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Handycap Calculation

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by sno'more View Post

Incidentally, if anyone is interested, here is how the handicap system works (in a nutshell, and Mikewil, jump in and correct me if I bungle it). The first number (from the blues at Black Mesa, 70.5) is what a scratch (zero handicap) golfer would shoot. The second number (from the Black Mesa blues 136) is a number that basically compares the difficulty of golf courses to each other, with 113 being the average slope). So, if you play a round at Black Mesa from the blue tees and your score is 90 (bogey golf), you can compute that round for purposes of your handicap index as 90 minus 70.5, or 19.5, multiplied by (113 divided by 136, or .83). The result is 16.2.
Pretty close, here is how the USGA does it.

First you have to know the definition of a "handicap differential"

Handicap Differential

A “Handicap Differential” is the difference between a player's adjusted gross score and the USGA Course Rating of the course on which the score was made, multiplied by 113, then divided by the Slope Rating from the tees played and rounded to the nearest tenth. A Handicap Differential is a number rounded to one decimal place, e.g. 12.8.

Adjusted gross score refers the the Equitable Stroke Control deductions you mentioned-it is designed to take exceptionally bad holes out of the equation (also known as BAGGER CONTROL):

It takes a minimum of 5 rounds (with the lowest 4 differentials being counted). Here is a USGA calculation based on 20 scores with the lowest 10 being used:

Total of 10 lowest Handicap Differentials: 154.8
Average (154.8 / 10): 15.48
Average multiplied by.96: 14.861
Delete all digits after tenths: 14.8
Handicap Index: 14.8

Why .96?

* Bonus for Excellence is the incentive for players to improve their golf games that is built into the USGA Handicap System. It is the term used to describe the small percentage below perfect equity that is used to calculate a Handicap Index (96 percent). As a Handicap Index improves (gets lower), the player has a slightly better chance of placing high or winning a handicap event.

Hopes that helps. One of the nice things about the USGA Handicap System is the peer review feature. You can look at other players score postings which lends to a bit of peer pressure to be honest. There are also some adjustment features for formal tournament scores and a few other happenings

PS: (Added in edit) You can go to the USGA's web site USGA.org and look at the handicapping system as well as the rules section, even challenging your rules knowledge with some on line quizzes
post #2 of 2
Another good website for handicap information is www.ghin.com. If you are carrying a handicap, you can post scores on it. If you aren't, it has a great deal of useful information about handicaps. I think is somehow affiliated with the USGA.

You don't have to be a member of a country club or anything like that to carry a handicap. You do have to be a member of a 'golf club' , but joining the frequent player discount program at most public courses qualifies (sometimes you have to pay an extra $15-25 for the handicap feature).

Also, to keep a handicap, you have to play by the rules. Sometimes the rules of golf (and, especially, the interpretations) seem like something a bunch of lawyers would dream up on holiday without clients and juries to force an occasional confrontation with common sense. But they aren't really that bad. Mikewil is right about the USGA website being a good place to familiarize yourself with them. You can actually join the USGA, and they will send you a rule book, or you can go out and buy various illustrated guides to the rules.

But, if you can't break 100, here are the four rules of golf: Keep moving--don't slow up the people behind you, keep hydrated--not just a summer rule, count all your swings--even misses, and, finally, have fun--or else your round is just a good walk spoiled.
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