Golf Booms in 2020

Despite the COVID-19 Pandemic Holding Many Industries Back, 2020 has Provided a Boom for Golf 

Throughout March and April of this year, many golf clubs, facilities, and organizations were forced to shut down as the COVID-19 pandemic began. However, despite many lengthy shutdowns, we are seeing that only a few months later, that golf has been as busy as it has ever been.

Central Links Golf has seen great participation in 2020 events and has aimed to make sure golfers can be healthy and safe while continuing to provide quality events for players, staff, volunteers, and member clubs. 

Executive Director of Central Links Golf, Doug Habel, says “Golf has been one of the few outlets for people in 2020. We have seen an increase in participation across the board in our tournaments, and tee times have been extremely difficult to come by. The COVID-19 protocols we put in place, as well as those put in place at facilities, have seemed to be effective in limiting the spread of COVID-19 through golf” when commenting on the successes seen in 2020.

As for the data, the numbers speak for themselves.

Across all Central Links Golf Member Clubs, there has been a 41.45% increase in rounds posted to GHIN handicaps in 2020, resulting in 880,697 total rounds posted in GHIN this year (as of October 27th). A few significant club increases include Lake Quivira Country Club in Lake Quivira, KS and The Deuce at The National in Parkville, MO, both seeing 72% and 69% increases in rounds posted this year, respectively (both increasing from about 9,000 rounds in 2019 to over 16,000-17,000 rounds in 2020 so far). 

As far as the national ranks go, according to the National Golf Foundation’s “The Q”, there was a 19-25% increase in rounds played during July, August, and September. The summer months provided an increase in rounds by nearly 27 million… now that is a lot of golf!

While there has been this golfing boom this year, clubs, facilities, and organizations have still been able to maintain consistent protocols to keep golfers safe when attending. The PGA website provides some operational examples during COVID-19 to get “Back2Golf”, and some of these examples are listed below.

  • Clubhouses enforce mandated mask policies
  • Single-rider carts, which are always sanitized, are encouraged when riding
  • Pin modifications, plus removal of rakes, trash cans, and ball washers have helped reduce the mass touching of shared surfaces

When speaking to member clubs, Central Links Golf hears the impact of the golf rush that 2020 has brought. Baile Stephenson, Club Services and Marketing Manager at Central Links Golf says “Our area clubs continue to report record numbers of rounds. Ultimately, we are happy to be here providing opportunities to link communities and generations together through the game of golf.” 

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, but also any time that the golfing industry is facing a challenge, the community wants to do all that it can to provide people the opportunity to play this wonderful game we call golf. 

Keep Posting Scores Through December 31, 2020

Don’t let cooler temps keep you from posting your scores. Golfers in our region can keep posting their scores to their GHIN Handicap through December 31, 2020.

What about the weather?

In most parts of our region, golfers can continue to play through the end of the year. If the course conditions have mildly changed, we should see an adjustment to your handicap through the Playing Conditions Calculation. This adjustment can account for anything from course set up to weather conditions. Watch this video about the PCC Adjustment.

When can I start posting scores again?

In our region, Kansas & Kansas City, golfers can post scores beginning March 1-December 31. Be sure to keep your game going in the offseason by cross-training or hitting indoors!

What about January and February?

Continue to post any scores played in an ACTIVE season in January and February. For example, some golfers might play in Florida during the winter. Go ahead and continue posting your scores! Not sure if you are playing in an active zone? Ask the pro shop or the regional golf association.

What if I don’t have an active Handicap Index?

We’ve got you covered! There are several clubs that will still offer a full year of handicap services when you join online. Join here >>

We hope you get out and play several more rounds this year, there is still plenty of great weather ahead!

10 Reasons | To Get A Handicap

In 2020, we moved from the USGA Handicap System to the World Handicap System. Now, everyone in the world is using the same Handicap System. We’ve outlined a few reasons why you should be keeping a handicap about your local club or Eclub.

1. Allows you to compete fairly in a number of different formats

Whether you are playing match play or stroke play, Stableford or Four-Ball, your Handicap Index allows players of differing abilities to compete on an equitable basis. Read Appendix C of the Handicap Manual for recommended Handicap Allowances for various formats of play.

2. Tracks your progress and reflects your potential

Your handicap will display your past scores and your index will reflect what your potential could be. Each time you play and post a score, you will receive a Handicap Index Revision the next day. You can also keep your hole-by-hole stats in the USGA GHIN Mobile App.

3. Easy Score Posting

Your GHIN membership through Central Links Golf allows you to post scores on, the GHIN Mobile App, and access to any score posting kiosk. Be sure to play and post on the same day in order for the Playing Conditions Calculation to accurately be applied, if applicable. Posting on the same day also ensures that your Handicap Index is accurate for the next day of play.

4. Tournament competition for men, women, and juniors

Your Handicap Index allows you to play in Central Links Golf tournaments and access to USGA Championships. Our tournaments are open to golfers of all ages and abilities, there is something for everyone!

