The USGA Handicap System™ enables golfers of all skill levels to compete on an equitable basis. The USGA Web site offers links to The USGA Handicap System manual, the USGA's handicapping equivalent of The Rules of Golf. The current version of the USGA Handicap System went into effect on Jan. 1, 2012, and the next revision will take effect on Jan. 1, 2016. Any modifications to the system are noted on the USGA Web site.
Visit the USGA's Web site to read the current manual.
Did you miss a recent handicap article in FORE Magazine? Refer to our library of past articles below to read, print out to post or email to your friends.
Back to Basics (Digital FORE)
Far From Home ... But Still Posting (Digital FORE)
A Little Accounting (Digital FORE)
USGA Handicap System Celebrates a Birthday (Digital FORE)
Exceptional Tournament Play (PDF)
Moving on Up (Page 51)
The SCGA and Junior Golf Clubs - A Winning Combination (PDF)
Measuring Up (PDF)
Nine-Hole Scores: Do I Have to Post? (PDF)
Handicap Index Reductions (PDF)
Get to Know Your Club's Handicap Chair (PDF)
All You Need to Know About SCGA Online Score Services (PDF / Digital FORE)
Peer Review: It's Everybody's Responsibility! (PDF / Digital FORE)
Playing from Different Tees (PDF)
On the Road Again: Score Posting with GHIN is Now Easier While Traveling (PDF / Digital FORE)
New Look to Golf Course Posting Screens (PDF / Digital FORE)
Properly Posting for Handicap Purposes (PDF)
Handicap Stroke Hole Allocation (PDF / Digital FORE)
The Handicap Committee: Who are They and What Do They Do? (PDF / Digital FORE)
When Not to Post a Score (PDF / Digital FORE)
Get to Know Your Club (PDF / Digital FORE)
Handicap Scores (PDF / Digital FORE)
The Handicap Index Hot List (PDF / Digital FORE)
Scores from any course may be posted on any posting computer in Southern California.
If you have an R after your Handicap Index (i.e., 13.7R) it means your Handicap Index has automatically been reduced due to exceptional tournament scores under Section 10-3 of the USGA Handicap System.
If you have an M after your Handicap Index (i.e., 13.7M) it means the handicap committee has modified your Handicap Index under Section 8-4c of the USGA Handicap System.
Once you have completed 13 holes, you can post an 18-hole score.
For handicap purposes, if you start a hole but do not complete it or are conceded a stroke, record your most likely score.
Equitable Stroke Control must be applied to all scores, including tournament scores, for handicap purposes.
Reduction vs. Restricted
The letter “R” after a Handicap Index is due to a “Reduction” from the USGA Handicap System, Section 10-3. This reduction is an alternate calculation of a Handicap Index for players with two or more eligible tournament scores. Restricted is the misnomer.
Par Plus vs. Net Par
Par Plus is the terminology used by the USGA to describe how to post a score for a hole that is not played or not played under The Rules of Golf. The score recoded for that hole for handicap purposes must be par plus any handicap strokes that player may be entitled to on that hole. This hole score, when recorded, should be preceded by an “X”. Net Par is the misnomer.
Handicap Index vs. Course Handicap
These terms describe two different things. The Handicap Index is a number with a decimal point (i.e. 14.2) used to indicate a measurement of a player’s potential ability on a course of standard playing difficulty. It is derived from a player’s score differentials which are derived from a calculation using the adjusted gross score, the Course and Slope Rating of the course played and the USGA standard Slope (113). The Course Handicap indicates how many handicap strokes a player receives from a specific set of tees being played. The Course Handicap is determined by taking the Handicap Index and applying it to a Course Handicap Table.
Modified vs. Reduced
If you have an M after your Handicap Index (i.e., 14.7M) it means the Handicap Committee at your club has modified your Handicap Index under Section 8-4c under the USGA Handicap System
If you have an R after your Handicap Index (i.e., 8.3R) it means your Handicap Index has automatically been reduced due to exceptional tournament scores under Section 10-3 of the USGA Handicap System.
Both are deemed a Handicap Index.