Can someone explain the proper way to assign your handicap? Got in a debate this morning with a few people and i guess none of us really agreed on the proper way.
Handicap, how too..
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There is an actual formula you can find on the Internet, but in a general sense, it is an average of the best 10 of your last 20 rounds.
You get your score on a given course from given tees and the system assigns you what is called a differential. This is basically an over-par score adjusted for the difficulty of the course. So if you shot 10 over on a medium difficulty course, you differential might be a 10. If you shot 10 over on a really hard course, it might come out to an 8. Etc.
So you go play 20 rounds of golf and get a differential for each. Then throw out the 10 highest of those 20 differentials and average the remaining (best) 10. That is your handicap. Generally speaking.
It should be noted, to have an "official" handicap, you pay about $40 a year to a USGA approved organization who manage your HC and have a system into which you enter your scores.
What do you mean by "assign your handicap?" Do you mean calculate an index? Convert index to playing handicap? Or use handicaps when playing a game?
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Spend some time with this. Afterward, if you have some specific questions, any number of us will be happy to answer them.
In a nutshell, a "differential" is calculated for each round you play. It's a measure of how well you played based on your score and the relative difficulty of the course. The handicap system then calculates 96% of the average of your low 10 of your last 20 differentials and that is your handicap index.
You can sign up for a USGA handicap service either through a local golf course/club, or in most cases, on-line through your state golf association. It'll cost you about $25 a year. Less than the cost of a dozen balls. Well worth it.
David covered it pretty well in the post above. The key to calculate your handicap index (without subscribing to a handicap service), is that you need to know your differentials for your last 20 rounds. If you choose to try and calculate the differential on your own, the formula for any given round is (Score - Course rating) x (113/slope). Now apply this formula to your last 20 rounds. From there
1. Take the 10 highest/worst differentials and throw them out
2. Average the remaining 10
3. Multiply that average by 96%
4. Round up or down to the closest 1/10th
In my mind, it's light years easier to subscribe to a club than to go it alone, but hey, that's just me.