|The AWGA board and staff spend a good chunk of time each day planning the most prudent, efficient and effective ways to utilize member dues. In addition to administering the USGA Handicap System the $25 AWGA membership fee (annual) is used to conduct state championships & national qualifiers, implement and support player development programs as well as to recruit and train volunteers, including rules officials to work locally and nationally. While the work being done behind the scenes is the meat and potatoes of the charitable association, the everyday golfer typically associates the $25 fee with a USGA Handicap Index.|
The USGA Handicap System is developed and owned by the USGA but is implemented locally through regional golf associations, clubs and golfers. Similarly to the Rules of Golf, the USGA creates the laws that govern the world of handicapping. In Arizona, these rules are enforced through the Arizona Women's Golf Association and the Arizona Golf Association. Clubs can become licensed to utilize the USGA Handicap System in one of two ways. First, they can apply through either the AWGA or the AGA. Secondly, they can apply directly with the USGA. The vast majority of clubs choose to license through the state golf association because of the support and training they receive. In either case, compliance of every licensed club in Arizona is in the jurisdiction of the AGA and the AWGA (under the banner of AZHN). The USGA requires that all clubs are reviewed and monitored by the AZHN. This is particularly important when considering the fact that the only way to get a USGA Handicap Index is by joining a licensed club.
Because the USGA Handicap Index is the most widely recognized member benefit, the AWGA Board works hard to ensure that the software utilized within this realm is the best available. Over the past year the AWGA Board dedicated a significant amount of time reviewing every major handicapping vendor on the market. Ultimately, a decision was made to contract GHIN services as GHIN was identified as the most robust and effective software available. Beginning in October 2012, AWGA and AGA members will be converted from our current service (EZLinks/Golfnet) into GHIN.
GHIN is the world's largest handicap computation service. With the signing of the two Arizona associations, GHIN has 72 regional golf associations using the service. With over 2 million golfers on one network playing golf and posting scores while travelling or while at your summer home will become much easier. The AWGA currently has 2,400 members who are linked up with another golf association. More than 80% of these accounts are linked up to GHIN. When the transition is completed those members will have one, simple number to use through each club to which they belong. Additionally, members will have access to mobile score posting sites along with Android and IPhone Apps.
The AWGA is excited for these upcoming changes and will work hard to ensure a seamless transition. We are working with GHIN to help develop the look and feel of the new score posting kiosks and will strive to make the aesthetic changes as small as possible while still embracing the newest and best technologies available to us.
Overview of GHIN Timeline
The transition to GHIN began in early July immediately after the contract was signed. Listed below is an overview of what to expect over the next few months:
- July 2012: The AWGA and AGA provided GHIN a list of current members of each association along with the scoring records.
- August 1 through October 1: Upgrade computers owned by AZHN to the minimum standards required for a web-based system. Most will be done by remotely logging into the club computer, and we will notify each club prior to doing so.
- September 5 through October 1: Host a series of training seminars throughout the state to introduce the handicap system and tournament program to members and clubs. Information will be provided at that time on how to download the tournament program. All other services are online and do not require software installation.
- September 15: Information packages will be sent to clubs with member rosters, member numbers and login information for score posting and club administration.
- October 1 to October 10: Immediately following the October 1 revision, the current Golfnet system will be shut down. All clubs will be asked to stop posting scores until final scoring records are transferred to GHIN. As soon as that is completed the GHIN system will go live.
- October 15: First revision using the GHIN Handicap System.
Training workshops have been scheduled throughout the state beginning the first week of September. We have scheduled full-day sessions that will cover both the Handicap Administration (9:30-12 PM) and the Tournament Pairings Program (1 p.m.-4 p.m.) as well as evening and weekend sessions that will cover one or the other. Click Here for a list of seminars
When will the switch to the GHIN system take place?
Members will receive their final handicap revision in the current system on October 1, 2012. Shortly thereafter all posting will be suspended for 7-10 days in order to make the final transfer of scoring information to the GHIN database. During this period members will be informed of their new GHIN member numbers and other information regarding the transition process. The first revision using GHIN will take place on October 15.
AWGA/AGA GHIN CONVERSION FACTS
Will my AWGA number change?
Many AWGA members will receive a new membership number. The AWGA will be working with GHIN to make the new number as similar as possible to your current AWGA number.
What happens if I already have a GHIN number from another golf association?
If you are currently a member of another golf association with uses GHIN as it handicap vendor that GHIN number will also become your AWGA number. Your score files will also be combined to keep the most up to date scoring information available.
Will I still be able to post scores at the golf course?
The AWGA expects that score posting at the golf facilities will be taken down for 7-14 days while the transition is completed. This will occur on Oct. 1st and service will be restored no later than Oct. 15th.
Will I still be able to post scores online?
The AWGA website will remain completely operational throughout the transition. If your club allows online score posting you will still have access to score posting via www.awga.org.
How much will my AWGA membership cost next year?
AWGA dues will remain $25 in 2013.
Will the AWGA offer apps for my smartphone?
Beginning October 15th, AWGA members who use the iPhone or an Android device will be able to download the GHIN score posting APP for no charge.
Does GHIN offer a tournament module?
Yes, GHIN offers the Tournament Pairing Program (TPP) which is fully integrated into the handicap system as part of the vendor service. More information including trainings sessions will be provided by the AWGA at a later date.
Will club administrators still be able to generate the same reports that are currently being utilized?
A. Yes, the GHIN Handicap and Tournament programs have a robust amount of standardized reporting options that will cover most needs of the club. In the case where a club specific report is not available among the standard options, there is an ad hoc report generator available to design custom reports.
Will my Handicap Index continue to be updated on the 1st and 15th of each month?
A. Yes, all Associations utilizing the USGA Handicap System are on a standard revision schedule with handicap calculations being processed on the 1st and 15th of the month, thus you will not experience any change from what is currently in place.
How will golf course and personal club administrator computers be updated with the new GHIN programs?
The AWGA will contact with each golf facility in the near future to install the necessary system upgrades and programs to be ready for the GHIN program implementation once the conversion occurs in early October. Club administrators will be able to access the Handicap Administration program (GHP) remotely by logging a club username and password into the GHIN online handicap program website. The Tournament Pairings Program (TPP) will initially be available to club administrators through a simple download onto their personal computer and accessed through a club specific username and password.