladies keep their 18 hole GHIN and their 9 hole GHIN?

USGA decided that they would not support two GHINs for any golfer in the United States. They have mandated that only one GHIN may be assigned to any player effective January 1st, 2018. For ladies who have an 18 hole GHIN, which they purchased directly through NCGA, they should have been posting all their 18 hole rounds and 9 hole rounds to that number. In addition, as a 9 hole member, they should have been posting all their 9 hole rounds to their 9 hole GHIN. Therefore, all the history of posted rounds should be contained under both GHINs. Because the 9 hole handicap chair monitors the 9 hole GHIN for their members, WNHGA felt it would be simpler to have members close down their 18 hole GHINs and maintain their 9 hole GHIN until the data and the number is transferred in the system. When posting 9 hole rounds to an 18 hole GHIN, the data from two 9 holes is combined to make an 18. This is likely the way the 18 hole index will continue to be calculated in the future, the 9 hole index will likely be the 18 hole index divided in half. As long as this is done the same way for all our golfers then the use of the index for tournaments and comptition will remain equitable.

Why can't we keep our 9 hole GHIN?

USGA is no longer allowing members to have two GHINs. The association number for 18 hole members is 56; the association number of 9 hole members is 31. Unfortunately there are duplicate GHINs in the two different association numbers. Since USGA is mandating one association going forward they need to provide new numbers to all 31 association members (9 holers).

What happens to all our data and history?

USGA is planning to transfer up to 5 years of historical data for each 9 hole GHIN record on a club by club basis. Since this is being handled manually by one individual at USGA the exact date and amount of time it will take is still up in the air. Sue Ilg is working directly with USGA to manage this process and will let the club handicap chair know about a week prior to their club's data transfer. At that point, members should hold on to any score cards and post the rounds after the new numbers have been assigned.

What will the reports look like with the new GHIN?

USGA has not been able to confirm exactly how the reports will be handled but as of November 30th, Sue Ilg was able to ensure they will be able to have an identifiable code for 9 hole ladies. With this confirmation we expect that we will be able to pull similar reports to what we currently are able to do. It has not been confirmed but we anticipate that ladies will be able to see an 18 hole index and a 9 hole index (most likely the 18 hole index divided by 2).

What is the roster update schedule and billing cycle for 2018 - For both WGANC and PWGA

First Quarter

Rosters should be updated by December 31st, 2017 in time for the first billing cycle by WGANC which will be sent to clubs on or about January 15th, 2018. The bill will come to the handicap chair from WGANC. The handicap chair should verify the accuracy of the bill and then send it to their club Treasurer for payment. Payment will be made to NCGA but sent to WGANC for processing.

Second Quarter

Rosters should be updated by March 31st 2018. WGANC will send a bill for any new members added between January 2nd and March 31st to the handicap chair. The handicap chair should verify the accuracy of the bill and then send it to their club Treasurer for payment. Payment should be made to NCGA and sent to WGANC for processing.

Third Quarter

Rosters should be updated by June 30th, 2018. WGANC will send a bill for any new members added between April 1st and June 30th to the handicap chair. The handicap chair should verify the accuracy of the bill and then send i to their club Treasurer for payment. Oayment should be made to NCGA and sent to WGANC for processing.

Fourth Quarter

Rosters should be updated by October 31st, 2018. WGANC will send a bill for any new members added between July 1st and September 30th to the handicap chair. The handicap chair should verify the accuracy of the bill and then send i to their club Treasurer for payment. Oayment should be made to NCGA and sent to WGANC for processing.

How much will our 9 hole WNHGA/PWGA members be paying for their GHIN?

NCGA will charge $39 per GHIN and this will be billed through WGANC.

How will the dues payment be done if a lady from the 18-holers wants to come over to the 9-hole group?

Between now and December 31st - treat her as a new 9 hole member. Her 18 hole GHIN should be inactivated by the Proshop. She should be given a new 9 hole number and added to your 9 hole club roster. She wll appear on your Quarter 1 billing along with all members on your current roster and will be charged $39 through WGANC.

After Jan 1st, AND UNTIL YOUR CLUB 9 HOLE NUMBERS HAVE BEEN CHANGED BY USGA - have her keep her 18 hole GHIN and continue to post her 9 hole scores since she will have paid $39 for her number for 2018. Once the club data is transferred then we anticipate that you can simply move her into your club roster with her current 18 hole GHIN and not have to pay and additional $39 GHIN fee.

How will the new GHIN system handle the restriction on the maximum handicap index of 40.4 currently 'imposed' for 18-hole players? Will that imply the maximum index allowed is 20.2 for 9-hole players? How will WNHGA handle the current 9-hole ladies who have a handicap index higher than those maximums?

WNHGA has in the past and will in the future include everyone, no matter what their index is. As far as tournaments are concerned, we have always topped the pops or strokes to be no higher than par. Which means, if the club course is a pr 36, then we would not let you go above 36 pops. That is our only restriction on handicaps. As far as what our new indexes will look like, they will be the same as they are now, just basically doubled (approximately). GHIN has not changed the way they report indexes. The limit of 40.4 is for tournaments, plus they are thinking of raising this number due to the aging of the population.

What happens if a woman has only been posting 18 hole rounds to her 18 hole GHIN and 9 hole rounds to her 9 hole GHIN?

Per USGA rules, the woman should have been posting all scores to both GHINs. Unless she manually prints out the data from 18 hole GHIN and has entered by the handicap chair manually into her 9 hole GHIN, the data will be lost when she closes out her 18 hole GHIN.

Posting a Score

I'm playing in a fun game and we give mulligans and take an occasional 'hand shot' from a bunker, can I post my score?

If you are playing in a WNHGA sanctioned tournament (Team Play, TOC, Open Days), you may not take a mulligan, hand shot, or gimmee. The USGA does not recognize or sanction those actions. In all WNHGA events, you must play by the USGA Rules of Golf.

However, according to the NCGA and Rules Gurus, Gail Rogers and Ryan Gregg, if you are playing in an invitational or casual game and you take a mulligan or a 'hand shot', you must score that hole as par plus 'pops' AND as long as you play 7 of the 9 holes using USGA Rules (no mulligans or 'hand shots' or gimmees), you must post your score.

If you are posting an 18-hole score, you must play 13 of the 18 holes using USGA Rules in order to post.

Note: if you are posting two nine-hole scores (for a nine hole handicap), then each nine holes posted must have seven holes played using USGA Rules.

What if I take one mulligan on each hole?

You cannot post because you did not play 7 of 9 holes according to the rules.

I'm a beginning golfer. What if I pick up? Do I take my maximum (in my case 10)? May I still post?

As long as you have started the hole, you can post a score no matter how many times you pick up. The key is this: if you pick up, you give yourself 'your most likely' scroe that does not exceed your maximum.

You can do this for all nine holes and still post your score.

Then when do I take 'par plus pops'?

On any hole where you did not 'start' the hole or when you did not follow the USGA Rules on that hole, you score 'par plus pops'. Again, you can take 'par plus pops' on only 2 of 9 in a 9-hole round or 5 of 18 holes on an 18-hole round in order to post.