Do I need to have a handicap? How do I establish one and how do I post my scores?

BWWGA members are encouraged to obtain and maintain an official handicap as provided for under the United States Golf Association (USGA) handicap system. A handicap allows players to track improvement in their own game and more importantly to enjoy fair competition against any other golfer on any golf course. If you are a new player and don't have one yet, you may be allowed to participate in some of the non-competitive events at Bretton Woods with an assigned handicap (maximum handicap of 43).

You may choose to establish either an 18- or a 9-hole handicap. Play five rounds of 18 holes, and mark a scorecard for each round (can combine two rounds of 9 holes, but cannot double the score of a single round of 9 holes). Request the Pro Shop staff to add your name to the appropriate handicap list in the computer and to create a MSGA username and password which can later be used to post your scores from home by logging on to www.msganetwork.org, or use your Bretton Woods member number to post your scores in the Pro Shop computer. An annual handicap maintenance fee of $35 would be charged to your member account.

Once you have established your handicap (when you have at least 5 scores in the computer) you can then start adding scores of 18 or 9 holes. You must apply the EQUITABLE STROKE CONTROL rule. This rule says that you may not post a score higher than the maximum number of strokes per hole based on your handicap. (See Handicaps page for examples.)

You must post the score of every round you play during the season (March 15 - November 15). This includes all tournament, competitive, practice, and ‘just for fun’ rounds, both at home and away. This ensures that each golfer plays off a realistic handicap in club tournaments and in regional events, and allows fairer and more enjoyable competition for everyone. Failure to post your score is considered poor sportsmanship. The Committee’s Handicap Chairperson, as required by our women’s regional golf association memberships, has the responsibility of encouraging and reminding us to post our scores promptly and properly after tournaments and team matches.

What is the difference between my Index and Local Course Handicap?

A "Handicap Index" is the USGA's service mark used to indicate a measurement of a player's potential ability on a course of standard playing difficulty. It is expressed as a number taken to one decimal place (e.g., 10.4) and is used for conversion to a Course Handicap.

A Course Handicap represents the number of strokes needed to play to the level of a scratch golfer - or the Course Rating of a particular set of tees. A Course Handicap is expressed as a whole number (e.g. 10).

To get your Course Handicap, take the Handicap Index and multiply it by the slope rating of the tees played. Once you have that number, divide it by Standard Slope Rating (113) to get your answer (rounded to the nearest whole number, .4 rounds down and .5 rounds up). No worries, a Course Handicap calculator is available at http://www.usga.org/handicaps/calculator/course_handicap_calculator.asp

Can I be reimbursed my $50 Annual BWWGA dues if I decide I do not want to participate?

Yes! Total refund by April 1 and half refund by July 1.

All of the BWWGA events listed in the website are for women only. In which other golfing events can women participate at Bretton Woods?

Monthly Medals


18 hole individual net stroke play tournament has net and gross prizes - no separate division for men and women. Sign-up on the day of play. Generally, this tournament is held on the first Saturday of each month.

Handicap Match Play Championship - The Clark Cup

Season Long beginning April 1

A season long Match Play event in which individual competitors play in a knockout format using USGA Handicaps. Matches are played on a monthly basis with the date and time being determined by the players. No separate division for men and women

Opening Day Icebreaker

A team event using 2 best net balls of the foursome with Stableford Scoring. Players may register as a foursome or individually. Golf is followed by a barbeque lunch. Each team consists of 4 members that can be men, women or a combination of both.

The Bermuda Bowls - Spring Pairs

A two person, handicap match play competition with separate divisions for men and women. A competition in which two play their better ball against the better ball of the other two players. The winning team advances to the next round.

Team Stroke Play Championship - The Chick Merwin Trophy

A two person, two day net stroke play tournament with separate divisions for men and women. Teams return one 18 hole score consisting of the lowest net scores recorded on each hole over both rounds.

The Walden Couples Cup

A four person, one day tournament using a Colored Ball Stableford format. Similar to scoring used on our golf trips, all net points count towards the team total. Points scored with the Colored Ball are doubled. Each team consists of 4 members that can be men, women or a combination of both.

The Argentine Cup

An individual, two day net stroke play tournament with separate divisions for men and women. This tournament will be played over 36 holes; 18 holes each day. First round pairing will be made according to handicap index. The final round pairing will be based on the net score of the first 18 holes. Leaders will be paired last.

