Player Services: Members Now!

Here is a list of helpful FAQs so that will answer your questions about this new member service.

If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our staff directly.

See a list of Members Now! contacts to the right.


What is the program all about?

The MGA Members Now! program is a one-step process for connecting interested golfers with public, municipal and semi private facilities located across the state. The program was designed in response to the growing number of golfers who are looking to connect with a club but don't know where to start or don't have the time to make that trip to the local facility.

This program simply makes the path from your computer to your local club one step easier. You will now be able to obtain a GHIN # with one of our Member Clubs from the comfort and ease of your home computer or mobile device.

Where do I start?

CLICK HERE to begin! The system is easy and quick. In just a few short minutes you will be transformed from an unattached golfer to an MGA member!

How does it work?

The MGA Members Now! program is perfect for a golfer who has never had a handicap index and wants to set one up for the upcoming season. It is also an opportunity for a golfer who either has an active handicap index with another Member Club or has an inactive handicap index in the system who simply wants to connect with one of our many participating MGA Member Clubs.

New Golfers - There are more than 84,000 Bay State golfers who currently have a handicap index with one of our 360+ MGA Member Clubs. However, we also know that there are thousands of others who either play golf without recording scores or who are interested in getting involved in the sport. Regardless of your playing background, the MGA Members Now! program will allow you to sign up for a GHIN # (and thus obtain a handicap index - see below for more info on why you should have one) with an MGA Member Club.

This new program will make it much easier for you to become a part of the MGA and take advantage of the many benefits associated with the MGA and our Member Club base.

If you are a new golfer who has never had a GHIN # before, you can select a club from a drop-down menu. Upon completion of the transaction, you will be assigned a GHIN # and you can start posting scores. Once you have posted five adjusted gross scores, the system will calculate your personal handicap index. You will also be able to immediately utilize your personal My MGA Home online portal, download the MGA Home mobile app, begin receiving your e-revision emails and much more!

If you have an inactive GHIN # or a GHIN # with a non-participating club (for instance, a private facility), you can easily expand your golf network by connecting your existing GHIN # with another Member Club. During the new golfer process, you simply need to find your account by inputting your name and email. Click on your account and then you will be able to find a new club in your area. Once the transaction has been completed, your GHIN # will be active at you current club and your new club.

Existing Golfers - If you currently have a GHIN # with an MGA Member Club that is participating in the MGA Members Now! program, you can now easily renew your GHIN# for the upcoming season via the MGA web site. In order to renew, you will have to be logged into your My MGA Home account. If your club is currently allowing renewals to be processed through the MGA Members Now! program, you will see a red "Renew" link next to the club under the "My Memberships" section.

I have a GHIN #. Now what?

So you went through the Members Now! process and now have a GHIN # through one of our Member Clubs - excellent! Now you are wondering how you get a handicap, right? All you have to do is post five scores (you can post at the club where you played or online via the MGA Home mobile app or the My MGA Home program). Your handicap at any one time is 96 percent of the average of the best 10 of your previous 20 scores. (Don't worry - you get a card emailed to you on the 1st and 15th of each month that shows your information.)

Your handicap fairly accurately reflects your current form because you must record your score every time you go out. It is so easy to post scores these days - you can do at the club or online via a computer or mobile device - and the program does all the work and updates your handicap.

Suppose that your ten scores average out at exactly 100. In other words, for your first ten rounds of golf, you hit 1,000 shots. If par for the 18-hole course you played is 72, your average score is 28 over par. That figure, 28, is your handicap. Every time you play from then on, your handicap adjusts to account for your most recent score.

How long is my GHIN # active for?

Your GHIIN # will be active for the upcoming season and will be automatically inactivated on 12/31/2017.

Your GHIN membership will be valid through the end of the existing calendar year. For instance, if a golfer signs up for a GHIN number through your club on April 9, 2017, the GHIN number will remain active until December 31, 2017.

In addition, in order to provide playing opportunities for golfers looking to get involved during the fall months, the MGA will offer golfers a bonus sign-up time. Any golfer who signs up for a GHIN number through the MGA Members Now! Program after October 1st will not be inactivated until the following year. For example, if a golfer signs up for GHIN number online on October 15th, 2016, the GHIN number will not be inactivated until December 31, 2017.

When do I have to renew my GHIN #?

If you are a member of a participating Members Now! club and did not renew your membership directly with the pro shop this past spring, you have been automatically inactivated for the 2016 season. To renew, you simply need to log into the My MGA Home program and click on the red "renew" link. You can also visit your pro shop and they can activate you directly.

For those who are members at non-participating clubs, you will need to check with your club regarding its policies for activation. Most public-access courses inactivate all members in anticipation of the new season and then activate each person as they renew.

CLICK HERE to view more helpful handicap FAQs.

Why do I need a USGA Handicap Index?

Whether you play every weekend or just a few times per year, every golfer should have a GHIN # so that they can maintain what is called a handicap index.

A handicap provides a unique scoring system that levels the field for players of different abilities by "giving strokes" to the more inexperienced golfer. Without it, it wouldn't be much fun for the rookie golfer to go up against more experienced players.

It also makes it possible to compare scores when competing from different tees or even when women are playing against men.

