USGA Inspired Options

The following table shows how GLS calculates handicaps if you select the "USGA-style" options for determining "Number of Adjusted Scores Used" and "Maximum Score Allowed on Any Hole," called "Equitable Stroke Control."

In the first case ("Number of Adjusted Scores Used" - left side of chart below), a player handicap is determined using the 1 (one) lowest adjusted score for the first 6 weeks. This method tends to penalize players for shooting a low round. Example: A player posts the following adjusted scores for the first 6 weeks (43, 45, 39, 42, 44, 46). This equals a 43+ average, however, the unfortunate players handicap is based on the Lowest 1 score of 39. This method was designed for establishing an 18 hole handicap over many rounds of golf, not for a league which posts 15 to 20 rounds per season. However, the option is available.

Rounds to be Used

Number of Scores Posted To Be Used to Calculate Handicap
5 or 6 Lowest 1
7 or 8 Lowest 2
9 or 10 Lowest 3
11 or 12 Lowest 4
13 or 14 Lowest 5
15 or 16 Lowest 6
17 Lowest 7
18 Lowest 8
19 Lowest 9
20 Lowest 10

How to Adjust Scores with "Equitable Stroke Control"

Equitable Stroke Control, 18-Hole League Handicap Maximum Score On Any Hole   Equitable Stroke Control, 9-Hole League Handicap Maximum Score On Any Hole
9 or less Double Bogey   4 or less Double Bogey
10 through 19 7   5 through 9 7
20 through 29 8   10 through 14 8
30 through 39 9   15 through 19 9
40 or more 10   20 or more 10
Source: USGA Handicap System Section 4-3     Source: USGA Handicap System Section 10-5 c  

"Equitable Stroke Control" is a good way to adjust scores. The maximum score a player can receive on any hole is based on the players handicap. The higher the handicap, the higher score that is allowed on the hole. Other methods adjust everyone's score the same way. GLS has incorporated the latest procedure for ESC which is effective January 1, 1998. This method now allows a maximum of Double Bogey for the lowest handicap golfers, whereas previously they were allowed a maximum of 6 on any hole.

The purpose of handicaps is to allow players of varying ability to play on an "equal" basis. A handicap should reflect a players potential, not be a crutch or excuse. The most forgiving options may differ by 2 or 3 strokes over the most demanding options. Usually, the more demanding the options, the more an inconsistent player is penalized. The consistent player will always benefit by a demanding handicap system. This is obvious if we consider the player who shoots 36 and 44 with the player who shoots 40 and 40. The first player has a zero handicap and the second player a four even though they have the same actual average. Which player would you put your money on?