Golfer FAQ

How do I obtain an MSGA membership?
MSGA memberships are obtained through any of its member clubs.  These are listed on this website.  Generally, public courses will allow you to pay for an MSGA membership (with included handicap) without having to pay a club membership also. Once you join, you can log in to the online handicap system. This will allow you to post scores from home, print a card, interact with other members, and receive a bi-monthly e-mail revision.  Your membership also supports the MSGA, which includes compiling course ratings, running men’s and women’s state tournaments, financing junior golf programs, facilitating the newsletter and this website, and other important Association functions.  Click here to view MSGA Member benefits, and to see which clubs offer online registration.

Are MSGA memberships free for Juniors?
Yes. The MSGA is pleased to provide memberships to Juniors at no charge. Simply inform your club of your Junior status and they will place you in the Junior Boys or Junior Girls category. Once you turn 18, you will be placed in the Men or Women category.

How is my handicap calculated?
A Handicap Differential is computed from 4 elements:  adjusted gross score, USGA Course Rating, Slope Rating, and 113 (the Slope Rating of a course of standard difficulty).  The following USGA formula is used:  Handicap Differential = (Adjusted Gross Score – USGA Course Rating) x 113, divided by the Slope Rating.

The USGA Handicap Index formula is based on the best Handicap Differential(s) in a player’s scoring record.  If a player’s record contains at least 20 scores, the best 10 Handicap Differentials of the most recent 20 scores are averaged.  The result is multiplied by .96, and all numbers after the tenths digit are truncated (not rounded).  If there are between 5 and 19 scores in the record, a table is used to determine how many differentials are selected.  A player with LESS THAN 5 18-hole scores (or the equivalent of combined 9-hole scores) will not be issued a Handicap Index.

A player’s Course Handicap is determined by multiplying a Handicap Index by the Slope Rating of the course played, and then dividing by 113.  The resulting figure is rounded off to the nearest whole number.  Use the Course Handicap Calculator when playing Away courses.

For more information, see section 10 of the USGA Handicap Manual.  You can also view detail about your personal calculation by logging in online, and clicking on “Scoring Record”, then “How is my index computed?” under the Helpful Links section.

How do I adjust my score with Equitable Stroke Control (ESC)?
ESC is an adjustment of individual hole scores (for handicap purposes) in order to make handicaps more representative of a player’s potential ability. ESC is applied after the round and is only used when the actual score or the most likely score exceeds a player’s maximum number. ESC sets a limit to the number of strokes a player can take on a hole depending on Course Handicap. Apply ESC to all scores, including tournament scores. Below is the maximum number a player can take:

Course Handicap Maximum Number
9 or less Double Bogey
10-19 7
20-29 8
30-39 9
40 and above 10

Why is there an “R” after my Handicap Index?
A Handicap Index is displayed with an “R” (ex: 10.4R) because two or more tournament scores are affecting the handicap calculation. Tournament Scores (T-Scores) are kept for a minimum of one calendar year from when they are posted, or longer if they are still within a player’s current 20-score history. At each handicap revision the most recent 20 scores are weighed against the average of the two best T-Score differentials, and if the difference of both T-Score differentials is at least three strokes lower than the Handicap Index, the player is eligible for a reduction. A reduction (if necessary) is an automatic calculation based on a sliding table, taking into account the total number of eligible tournament scores. For more information, see section 10-3 of the USGA Handicap Manual.

What is the difference between my Trend and Official Handicap Index?
Your Trend Index is simply a running calculation of your Handicap Index between revisions. Because your Trend can potentially change after each score is posted, it is a useful tool to indicate the trend of your golfing game. However, it is not an official number. At the time of the next handicap revision (on the 1st and 15th of each month), your Trend Index becomes your Official Handicap Index.

How do I edit or delete a score?
Scores can be edited or deleted, with good reason, by the pro shop at your home course. If it is an obvious mistake, you can also contact us. Be sure to include the score information detail, and what it should be.

What is Montana’s official golf season?
The official Golf Season for the Montana State Golf Association runs from April 1 to October 31. Scores played in Montana during the off-season are shown in red (if posted) and not calculated in the official handicap index.

Should I post out-of-state scores?
If the Association where you played is officially in-season, the score is valid and should be posted to your Montana record.

When are the Handicap Revisions?
Handicap Revisions are issued the 1st and 15th of each month, year round. This accommodates those posting scores out of state where it is in-season.

How do I receive a Handicap Revision by e-mail?
To receive an e-revision, log in to the online handicap system. Click on Profile, then Edit Profile, and enter your e-mail address in that field. Then, click on the Account Settings tab, and be sure the box next to “E-mail notifications” is checked. Be sure to save any changes.

Can I link my out-of-state membership to my MSGA membership?
Yes. The MSGA can link to most associations via the International Golf Network (IGN). Use the CONTACT form for your request, and be sure to include your name, Association, and Member # you are linking to. Once linked, scores posted at either location will be routed back to the other membership.

How do I log in to the online handicap system?
If this is the first time you have logged in, your User Name is your Network #, and your Password is montana (all lower case). Once logged in, you will be prompted to change this information. If you have forgotten your User Name and/or Password, please contact us and we would be glad to help you.

When I log in it goes to my husband’s (or wife’s) account.
If multiple people are using the same computer to log in, be sure to LOG OFF one account before logging into the other. Otherwise, it will default to the previous login information.

I’m having problems with the online system…the screens don’t display correctly.
Usually, this is due to a compatibility issue with your browser. If you are using Internet Explorer, try clicking on the “ripped paper” symbol, usually located just to the right of the URL address window. You could also try hitting F5, or CTRL F5, on your keyboard. Or, you could use Google Chrome to log in (this is a free download if you do not have it).

How do I get the MSGA Smartphone app?
The Smartphone app is available in the Apple and Android stores, listed under “MSGA GOLF” or “MONTANA STATE GOLF ASSOCIATION”.  Adobe Air is also required and can be downloaded for free.  The MSGA app is provided at no additional charge to you, as a membership benefit. You will need your username and password to log in. If you do not know this information, please contact us. We recommend first logging into the online handicap system on this website to change your temporary login information (if you are a first-time user) and update your Member Profile. Then, log in to the Smartphone App using the new username and password.

Do I have to enter hole-by-hole scores with the Smartphone App?
No. The default is Total Score (TS).  If you would like to post hole-by-hole score information, go to the settings icon at the top right of the screen, and change it to Hole-by-Hole (HBH).

What is the MSGA vTour Series?
The vTour Series events are designed to make golf fun!  It’s open to members of all ages and abilities. Simply register online at no charge, then play golf as usual during the event dates.  All players are eligible for Player Prize drawings and the top Leaderboard contenders will receive ballots toward a Grand Prize drawing at the end of the season.  For more information about the vTour, click here.

How do I get a Hole-In-Certificate?
MSGA Hole-In-One Certificates are issued by request using the criteria listed on this website.  For more information, click here.

Do you have an additional question?
To contact us, CLICK HERE.

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