  • It's an indication of your level of play, regardless of the course you're on.
  • It's a great incentive to improve your game: because it's based on your best 10 scores it's a reflection of your potential, not your average score or strokes over par.
  • Most charity events and some golf courses, especially in Europe, require proof of golf handicap before letting you on the course. Keep that in mind when planning your golf resort getaway or looking sign up for a fun event this season.

The MGA not only provides the world's largest USGA Handicap Index service (GHIN) to you, but anyone who holds a handicap index through any of our Member Clubs is eligible to take advantage of the MGA’s member services package.

You get access to your scores on the go through our MGA Home mobile app, maintain your own personalized home portal that is accessible via any computer or mobile device, receive your complimentary subscription to MassGolfer magazine and Global Golf Post New England and get access to MGA Championships and MGA Member Days. You are also eligible for discounts from the MGA's valued patrons of golf - Titleist, First Republic Bank and Liberty Mutual Insurance.

Who should take part?

The program is open to any golfer who has never had a GHIN # (or who had one but it has been more than two years since it was active) or any golfer whose GHIN # is currently inactive or active at a club not included in the MGA Members Now! program and who wants to connect with another club.

It is also a helpful program for golfers who are looking to register for an MGA Championship or Member Day but are listed as “inactive” in the GHIN system. You can now activate your GHIN # and register from the comfort of your home computer or mobile device.

How much does it cost?

Each participating club sets its own price for a GHIN #. Many of those fees include additional member benefits, so be sure to read and review the member benefits that appear for each participating club.

A summary of each participating club’s unique offerings is listed as part of the MGA Members Now! Program.

The fee that is set by each participating club is what each golfer is charged. There are no additional set-up or credit card processing fees assessed to the final cost.

Due to the nature of GHIN # issuance, the Members Now! transaction is non-refundable.

Which club should I select?

The MGA encourages all golfers to consider the location of a club and the benefits that the club can offer you.

Location - When you select a club from the drop-down menu, you can sort by region or see a complete list of clubs that are part of the program. You should consider where you will play most of your golf whether that is close to your home, work or summer house.

Benefits - Be sure to take a moment to review all of the benefits that each participating club offers. Whether it is an incentive gift for signing up for the season or an opportunity to join an inner-club or a golf league, you will be impressed by the offerings available at golf facilities across the state.

Do I have to post my golf scores once I have a GHIN #?

There is a fallacy that if a golfer only plays in scratch events, the posting of scores is not important. Nothing could be further from the truth as the only valid reflection of the player's potential can come from the posting of all scores. In order to compete in a gross event, for instance, there is typically an index requirement to be met. Without a true index, this player may be accepting a spot in place of another golfer who has legitmately earned that Handicap Index by posting all of their scores.

If you are playing in a net event, it is important that you know exactly how many strokes you should be getting to ensure that you are playing in an equitable manner.

So remember, the next time you are out enjoying a round of golf, be sure to remember to post your score. It's good for the game, it's your responsibility and it's good for your enjoyment of golf!

Can I join a second or third club?

Yes. Even though you have an active GHIN # with an MGA Member Club, you can add a new club to your golf network and be active at two or more clubs. This is a very common practice for individuals who work in one region of the state but reside in another. It is also popular among "snow birds" who keep their GHIN # active at a club in Massachusetts as well as their winter destination such as Florida or Arizona.

Membership at multiple clubs allow you to enjoy the benefits of different facilties whether they are private, semi-private or public. However, each club is charged per member so you will need to pay a GHIN fee for each club that you join for the season.

Why should I get a GHIN number with an MGA club?

While there are online vendors that say they offer "USGA Handicaps", those GHIN #s will not allow you to take advantage of the many benefits that the MGA offers directly to its members such as entry into MGA Championships and Member Days as well as complimentary subscriptions to MassGolfer magazine and Global Golf Post New England, to name just a few.

You will also become part of the GHIN system, the world's largest handicap computation service. GHIN is provided through 71 State, Regional or National Golf Associations to over 12,000 clubs and approximately 2.3 million golfers.

In addition, by obtaining a GHIN # through an MGA Member Club you are supporting golf facilities that add significant value to our communities. At this year's Massachusetts Golf Day held at the State Capital, members of the golf industry educated legislators about a $2.7 billion golf industry here in the Commonwealth that supports more than 25,500 jobs and provides countless number of positive influences on charity, ecology, tax revenues and tourism.

Can juniors sign up?

At this time, the program is not able to process junior memberships or those golfers who are under the age of 18. Many clubs offer free or greatly discounted junior memberships as part of an ongoing initiative to grow the game and encourage more golfers to grab a club and get involved. The MGA encourages all young golfers to contact a club in their area (click here to access a searchable database of MGA Member Clubs) to learn more about the many junior golf programs offered at facilities located across the state.

In addition, the MGA - as a means of assisting aspiring young golfers in their pursuit of competitive or fun opportunities - posts a schedule of events and a summary of organizations that offer junior golf events as well as many other junior golf resources such as The First Tee of Massachusetts.

Click here to learn more.

Where can I learn more about the handicap system?

The MGA staff is your authority on handicap issues! Here are some helpful links.

MGA Noteworthy

  • Members Now! Update: The Members Now! program is now available. CLICK HERE to get started.

Player Services Links

Members Now!:

Customer Service:

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