Find answers to some of the most common questions.
We use the same formula as the USGA. The following steps are taken to calculate it.
First, we calculate the handicap differential for each round using the USGA Course Ration and Slope Rating for the courses played.
HCP Dif=(Score - Course Rating) x 113 / Slope Rating
Example: Your score is 85, the course rating is 72.2, and the slope is 131.
The formula would be (85 - 72.2) x 113 / 131.
This differential is calculated and recorded for each round.
The next step is to figure out how many differentials to use. Only the lowest differentials are used. If you've only entered 11 rounds then only the 4 lowest differentials are used. See the following chart:
|Rounds Entered||Differentials Used|
Next, we find the average of the differentials used. If we're only using the 4 lowest then we add them together and divide by 4. We then multiply this by 0.96. All the digits after the tenths are dropped (not rounded) in the result. This gives us your handicap index.
HCP (handicap) index = (sum of differentials/# differentials)*0.96
The HCP index is used to find the course handicap. This is because course difficulty varies and your handicap on one course may not be equal to your handicap on another.
Finding the Course Handicap
The course handicap is calculated using your HCP index and the Slope Rating of the Tees Played divided by the average slope rating of 113.
Course Handicap=(Your HCP Index) x (Slope Rating of Tees Played)/113
Example: You have a HCP index of 16.7 and you played a course with a tee box slope of 127.
Course HCP = 16.7 * 127/113 = 19 (Course Handicap is rounded up or down)
In this example the course you played is harder than the average course which is why your course handicap (19) is higher than your handicap index (16.7).
The Course Handicap is the number you use to determine how many strokes you get.
Equitable Stroke Control (ESC) is the system put in place by the USGA to eliminate the effect of "distaster holes." You know, that one hole per round where you put three balls in the water and then 5-putt. It's also a way to combat those pernicious sandbaggers who intentionally blow up on a hole in order to raise their handicaps. Equitable Stroke Control puts a limit on the number of strokes you can write down on the scorecard for any one hole, based on your course handicap. For example, on that one disaster hole you might have taken 14 strokes (get to the practice range, buddy!) to get the ball in the cup. But based on your course handicap, ESC might require you to post only a "7" on the scorecard you turn in.
Taking the "14" might throw your handicap index out of whack. And remember, the handicap index is not meant to reflect your average score, it's meant to reflect your best potential.
The USGA came up with Equitable Stroke Control (ESC) as a system to eliminate the effect disaster holes have on your handicap. The one or two holes per a round where you really blow up. ESC puts a limit on the number of strokes you can take on any one hole based on your course handicap. For example is you have a 12 on a hole and your course handicap is 16 then the worse you can write down is a 7. See the chart below to find out the maximum score you can take based on your course handicap.
FreeGolfTracker.com does not automatically figure the Equitable Stroke Control. This is left up to you when inserting your scores.
Equitable Stroke Control Chart
|Course Handicap||Maximum Score|
|40 or more||10|