USGA Handicap Index

The purpose of the USGA Handicap System is to make the game of golf more enjoyable by enabling players of differing abilities to compete on an equitable basis.

Having a handicap index allows golfers to participate in more events (those that require a handicap index), have a measurable means of tracking improvement, and allows score adjustments to even the playing field when playing with golfers of different skill levels.

FREE Handicap through EWGA:
All EWGA members have the opportunity to obtain an official USGA Handicap Index through the EWGA Handicap System, powered by GolfNet (also referred to as GN21) at no additional cost. Every member who is playing well enough to keep score is encouraged to obtain a Handicap Index. Click
here to download instructions on how to get started.

Equitable Stroke Control (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 the player's maximum number based on the table.

ESC is used when a player's actual or most likely score exceeds a maximum number, based on the table below, for the player's Course Handicap* from the tees played.

Equitable Stroke Control

Course Handicap

Maximum Number on any Hole

9 or less

Double Bogey

10 through 19

7

20 through 29

8

30 through 39

9

40 or more

10

Example: A player with a Course Handicap of 6 has a maximum number of par plus two strokes (double bogey) for any hole. A player with a Course Handicap of 13 has a maximum number of 7 for any hole regardless of par. A player with a Course Handicap of 42 has a maximum number of 10 for any hole.

Course Handicap
A “Course Handicap” is the USGA's mark that indicates the number of handicap strokes a player receives from a specific set of tees at the course being played to adjust the player's scoring ability to the level of scratch or 0-handicap golf. For players with a plus Course Handicap, it is the number of handicap strokes a player gives to adjust the player's scoring ability to the level of scratch or 0-handicap golf. A Course Handicap is determined by applying the player's Handicap Index to a Course Handicap Table. You typically find this posted at the course near the Handicap Computer or you can use the
USGA Course Handicap Calculator if you know the course’s slope.

Please contact Becky Balzraine, our Handicap Chair for more information.