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Rules of Handicapping FAQs

9-Hole Scores

Q. How is a golfer’s expected score determined to create an 18-hole Score Differential?

A. Once the player’s 9-hole Score Differential™ has been calculated, it is combined with an expected Score Differential based on the player’s current Handicap Index® to create an 18-hole Score Differential.

The expected score is based on the average Score Differential of a player with a given Handicap Index and a normal distribution of scores – so it is not specific to each player.

An expected score can be thought of as a neutral value, meaning that a good 9-hole round (relative to the player’s ability) will result in a good 18-hole Score Differential. An average 9-hole round will result in an average 18-hole Score Differential, etc. Click here for a detailed infographic about use of expected score to create an 18-hole Score Differential.