Originally Posted by SamCreamer
I played with my friends the other day at their private club. According to oobgolf.com, I'm a 19.2 handicap so I put 19 on the score card. One of my friends told me that if I'm under a 20 handicap then the maximum score I can get on a hole is 7. We played this way and I don't think I actually would have ever had more than a 7 but can someone who knows more about this than me please confirm or deny this rule? I believe my friend entirely but I just don't know if it's a local rule or something that many people go by.
What your buddy is talking about is called equitable stroke control (esc). It sets a maximum number of strokes that an individual can report on any given hole for handicap reporting purposes only. It's based on your course handicap, not your handicap index. Your course handicap varies by course based on the slope rating of that course. On an easier course, your 19.2 index may be result in a course handicap of 19, but on a tougher course, it may very well be 20, or even higher. That's important, because the thresholds for your esc change in 10 stroke intervals.
Here's the esc chart:
|40 or more
As you can see, at a course handicap of 19, your buddy is right, the highest score you can report for handicap is 7, at a 20 course handicap, it would be 8.
Again, this is for handicap reporting only, and has no bearing on what you actually shoot. So, if your esc maximum is 7, and you shoot 90, you shot 90, even if you had an 8 on one hole. But, when you enter that round into GHIN, you adjust it to 89.
You can read more about the entire USGA handicap process here......amaze your friends!