EQUITABLE STROKE CONTROL PROCEDURE (ESC)

Equitable Stroke Control (ESC) is the downward adjustment of individual hole scores for handicap purposes in order to make handicaps more representative of a player’s potential ability. ESC sets a maximum number that a player can post on any hole depending on the player’s Course Handicap. ESC is used only when a player’s actual or most likely score exceeds his maximum number based on the table below but is applied to all scores for handicap purposes, including tournament scores. There is no limit to the number of holes on which a player may adjust his score.

A Handicap Index determined from scores to which ESC has not been applied may not be termed a USGA Handicap Index.

YOUR HANDICAP
MAXIMUM SCORE
POSTED ON ANY HOLE
9 OR LESS
Double Bogey
10 – 19
7
20 – 29
8
30 – 39
9
40 AND ABOVE
10

Example (provided by the USGA): A player with a USGA Handicap Index of 19.2 plays a 120 Slope course which gives that player a Course Handicap of 20. For handicap purposes, that player is allowed a maximum score on any hole of 8. There is no limit to the number of holes reduced to 8 in the round, so the player can quickly scan his/her scorecard to locate any hole scores of 9 or higher and reduce them to a score of 8. The reduction is applied to allow a maximum score of 8, no matter what the par of the holes may be. Again, for handicap purposes, that player could pick-up on a hole after seven strokes because the best the player could score is 8. Also, this player will find that on a lower Slope course with a Course Handicap of 19, his maximum score will be 7.

The new ESC procedure is simpler to use because players need to remember only one number – their maximum hole score allowed.

The procedure also provides a number at which a player can pick-up, if not in a stroke play tournament, which requires the player to hole out.


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