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How do I establish a Handicap Index?

Posted: 5/27/2009

The first step is to join a licensed golf club. The second is to post at least five 18-hole scores. Once you have posted 20 scores, your Handicap Index is calculated using your 10 best scores, relative to the Course Rating and Slope Rating.

It is important to note that your Index is based on your peak performance, not your average performance. Thus, a golfer whose average score is 12 strokes over the Course Rating will have a Handicap Index in the neighborhood of 9.0.

Your Handicap Index takes your 20 most recent scores, factors in Course Rating and Slope Rating, and arrives at a number that includes a decimal point and is calculated out to the tenths place. As such, your Index might be 4.6, or 12.4, or 21.8, etc. Your Index is adjusted on a regular basis, usually once every two weeks when golf is “in season” in your part of the country. (In other words, if you live in Florida, you receive a new Index every two weeks year-round. If you live in New York, you receive a new Index every two weeks from April 1 to October 31.)

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