‘Handicap’ is a term used by the golfers to judge the playing ability of an individual because of the number of tees played at a specific golf course. A golf course handicap refers to the amount of strokes required to play like an amateur golfer. Alternatively, the term also refers to the ranking of a golf course.
Charts present in a golf course help in calculating the course handicap. You may also use the scientific course handicap calculator or refer to the handicap system guide published by the USGA.
The official formula used to calculate course handicap is given below.
Course Handicap = Handicap index X Slope rating for the completed tees/Standard Slope Rating, i.e. 113
The value of course handicap is a whole number always. If your answer is in decimals, then you must round it off to the closest whole number. This formula takes into account an average weight method also termed as “Bonus for Excellence.” The formula clearly distinguishes between the proficient players and the not-so-efficient ones.
When you are learning about the calculation of a course handicap, you must first learn about the specific terms used in the calculation. Raw score refers to the unadjusted total score that is scored at the end of each tee round. Adjusted score is arrived at after the calculation of the Equitable Stroke Control.
Equitable Stroke Control or ESC refers to the maximum limit of holes an individual can score to determine the accurate representation of the true scoring potential of a player. A handicap differential is the difference between the difficult level of the golf course and the adjusted scores of the player.
Handicap index refers to the average value of handicap differentials adjusted to a single decimal place. A course handicap refers to the whole number that denotes handicap index pertaining to a particular golf course.
It is the total number of strokes played by a golfer, which is calculated after reaching the maximum scores for each hole, according to the guidelines framed by the USGA for determining the Equitable Stroke Control value.
It refers to the limit of scores you can associate with a particular hole on the golf green. It forms the basis of a course handicap. For example, if you play two handicap strokes in order to reach the hole, the maximum ESC will be 2 over par for that hole.
Golf courses having 9 or 18 holes follow the calculation method specified by the USGA. If you play between 7th and 12th, you must score equal to the 9-hole value. If you play in the 13th hole or above, you must score at least a value equal to the 18th hole.