Active And Inactive Season: What’s Acceptable For Handicap Purposes?

USGA Handicap Department
PO Box 708
Far Hills, NJ 07931
T (908) 234- 2300 F (908) 234-1513
[email protected]

Active And Inactive Season: What?s Acceptable For Handicap Purposes?

As 2008 comes to a close, it is important to remember that a majority of the country will be observing an inactive season for handicap posting purposes. Scores made in an area in which the authorized golf association has declared an inactive season must not be posted for handicap purposes (see Section 5-1f(ii)). However, scores made in an area observing an active season must be posted for handicap purposes, even if the player?s home club is observing an inactive season.

The USGA Course Rating? and Slope Rating? represent the difficulty of a golf course during midseason playing conditions. Although the club and weather may permit play during the late fall and winter months, the varying conditions during the off-season months can alter the difficulty of the golf course (e.g., faster/slower fairways and greens, loss of foliage, and rough height fluctuation). Since the Ratings issued to the club do not reflect the difficulty of the course during the off/inactive season, posting scores for handicap purposes under such conditions can affect a player?s Handicap Index? and must not be posted.

To provide consistency in posting scores throughout a region, all clubs within a certain area must abide by the active/inactive season and handicap revision schedule established by the authorized golf association. This includes golf clubs that are not member clubs of the authorized golf association in their area (see Sections 6-2 and 8-3).

An excellent article that addresses this topic can be found here: Active, But Inactive

The active/inactive season and the handicap revision schedule that is observed in your area is available to view online via

?The USGA Handicap System? manual is available to view online via