Handicapping FAQs

Section 5

Converting a Handicap Index® to a Foreign Handicap

Q.  Is it possible to convert a Handicap Index to a foreign country’s handicap system?

A.  No. There is not a way to convert a Handicap Index to a foreign country’s handicap system. A list of conditions that indicates which scores are unacceptable scores to post for handicap purposes may be found in Section 5-1e of the USGA Handicap System manual, which includes scores that were made on a course without a Course Rating™ and Slope Rating®.

However, the USGA® has licensed some foreign countries to use the USGA Handicap System™ and/or the USGA Course Rating System™. A comprehensive listing of authorized foreign golf associations licensed to use the USGA Handicap System can be found at: Foreign Golf Associations Licensed for Handicap Purposes.
http://www.usga.org/HDCPForeignAssoc/foreign_associations.asp

A list of authorized foreign golf associations licensed to issue USGA Course Ratings and Slope Ratings can be found at: Authorized Foreign Golf Associations.
http://www.usga.org/handicapping/course_ratings/Authorized-by-the-USGA-and-licensed-to-use-the-USGA-Course-Rating-System/.

If a player with a USGA Handicap Index travels to a foreign country that does not use the USGA Course Rating System, to determine a handicap, convert the Handicap Index to a Course Handicap using the Slope Rating of the tees from the course that they most often play. For example, if a player with a 10.4 Handicap Index plays the majority of golf from a Slope Rating of 125, use a Course Handicap of 12 (10.4 x 125/ 113 = 11.5, rounded to 12) for any course that does not have a USGA Course Rating and Slope Rating.

If a player with a foreign handicap plays on a course with a USGA Course Rating and Slope Rating, do not attempt to convert the foreign handicap to a Course Handicap. Instead, use the whole-number handicap issued by the home golf club. For example, if a player from England is playing on a course in the U.S. with an English handicap of 10, do not convert his handicap to a Course Handicap using the Slope Rating of the set of tees being played. Instead, he will play the course with a handicap of 10, regardless which tees are being played.

Scores made on a foreign course observing an active season with a valid Course Rating and Slope Rating are acceptable for handicap purposes.

Please visit Section 5-1e of the USGA Handicap System manual for further reference.