The Father/Child Tournament

This tournament is traditionally held on the Sunday morning of Father's Day. Fathers and their child(ren) compete with other teams in a best ball of two format, or scramble format. A BBQ lunch follows the conclusion of the tournament. Members may also bring their fathers as a participant.

Stroke Play Championship - the Johannes Witteveen Trophy

Sept. 8-9

An individual, 36-54 hole competition played over the course of two days. The championship flight will play 36 holes on the final day. Handicap flights will play 18 holes each day using full handicaps. Separate divisions for men and women.

The International Tournament

A 6 player team is to be comprised of members from the same country or geographical region to form a "National Team". Each team consists of 6 members that can be men, women or a combination of both. The format is a step-aside scramble. Many prizes are awarded on this day including "Best Decorated Cart." This tournament is part of the club-wide July 4th Celebration.

Junior Championship

An individual, two day tournament ranging from 9 to 36 holes depending on the junior's age. Juniors playing in this event must be a part of the BWRC Junior Golf Program and less than 18 years old. There are separate boy's and girl's divisions as well as age brackets.

Seniors Championship - The Dominican Republic Trophy

An individual, 36 hole event for players 50 years and older. The championship is based off the gross score, however additional prizes using handicaps are awarded. In addition, there a "Super Senior" (age 70 and up) prize for the best 36 hole net score. There are separate divisions for men and women.

The Morocco Cup

A two person team event for two men, two women, or mixed pairs. The format is a Greensome Stableford awarding points on the basis of the net result per hole. The first round is played with alternating shots between the partners and the second round on an individual basis, using the best net score on each hole.

The India Cup

A four person team event played over 18 holes using the two low net scores on each hole. Members are encouraged to make their own foursomes. Each team consists of 4 members that can be men, women or a combination of both. On course prizes are donated by the Indian Community here at Bretton Woods. This will be a morning shotgun event followed by an Indian luncheon.

Kings & Queens Scramble

A four person team event played over 18 holes with step-aside scramble scoring. Each team consists of 4 members that can be men, women or a combination of both. This tournament is part of the club-wide Labor Day Celebration.

Match Play Championship - The Pierre-Paul Schweitzer Trophy

An individual match play event with separate divisions for men and women. An 18 hole qualifying round for all players seeds them in respective flights, Championship or Handicap. Matches with 8 players per flight are then played over 3 days.

How do I make a tee time reservation?

There are three ways to obtain a starting time:

1. Online tee reservation system. Please note that the online system is available starting at 8:00 PM on Wednesday evenings for the following weekend and weekdays.

2. Email on Wednesday mornings (9:00 am - 9:30 am) for the up-coming weekend to [email protected] - note emails sent outside this window may not be seen in time to secure the time you desire.

3. Phone call to the Golf Shop - 240-848-9119 - It is not advisable to leave voice mails requesting a starting time, as they may not be heard in time to secure the time you desire.

For more information, please refer to BW website, click on Golf and then on Starting Times.

Who sets up the pairings for the tournaments?

The Pro Shop does so, except for the Monthly Medals where you can play with whomever you wish (even if they are not playing the Medal event). Please inform the Pro Shop in advance that you will be participating in the Medal tournament, and have your card signed by one of the people with whom you are playing.

Are there prizes for tournament winners? 

Yes, prizes generally take the form of Pro Shop credits. The credits are awarded immediately after BWWGA events. For other BW events, Pro Shop credits are presented at the end of the season at the Awards Banquet in November. The credit varies from one tournament to the next. Some of the tournaments also have prizes for longest drive, closest to the pin, straightest drive and the like (balls for BWWGA events, Pro Shop credits for other BW events).

I noticed there seems to be a charge for entering tournaments. Why is that? What happens to my BWWGA member dues? 

The fee for joining BWWGA is minimal, and BWWGA events are for the most part self-funded. Many members do not participate in the tournaments and therefore we try to avoid having non-participants subsidizing the participants. For some key events, such as the Member/Guest Tournament as well as Spring and Fall mixers, BWWGA provides a subsidy. Other uses of the membership fees are for an Annual Meeting luncheon for members, printing of annual Handbooks, prizes, trophies, website maintenance, flowers and decorations for events, tips for staff.