Golf League Network

Internet Based Golf League Software



Celebrating 56 Years


Golf League Network History

The roots of the Golf League Network run deep and can be traced back to the beginning of Handicomp, Inc., which was founded in 1968.  Back then Handicomp’s primary mission was to provide golf handicaps to clubs and groups of golfers, of which some were leagues.  Needless to say, there wasn’t an efficient method of getting product to league secretaries, who had the additional burdens of scheduling, pairings, scoring and printing standings.  As a consequence, Handicomp’s league handicapping service never generated enough energy to warrant greater pursuit.  However, with the advent of the Internet, that thinking began to change.

The first designs of the Golf League Network took shape in the late 90’s.  It was at that time that Handicomp began to meet with third parties who had the common interest.  One of Handicomp’s first meetings was with Cecil McKay of the Michigan Golf Course Association.  Unfortunately, wheels turned slow and it took another half dozen years before Handicomp and the MGCA determined how best to develop the market.

Handicomp was to use its programming and system support skills to build the product service and the MGCA was to supply the marketing power to reach member clubs with leagues who had an interest in competing for a state championship.  Interestingly, the championship concept wasn’t a new idea as it had been tried back in the 80’s, but standardizing league handicapping so that there would be consistency when teams competed from different courses proved too difficult an undertaking.  Consequently, the early effort fell through.  Not so with the new effort!  The Internet concept proved viable and Handicomp built and released the first iteration of the Golf League Network in 2005, and the MGCA held the first Michigan Golf League Championship event later that Fall.  It was a great success and had a great run before it was discontinued after Covid hit the market.

It should be noted, since most leagues don’t count scores shot outside of league play, don’t always play by USGA rules (i.e. stroke and distance), or don’t play at a slope rated course they are disqualified from using the USGA Handicap System (now World Handicap System).  Plus the USGA (WHS) is insanely expensive for leagues.  Handicomp recognized this early and developed a portable handicap system (the Handicomp Golf Handicap System) that allows players from different leagues and courses to play against each other by equalizing their handicaps based on the difficulty of course tees.  As a result, Handicomp has been able to spin off the HGHS service to non-league players and provide a system for clubs and golfers the WHS fails to serve.

In 2009 the Golf League Network took two major steps forward.  The first was to secure Rick Smith as its spokesman; Rick was a Midwest guy who fit the league culture very well.  The second and most important evolution was the creation of the League Course option, which allowed courses to register their leagues in the system under their own umbrellas, which gave courses oversight and an opportunity to offer something new and exciting to their leagues.

But GLN history didn't stop there.  In addition to features that are added year to year, a Mobile Scoring (real-time scorecard) service was added to the GLN in 2020 through the Golf Mobile Network smart phone application; partly as an answer to COVID (touchless scoring), but primarily as a feature to make reporting scores easier for golfers and secretaries.  Plus, it's a lot of fun!

Finally, the Golf League Network hasn’t gone unnoticed over the years as many articles have been written about it in leading trade magazines.  And, what we’re most proud of is that our original concept has been rewarded as the MGCA Golf League Championship received the National Golf Course Owners Association’s Player Development Award in 2012, which is bestowed upon a course or group that has implemented true and tested player development programs, providing effective return-on-investment and an overall welcoming atmosphere for new golfers of all ages.  Additionally, Handicomp was presented with the MGCA "Award of Merit" in 2013 primarily for its work with leagues, one of the highest honors bestowed by the Association.

Considering its history, growth and progress, the Golf League Network continues to have a bright future.  Handicomp is committed to continual enhancements and the GLN is priced at a rate that delivers great value to those who choose to use it.  If your league is contemplating a league management system, please consider the GLN… you'll be happy you did!