5. Discounts on travel, concert tickets, sports tickets, and more*

Your GHIN membership allows you to use  Affinity Travel Benefits, where you can save up to 70% on travel and entertainment for any time of year.

6. Stay Up to Date

You will receive a GHIN Newsletter in your inbox on the 1st and the 15th of every month. This newsletter focuses on golf-related news, Rules of Golf & Handicapping Education, upcoming events, and past results.

7. Hole in One Recognition

When your golf course submits your Hole-in-One, you will receive a Hole-in-One certificate and mention in the GHIN newsletter.

8. Opportunity to be chosen for regional team events

Players who compete in Central Links Golf Tournaments can be chosen to play for a regional competition team. A few of our regional competitions include 4-State, Kansas/Nebraska Cup, Fore State, Mid America Cup, and more.

9. “What’s your handicap index?”

Once people find out you play golf, they’re sure to ask you this question, and now you’ll have an answer.

10. Motivates you to improve    

Because an index will track your progress, you will be motivated to continue improving. We give our yearly awards to the Most Improved Golfer in our region, maybe this year it could be you!

What would you add to this list?

*May take up to 14 business days after joining for Affinity Travel Benefits to activate

Ladies Golf Gab

Join us for women’s golf conversations, virtually.

We are feeling the itch to get out and play some golf, however, we know that might not be possible for most women throughout KC and KS. 

We will be hosting a weekly webchat with Central Links Golf staff and area female golf professionals covering all things golf – Rules, Handicapping, swing tips, fitness, stretching, drills, and more. Get your golf on with our golf nerds.


Sally Krystyn – Tuesday, March 31
Courtney Mahon – Tuesday, April 7
Penny Hickman – Tuesday, April 13
Kristen Samp – Tuesday, April 21
Wendi Brandt – Tuesday, April 28
Registration is free. All webinars will be held from 9:30-10:15 AM

Session One Recap

Click Here to watch the recorded session
Click Here to view the Handout; Click Here for Penalty Area Slides
Penalty Area Videos:
Lateral Relief
Red & Yellow Penalty Areas
Back on the Line Relief Procedure
If you are interested in doing online Yoga with Sally Krystyn you can join the Golf+Yoga+Life Facebook Group or email her for the information at

Session Two Recap

Click Here to watch the recorded session
Click Here to view the handout

Session Three Recap

Click Here to watch the recorded session
Click Here to view the handout from Penny Hickman
Click Here to view the Playing Conditions Calculation handout

Session Four Recap

Click Here to watch the recorded session
Click Here to view the WHS Handout
Click Here to view Kristen’s slides
Take the Rules of Golf Q&A Survey for next week!

Watch Kristen’s Course Management Videos
Intro Video
Managing Creeks
Putting from the Fringe
Mental Tip
Make a Strategic Plan
Plan for a Bogey
Plan for Adversity

Session Five Recap

Click Here to watch the recorded session
Click Here to view Wendi’s Slides

USGA | Announcement

The USGA announced this afternoon that scores with any modified hole are permissible and should be posted for handicap purposes. This announcement comes in response to the many different safety measures golf facilities are taking at this time. These recommendations will be in effect throughout the United States until further notice by the USGA.

Click here to view the USGA Announcement.

Click here for Covid-19 Rules and Handicapping FAQs. (Includes information regarding bunkers/bunker rakes, scorecards, local rules regarding the flagstick, etc.)

World Handicap System | FAQ

World Handicap System FAQ

You have a question, we have the answer.

Will my score history be migrated to the new system? As long as you have previously had a USGA Handicap Index, all of your past scoring history will be migrated – whether you want it to or not. ?

Will I get a new Handicap Index when WHS goes live in January 2020? Maybe. There is no guarantee that your index will change, but it most likely will. In some cases, your index will go up. For other golfers, your index might go down. Just remember that the WHS will be a more accurate, inclusive, and fair system.

What is a “Low Handicap Index”? We’re glad you asked. Low Handicap Index will be a key component of the World Handicap System.  A golfer’s handicap index is subject to a soft cap from the low handicap index over the prior year once it rises three strokes.  A handicap index is subject to a hard cap of no more than five strokes higher than the low handicap index over the previous year.

Many tournaments currently use the low handicap index over the prior year for events like the Member/Guest.  It is important to note that the World Handicap System is a new formula, so the low handicap index for every golfer as it pertains to the World Handicap System will be set on the first day of its implementation in January 2020.  In order for the low handicap index to become a part of a golfer’s handicap index,  the golfer must have 20 scores in the scoring record.

Please have your tournament committees carefully consider how to implement this particular feature for the year 2020.  Feel free to reach out to us with any questions.  We are happy to be available for committee meetings by phone or Skype if necessary to answer any questions related to this new component of the WHS.

Will the active handicap season change? Nope. We are still operating from March 1 – December 31 à that means you can post your score when you play golf during our active season. Be sure to check if the state you’re playing in is observing an active season – you can always post your score when it is an active season where you played golf.

All this talk about the Handicap System has me wanting to establish a Handicap Index. How can I do that? You can join at your local club or through an Eclub Here.

If you do not see your question listed on this page, please contact