* In January 2020 we will be switching over to the World Handicap System. For more information on the World Handicap System and how it will affect your current handicap, please visit usga.org.

Post Where You Play

A convenience of GHIN is being able to post where you play. GHIN associations throughout the nation share a common database that allow you to post where you play and have that score routed back to your home club.

For those associations that are not on GHIN, a network is available to route scores between handicap vendors. For example, if you play in Southern California, you can post your score as a guest to the International Golf Network (IGN) and that score will be sent to GHIN and will ultimately be routed back to your club in WA Golf. These associations participate in the IGN: Alberta, British Columbia, Delaware, Hong Kong, Louisiana, Michigan, Ontario and Wisconsin.

Acceptable Scores

1) Match Play and Best-Ball Scores

I. Holes played and completed:
Record score for each hole played and completed.

II. Holes played, but not completed:
If you do not complete a hole, record the score you most likely would have made. Your most likely score can not exceed your maximum allowable ESC score.

III. Conceded Strokes:
When a hole is conceded, the score for handicap purposes will be the number of strokes taken, plus one for the concession OR the number of strokes you MOST LIKELY would have taken in finishing the hole–not to exceed your maximum allowable ESC score.

IV. Holes not played:
If you stop the match play round because one competitor has already won, record PAR plus any strokes you have coming on the remaining holes. You must, however, play at least 13 holes in order for the score to be posted as an 18-hole “Tournament” score.

2) Nine Hole Rounds
Non-consecutive nine-hole rounds must be posted. Two nine-hole rounds will be combined and posted to a golfer’s record identified with a “C”. Seven holes must be played in order for a nine-hole round to be an acceptable score for handicap purposes.

Equitable Stroke Control™

The ESC procedure sets a maximum score that a golfer can post for handicap purposes on any hole. The maximum number depends on the golfer’s course handicap. Comparing each score to par is no longer necessary, so there’s no need to worry about the number of scores you can reduce to a certain level. The accompanying table tells you the maximum score you can post for any one hole.

 

18-HOLE
COURSE HANDICAP
9-HOLE
COURSE HANDICAP

MAXIMUM SCORE POSTED ON ANY HOLE

9 or less 4 or less

Double Bogey

10 through19 5 through 9

7

20 through 29 10 through 14

8

30 through 39 15 through 19

9

40 and above 20 and above

10

 

18-HOLE EXAMPLE: If a player has a Course Handicap of 25, he or she can post, for handicap purposes, a maximum hole score of eight on any hole. There would be no limit to the number of eights that this player could take.

9-HOLE EXAMPLE: If a player has a Course Handicap of 13, he or she can post, for handicap purposes, a maximum hole score of eight on any hole. There would be no limit to the number of eights that this player could take. This new ESC procedure is independent of par.

Effective January 1, 2000

Temporary Greens

The guidelines for posting scores when temporary greens and/or tees are in use are as follows: If the use of temporary greens and/or tees is due to course reconstruction and will last for an extended period of time, the golf club should obtain a new course rating from the WA Golf Office.

If, however, the use of temporary greens and/or tees is due to seasonal turf conditions which change from day-to-day, scores should be posted for handicap purposes to the normal course rating and Slope rating if the following criteria are met: (1) the Rules of Golf can be followed during this time period (i.e., no automatic two putts, no oversized holes); (2) the effective playing length of the course remains intact (i.e., loss of yardage from temporary tees and greens offset by less than normal roll).

If the Rules of Golf cannot be followed, the score to be posted for that hole is par plus any handicap strokes to be received on that hole which is in accordance with Section 4-2 of the USGA Handicap System manual. If a majority of holes on the course cannot be played in accordance with the Rules of Golf, scores shall not be posted. If the Rules of Golf can be followed but the effective playing length is altered, please notify the WA Golf Office at 206-526-8605 or 800-643-6410.

The pitfalls of "Winter Rules"

Specific guidelines regarding preferred lies policies, more commonly referred to as “winter rules,” can be found under the Committee Procedures section of the Official Guide to the Rules of Golf. This is done in an effort to provide consistency during the inactive, or non score-posting, season. WA Golf encourages clubs to consider the following when deciding whether or not to implement “winter rules”:

  • Such a Local Rule conflicts with The Rules of Golf and the fundamental principle of playing the ball as it lies.
  • “Winter rules” are sometimes adopted under the guise of protecting the course when, in fact, the practical effect is just the opposite — they permit moving the ball to the best turf, from which divots are then taken to injure the course further.
  • “Winter rules” tend generally to lower scores and Handicap Indexes, thus penalizing players in competition with players whose scores are made without preferred lies.
  • Extended or indiscriminate use of “winter rules” will place players at a disadvantage when competing at a course where the ball must be played as it lies.

In addition, WA Golf rates all golf courses in accordance with The Rules of Golf. “Winter rules”, or any other Local Rules, are not taken into consideration.

WA Golf strongly discourages the use of “winter rules” or “preferred lies”, except under extreme circumstances.

USGA Handicap Formula™

Handicap Differentials
Handicap differentials are computed by determining the difference between the adjusted gross score (after, applying ESC) and the USGA Course Rating, multiplying the difference by 113, dividing the resulting figure by the USGA Slope rating and rounding off to the nearest tenth.

Example #1: Adjusted gross score 95
(Slope=125) USGA Course Rating -71.5
Differential 23.5
Handicap Differential (23.5*113)/125 = 21.2

 

Example #2: Adjusted gross score 95
(Slope=100) USGA Course Rating -71.5
Differential 23.5
Handicap Differential (23.5*113)/100 = 26.6

The 10 lowest differentials of the 20 most recent acceptable scores are selected and totaled. This figure is then multiplied by .096 and all numbers after the tenths digit are deleted (do not round off to the nearest tenth).

Adj. Score USGA
Course
Rating
Score
Minus
Rating
USGA
Slope
Rating
Handicap
Differential
Adj.
Score
USGA
Course
Rating
Score
Minus
Rating
USGA
Slope
Rating
Handicap
Differential
90 70.1 19.9 116 19.4 90 70.1 19.9 116 19.4
91 70.1 20.9 116 20.4 92 752.3 19.7 123 *18.1
94 72.3 21.7 123 19.9 85 68.0 17.0 107 *18.0
88 70.1 17.9 116 *17.4 78 68.7 9.3 105 *10.0
89 70.1 18.9 116 18.4 82 70.1 11.9 116 *11.6
90 72.3 17.7 123 *16.3 84 70.1 13.9 116 *13.5
91 72.3 18.7 123 *17.2 94 72.3 21.7 123 19.9
91 70.1 20.9 116 20.4 93 72.3 20.7 123 19.0
91 70.1 20.9 116 20.4 89 72.3 16.7 123 *15.3
86 68.7 17.3 105 18.6 88 70.1 17.9 116 *17.4

*10 lowest differentials
Total of 10 lowest handicap differentials = 154.8
Total multiplied by .096 = 14.861
Delete all numbers after the tenths digit = 14.8
USGA Handicap Index equals = 14.8

Fewer than 20 Scores Available
A USGA Handicap Index shall not be issued to a player with fewer than five scores. When at least 5 but fewer than 20 acceptable scores are available, the formula for determining a USGA Handicap Index is as follows:

Score Posting & Handicap FAQs