Handicapping FAQs

Section 4

Adjusting Hole Scores for Equitable Stroke Control (ESC)™

Q.  What is the current method for adjusting my hole scores under Equitable Stroke Control (ESC)?

A.  ESC is an adjustment of individual hole scores (for handicap purposes) in order to make handicaps more representative of a player's potential ability. ESC is applied after the round and is only used when the actual score or the most likely score exceeds a player’s maximum number. ESC sets a limit to the number of strokes a player can take on a hole depending on Course Handicap™. Apply ESC to all scores, including tournament scores. Below is the maximum number a player can take:

Course HandicapMaximum Number
9 or lessDouble Bogey
10-197
20-298
30-399
40 and above10

Please visit Section 4-3 of the USGA Handicap System manual for further reference.