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IGA Versus USGA Membership

A couple of times a year, we receive phone calls about membership options. There are two memberships that often get mixed up. That’s a membership to the United States Golf Association and a membership to a State or Regional Golf Association.

When joining the USGA, there are several different levels of membership. Please click here to view the options. Golfers usually think that when they join the USGA that their membership includes a handicap, which is not the case. Here is the language from the USGA’s website about membership:

    • Unrestricted access to the online USGA Member Clubhouse
    • Advance opportunity to purchase U.S. Open 7-day ticket packages
    • Behind-the-scenes volunteer opportunities at USGA Championships
    • Invitations to exclusive USGA Member events
    • Members-only U.S. Open hat
    • Latest edition of the Rules of Golf
    • USGA bag tag and Member ID card
    • Clubhouse Insider e-newsletter



In order to receive a GHIN handicap, you must join through your State or Regional Golf Association. There are two golf associations that govern amateur golf in Idaho. In the southern portion, it is the Idaho Golf Association and up north it is the Washington State Golf Association. 

When joining the Idaho Golf Association, your membership benefits are as follows:

  • USGA Handicap Index through USGA GHIN System.
  • 24 Handicap revisions (updated the 1st and 15th of every month) resulting in the most up-to-date and accurate handicap indexes.
  • Receive Handicap Index Report and i-Links Newsletter via email.
  • Eligibility to compete in IGA state amateur championships.
  • Eligibility to compete in IGA 9-Hole Members’ Tour.
  • Access to the IGA Winter Get-A-Way that provides affordable, fun-filled, non-competitive golf and lodging at a warm climate destination.
  • The Home Course “The Home of Golf in the Northwest” in which IGA/PNGA members are afforded a significantly reduced green fee.
  • Access to Chambers Bay in which IGA/PNGA members are afforded a significantly reduced green fee.
  • OGA Golf Course in which IGA/PNGA members are afforded a significantly reduced green fee.
  • Eligibility to represent the IGA on International and National Teams in high level competitions.
  • Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA) Membership which includes eligibility for 14 regional amateur championships, Pacific Northwest Golfer Magazine and more.

There are a few different options when joining the IGA. You can join a men’s or women’s association which includes their association fee plus the IGA’s handicap fee, or some clubs allow you to purchase a handicap without joining their club association. Less than 20 clubs allow golfers to join or renew their handicap through our website.

Multiple people belong to the USGA and their State or Regional. It’s a great way to support amateur golf plus receive multiple benefits.

If you have questions about the Idaho Golf Association or establishing a handicap, please contact Vanessa Sinclair at vsinclair@theiga.org or 208-342-4442 x 103.


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    • PGA Rocky Mountain Section
    • GHIN
    • USGA
    • First Tee
    • PNGA