Section 1 – Handicapper Roles and Responsibilities

The Handicapper has the following responsibilities:

  1. Establish and maintain a roster of all team players and their selected tee (Middle, Senior or Forward tee)
  2. Establish and maintain rules of handicapping consistent with USGA rules of handicapping
  3. Establish and maintain handicap indexes for all members in accordance with NIHGA rules
  4. For Stroke Play outings:
    1. Calculate and publish playing handicaps for all members
    2. Maintain electronic files of scorecards from each outing
    3. Determine and publish winners of individual and team competitions for each outing
  5. For Match Play outings:
    1. Prepare and publish scorecards for each foursome showing how many strokes each player is given per hole
    2. Publish a bracket chart showing which teams compete against each other in each match play round
  6. For End of Year Scramble outing:
    1. Determine and publish flight assignments for all foursomes
    2. If course does not provide a leaderboard at the course, prepare a leaderboard to post scores by flight
    3. Publish results
  7. Determine and publish winners of annual awards
    1. Prepare framed certificates for winners
  8. Advise the NIHGA Board on matters related to handicapping and annual awards

Section 2 – Handicapper Tools

  1. The Handicapper shall use the free web-based application called Fringe Golfers to maintain handicap indexes and playing handicaps for each course played.  The Handicapper shall serve as NIHGA’s administrator for Fringe Golfers and designate an alternate handicapper(s) to serve as a substitute in the event of the Handicapper’s absence, and ensure continuity of operations in the event the Handicapper is otherwise unable to perform the duties.  Fringe Golfers has FAQ and several tutorials online as to how to perform the various administrator functions in Fringe Golfers.  This guide does not attempt to describe how to perform the Fringe Golfers functions.
  2. Due to limitations of Fringe Golfers, the Handicapper uses a separate spreadsheet to prepare user-friendly handicap reports and outing results that are posted on the NIHGA website. Step-by-step instructions are included in each spreadsheet. Care must be taken to not overwrite cells containing formulas or Look Up tables. Each type of outing – Stroke Play, Match Play, and Scramble – has their own spreadsheet.

Section 3 – Season Startup

  1. The handicapper shall add new players to the Fringe Golfers league member list. To facilitate entering hole-by-hole scores after each stroke play outing, the first name is followed by a hyphen and tee box used, e.g., Denise – F.  The handicapper also “deactivates” (versus “deletes”) players who drop out of the league. Deactivated players retain all of their scores in the event they decide to rejoin the league.
  2. The handicapper enters the Stroke Play outing schedule in Fringe Golfers.
  3. The handicapper verifies the golf course scorecard information for each course played is accurately loaded in Fringe Golfers for all tees used by NIHGA.  If needed, the handicapper will modify/add scorecard information in Fringe Golfers.
  4. The handicapper establishes the Season and sets the criteria for the season in Fringe Golfers.  If the handicapping rules have not changed from the previous season, the handicapper can view and use the same criteria from the previous season in Fringe Golfers.
  5. The handicapper verifies and records USGA handicaps for new members if they have a handicap using USGA GHIN.  The USGA handicap is used for their first two outings, then the Fringe Golfers handicap after they have played in two outings.

Section 4 – Handicap Indexes

  1. The Handicapper enters hole-by-hole scores for each member in Fringe Golfers after each Stroke Play outing.  The Handicapper ensures the scores are entered for the correct course and the appropriate color tee that corresponds to the member’s tee selection (Middle, Senior, and Forward tees).  Fringe Golfers will adjust the gross score for handicapping purposes allowing a maximum score of net double bogey per hole.
  2. The Handicapper transfers the Handicap Indexes from Fringe Golfers to an offline spreadsheet.
  3. Entering scorecard information into Fringe Golfers shall be limited to the Handicapper and his/her alternate.  Therefore, the Handicapper shall not give members access to Fringe Golfers although the app has the capability to do that.

Section 5 – Playing Handicaps

The Handicapper shall use the offline spreadsheet to calculate playing handicaps. Fringe Golfers has the ability to calculate playing handicaps, but it is not easy to use since you cannot assign tees to individuals and it does not account for differences in pars. The Handicapper prepares a report with the Playing Handicaps and sends it to the Team Captains and webmaster for distribution and posting on the website.

Section 6 – Filing Scorecards and Recording Scores

  1. The Handicapper is responsible for storing photos of the scorecards in an electronic file for each round.  The scorecard photo files will use the naming convention of the last names of all golfers on the scorecard so a score can easily be retrieved if needed, e.g., Droneburg_Chiodo_Puzio_Grove.jpeg.   It is the responsibility of members to email scorecards to the Handicapper at the end of the outing.  In the event that any scorecards are missing, the handicapper will directly reach out to members of the foursome to remind them to submit their scorecards.  
  2. If a team submits two photos for their scorecard (a separate photo for front nine and back nine), the Handicapper may use to merge the photos before storing them in the files.

