One of the side benefits of keeping an official golf handicap through the USGA’s national Golf Handicap and Information Network (GHIN) system is that it makes you a member of the enormous network of over 9,000 golf clubs that use the GHIN system.
The simple, user-friendly functionality of the system is easy to utilize for entering scores and tracking golf round statistics.
Additionally, the Handicap Lookup function allows anyone to research and verify any other member’s active handicap. Other golfers can be found by: 1) entering their GHIN number, if known, or 2) simply entering their last name and state of their golf club association.
The system couldn’t be more simple. While this simplicity is fantastic for compiling indexes for inter-club tournaments or verifying the handicap of a less than forthright opponent (or teammate), it is also incredibly convenient for the more curious Internet gawkers among us.
All you need to “creep” the statistical history of your occasional playing partners, friends, and family is all out there on the World Wide Web. There is no anonymity or personal privacy for anyone who uses the GHIN system. I post mine right here on the Blog.
However, for those used to some measure of discretion, the GHIN system grants them no quarter. Celebrities, dignitaries, professional golfers, if they are members of a club that uses the GHIN system, their information is there for your perusal.
At this time of golf’s silly season, with the snowfalls stacked higher than the mercury in the thermometer, checking out how you stack up against your friends or favorite player can help pass the time of the otherwise dreary bleakness of those long winter evenings.
I mean, the PGA Tour’s West Coast and Florida Swings are entertaining, but they don’t keep anybody warm on a cold Monday night.
There is a method to navigating the voyeuristic buffet, in that if you have to know the actual given name, as entered into the system, and location of the golf club of the player you are trying to look up.
And before you waste a few moments trying to figure it out, No, Augusta National does not appear to use or make public its members’ scores or information.
So, go ahead, if you’ve hit off a rubber mat with frost-bitten hands for too many days in a row, if you’ve putted in your living room until there’s a trench in your Wife’s favorite rug, then go ahead, take a break, and gawk at Jack Nicklaus’ 1.6 handicap that he maintains at age 75.
Until spring arrives, happy rubbernecking Dear Readers!