Rules and Rants

Understanding Canada’s active/ inactive golf seasons

temp fix empty alt images for attachment
(Golf Canada)

If you’ve been playing golf in Canada recently and entering your scores into the Golf Canada Handicap System, chances are those scores have not been counting towards your Golf Canada Handicap Factor.

In Canada, each province has an “active season” (listed below), during which period one must register all golf scores to establish a legitimate Golf Canada Handicap Factor.

Any rounds played at a golf club observing an inactive season can be posted, however, they will not count towards your handicap factor.

Golf Canada’s Handicap Manual stipulates each player is responsible for returning all acceptable scores into one’s scoring record from rounds played on courses observing their active season, which is when optimal playing conditions exist.

Each year, provincial associations analyze numerous factors to determine the parameters of their active seasons. This ensures the consistency of scores posted by the majority of golfers to help keep factors accurate and fair.

The rationale behind this is that posting scores during inactive seasons (periods of poor course conditions) could artificially impact a player’s handicap factor. Knowingly using a false handicap factor is not acceptable, and when a handicap is artificially inflated it is referred to in golf as ‘sandbagging’.

For golf fanatics trying to squeeze in the last few rounds of the season, or for those planning on heading south this winter, it’s important to note the “active season” in the region, province or country you’re playing in.

In Canada, the active season in each province is as follows:

Ultimately, it is the responsibility of authorized provincial golf association to declare active and inactive periods, and it is the responsibility of the area club and golfers to observe these dates for posting purposes.

Scores made at a golf course in an area observing an active season must be posted for handicap purposes, even if the golf club from which the player receives a Handicap Factor is observing an inactive season. This means that if you play some golf in the southern US this winter, you must report your scores to your Canadian golf club.

The club’s Handicap Committee must make it possible for a player to post these away scores at the beginning of the active season. Golf Canada assists here with access to post scores through this site – – or by downloading our score posting app which can be downloaded here.

It’s also important to note that if you are travelling to other countries, you should determine their active seasons to prevent posting unacceptable scores. Your home club needs all acceptable scores to ensure your Handicap Factor is accurate once recalculated at the beginning of the season.

For a detailed list of active and inactive schedule in the United States, click here.

For more information on handicapping, click here.