Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ask Linda #207-Another ESC question

Dear Linda,

I recently played in our league which is held once every week on a nine-hole course. On a par 5 hole I made a double par 10 and shot a gross score of 40. At the clubhouse my playing partner informed me that I should post a score of 37 in the computer, not 40, as I should not take a double par 10 on a par 5. He said that based on my handicap, which is 4, I should only take a maximum of double bogey on a par 5 hole. Could you shed some light on this because this is now becoming an issue.

Also, our league rule allows you to post a maximum of double par per hole. So which one should I follow then.

Thanks and regards,

Lou Lou

Dear Lou Lou,

Please read Ask Linda #197–Reason for ESC, which I posted on April 26. That column explains why you are not permitted to post unusually high scores on individual holes.

Your partner was correct. Players whose handicap is under 10 may not post higher than a double bogey for any given hole. Your score of 10 on a par 5 hole must be reduced to 7 before you total and post your score.

Your league is not permitted to make up its own rules about posting scores; it is obligated to follow the procedures established by the USGA as spelled out in a manual entitled The USGA Handicap System. Your Handicap Committee should have a copy of that manual and should advise players regarding the rules about posting scores.

According to the USGA, players may not post scores higher than they are entitled to under ESC (Equitable Stroke Control), which is based on a player’s Course Handicap®. Neither may a player be limited to posting a 6 on a par 3, for example, if his handicap permits him to post a higher score.

Players whose Course Handicap (C.H.) is 9 or less may post no higher than a double bogey on any given hole. For a C.H. between 10 and 19, the maximum number is 7; between 20 and 29, the max is 8; between 30 and 39, the max is 9; and for 40 or more, the max is 10. This policy is written in Section 4-3 of The USGA Handicap System. It might be helpful to post an ESC chart next to the computer where players post their scores.


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