Section 7 – Stroke Play Outing Results

  1. The Handicapper is responsible for preparing and publishing the results of each stroke play outing. Ideally, the results should be made available to Team Captains within 2 days but no later than one week after the outing. The Handicapper completes a series of spreadsheet sorts to determine the winners and prepare the results report.
  2. Individual competitions include: Flighted Low Gross Score, Flighted Low Net Score, Closest to the Pin, and Long Drive.  Winners are awarded a sleeve of balls from their Team Captain for each individual competition. There may be multiple winners in the event of ties.  If a player wins Low Gross Score, he/she is ineligible for Low Net Score.
  3. The group with the last tee time is responsible for taking photographs of the Closest to the Pin and Long Drive cards and emailing them to the Handicapper.
  4. The Handicapper establishes the handicap range for each flight so there are roughly the same number of people per flight. The handicap range will likely change for each outing.
  5. Once the flights are set, the handicapper identifies the Low Gross Score and Low Net Score winners for each flight.
  6. Teams are awarded points at the end of each outing.  The points are based on the sum of the 5 lowest net scores of members from that team.  Whichever team has the lowest sum is the winner for that outing and is awarded 8 points.  The team with the second lowest sum is awarded 6 points. The team with the highest sum is awarded 4 points.  In the event of a tie, the teams evenly split the total number of points for each place that is tied. The points are accumulated throughout the year to determine the Stroke Play Team Champion at the end of the season and an appropriate award is presented to all eligible members of that team.

Section 8 – Match Play

  1. One of the Team Captains is designated the Match Play organizer and is responsible for planning and managing the tournament.  Based on the level of interest and availability of courses, the Match Play four ball tournament may be a non-flighted competition between the three NIHGA teams or a flighted competition between 2-person teams established specifically for the match play event.  It could be either a single- or double-elimination event.
  2. The Handicapper prepares and publishes playing handicaps for all participants based on their Handicap Index from Stroke Play outings.
  3. The Handicapper also prepares and prints copies of personalized scorecards for each cart to ensure players know which holes and how many strokes they are given during the round. The personalized scorecards are given to the course on the day of the event.
  4. Teams report the results of their Match Play round to the Match Play organizer, who then reports the results to all members.  The Handicapper uses those results to pair up teams for the next round.  The Handicapper repeats the process until all rounds are completed.

Section 9 – End of Year Scramble Tournament and Annual Awards

  1. At the end of the season, the Team Captains organize a final outing consisting of a flighted four-person team scramble tournament, luncheon, and Annual Awards.
  2. The Handicapper supports the scramble tournament as follows:
    1. Prepare a handout with rules of the tournament.  The handout will be coordinated and approved by Team Captains before it is distributed to participating members.
    2. Assign teams to flights based on the average of the players’ final handicap indexes from Stroke Play competitions.  The Handicapper uses a spreadsheet to calculate team handicaps and group teams into flights.  Instructions are provided on the spreadsheet.
    3. Guests may be invited to the tournament.  Guests with official handicaps (either USGA or online apps) will provide proof of handicap to the handicapper.  The Handicapper will approximate handicaps for those guests who do not have official handicaps based on their self-described skill level and scores for their last 2-3 rounds.
    4. Prepare a “leaderboard” (if the course does not offer that service) to post at the tournament where final scores and names of team members can be posted at the luncheon.  How this is done will depend on the course. In 2020, the handicapper used rolls of white paper and a poster marker to list names of the team members. The paper was taped to the fencing surrounding the patio and gross scores were recorded after the round ended. Some courses may have white boards or bulletin boards available.
    5. Verify on the day of the event that flight assignments have not changed due to individuals dropping out at the last minute.
    6. Record the results after the tournament and prepare a report for Team Captains to send to all members. The Handicapper should photograph the leaderboard at the tournament to ensure results are accurately recorded.
  3. The handicapper will determine the winners of the Annual Awards and prepare framed certificates. The wording on the certificates should be personalized for the current year.  This includes the Greg Chicca Cup, Director’s Cup, Rookie of the Year and any Hole-In-One awards.  The handicapper shall advise the Board as to whether there are enough Rookies to warrant a Rookie of the Year award.

This resource describes the roles and responsibilities of the NIHGA Handicapper as well as guidelines and procedures for carrying out those responsibilities.

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