To Post, Or Not To Post

To post, or not to post that is the question. Which scores do you have to post for your USGA Handicap Index and which scores are you not allowed to post? It's certainly not as big a dilemma as Shakespeare's Hamlet faced, but it's still an important question that you must answer.

To Post

Here are the basic guidelines. Generally, you should post all scores no matter where you play. But there are a few specific rules to follow in particular cases:
  • Post your score when you play at least 7 holes. On the holes you didn't play, record a par plus any handicap strokes you would have received. For example, Uncle Snoopy joins his group on the second tee. The first hole, a par 4, is allocated as the llth stroke hole. Uncle Snoopy writes down a 5 (4 plus 1 handicap stroke) on the first hole as his posted score on that hole.
  • Post a score if you play two nines even if it's the same nine, or nines from different days. Simply combine the nines into an 18-hole score. Add the nine-hole Course Ratings together and average the Slopes.
  • When you pick up on a hole, jot down the score you most likely would have made. If this score is higher than the maximum number you are allowed under the ESC system, then you need to adjust your score to this maximum.

  • You must play by the principles of the Rules of Golf in order to post your score. For instance, if you use a mulligan, you aren't playing a hole under the Rules of Golf, so treat it as a hole not played and record par plus any handicap strokes you would have received.

Not to Post

When don't you post scores?
  • When fewer than seven holes are played;

  • When made on a golf course in an area in which an inactive season established by the authorized golf association is in effect;

  • When a majority of the holes are not played in accordance with the principles of the Rules of Golf;

  • When the length of the course is less than 3,000 yards for 18 holes;

  • When, as a condition of the competition, the maximum number of clubs allowed is less than 14, or types of clubs are limited as, for example, in a competition that allows only iron clubs;

  • When scores are made on a course with no USGA Course or Slope Rating;

  • When a player carries or uses non-conforming clubs or uses non-conforming balls;

  • When artificial devices (as defined under Rule 14-3) are used during the execution of a stroke.
Uncle Snoopy has just completed a round from the back tees at one of his favorite courses, Beagle Haven Country Club. It is a pretty difficult course, with a Course Rating of 70.2 and a Slope of 125.

Uncle Snoopy shoots a 92. His USGA Handicap Index of 11.6 translates into a Course Handicap of 13; under the Equitable Stroke Control system, he is allowed a maximum of seven strokes on any hole. He scans his scorecard and finds three holes where he made 8, so he adjusts these hole scores to 7s, and posts an adjusted score of 89 for his 18--hole round.

To post, or not to post? It's an easy decision for Uncle Snoopy - and for you - when you follow these USGA guidelines.

Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

Chevron image

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.

Rolex image

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website,, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit

AmEx image

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit

AmEx image
American Express

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit

AmEx image