Handicapping FAQs

Section 4

Conceded Strokes/Unfinished Holes


  How does a player post a score if conceded a stroke or does not finish a hole?


  If a player does not finish a hole or is conceded a stroke, record the most likely score for handicap purposes. A most likely score is the number of strokes already taken, plus in the player's best judgment, the number of strokes needed to complete the hole from that point more than half the time.

The most likely score should have an "X" preceding the number. For example, player A is just off the green in two strokes, and player A’s partner just holed out for a two; therefore, player A decides to pick up. Player A determines the most likely score would have been to chip on and two putt; therefore, player A will record an X-5 on the scorecard (two strokes already taken plus three more strokes to complete the hole). Player A does not automatically put down the Equitable Stroke Control (ESC)™ maximum. First, player A determines the most likely score and then after the round checks to see if the most likely score is above the ESC limit. In this case, player A has a Course Handicap™ of 24 and an ESC maximum of eight. Recording X-5 is not above ESC limit and therefore, X-5 is the score that must be posting for handicap purposes.

Please visit Section 4-1 of the USGA Handicap System manual for further reference.