Thursday, March 19, 2015

Ask Linda #1021-ESC score

Linda, I'm a rank amateur when it comes to the rules of golf and would greatly appreciate an answer to one question please. I've read 2 articles (undated) regarding ESC numbers. One says if your handicap is below 10 the most you can post is 6 on any hole. The other article says the most you can post is a double bogey.  This would make a difference on par 3's.

Do you know which is correct and what online site might confirm it?

Thank you kindly.

Dear Lou,

A player whose Course Handicap is 9 or less may not post higher than a double bogey. You can verify this information by viewing The USGA Handicap System on the USGA website:
Click on Section 4 (Adjusting Hole Scores) on the far left, and then scroll down the middle section to 4-3 (Equitable Stroke Control).

I wrote a column in January of 2011 (Ask Linda #276) in which I explained Equitable Stroke Control (ESC). I am reprinting below a section of that column that will help you understand ESC.

Equitable Stroke Control
Before posting a score for your handicap record, a player must review his scorecard and apply ESC. This means that if he has scored higher than the maximum score his Course Handicap (CH) permits on any given hole, he must subtract those strokes from the score he posts. For example, if a player with a CH of 12 scores a 9 on one hole, he must subtract 2 strokes from his total score before posting it. This is because his maximum ESC score is 7. If this same player scores 9 on three different holes, he must subtract 6 strokes from his total before posting.

Here is a quick ESC review:
If your CH is 9 or less, the maximum score you may post for any given hole is double bogey.
If your CH is 10-19, your maximum is 7.
If your CH is 20-29, your maximum is 8.
If your CH is 30-39, your maximum is 9
If your CH is 40 or more, your maximum is 10.

Please remember that if you are playing in a tournament and you shoot 92, you will turn in a score of 92 for the tournament. When you post that score in your handicap record, you will then apply the ESC adjustments to any holes where you exceeded your maximum score. So if your CH at the tournament was 15, and you scored 8 on three holes, your tournament score would still be 92, but the score you post in your handicap record would be 89, since the maximum score you are permitted to post is 7.

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