# Establishing Handicap - Holes Not Played or Not Played Under The Rules of Golf

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Posted (edited)

Hello,

I am in the process of establishing a handicap index (I don't yet have 5 scores). My home course has two holes with the tees moved far forward due to some maintenance...a long par 4 is now a short par 3, and a par 5 is now a short par 4.

I understand for handicap posting purposes, I am to count those holes as not played, and apply par plus.

However, what is par plus for someone without an established handicap? I know for calculating ESC, I am to use the maximum handicap index of 36.4 while establishing a handicap (handicap manual 4-3). However, section 4-2 (holes not played) does not address my problem.

I figure I have 2 options...either use the 36.4, or play the holes as they are and figure my "most likely" score based on how I did. For example, for the long par 4, I think it would most likely take me 2 strokes to get to where the tees are now...so add 2 strokes to that hole? It'd be 1 stroke with the other hole.

I would just like to find the official guideline for this situation, as I have not been able to.

Thanks!

And, hypothetically, what about par plus for a hole that is skipped entirely?

Edited by humblepeasant
typo

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The more I think about it and research, the more "most likely" makes sense to me. And in the case of a par plus for a hole skipped entirely, I guess you could make your best estimate of what you course handicap would be and therefore how many strokes you would get on the hole.

Just thinking, in theory: if a golfer with the game of a +5.8 handicapper was establishing a handicap for the first time, the handicap would be completely inaccurate if one assumed 36.4 for par plus, etc. I feel like that basically answers my original question...because I think there are only 3 ways to modify a score: par plus, ESC, and "most likely."

I'd still be interested to hear anyone thoughts! I can't imagine most golfers put (waste?) this much thought on something like this, but it's just my personality haha. I'm establishing my handicap for the first time and I want to do it right! 🙂

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It’s really not going to make much of a difference. Once you get a handicap those scores will become a tiny part of your index. Do what makes sense to you.

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Look at 5.1(g) in the handicap manual.  You can adjust the course rating, and use that as the basis for your differential.  Remember that par has nothing to do with the rating, so the change in par on the hole doesn't matter.

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Kudos for wanting to get it right, but @iacas is absolutely right.  In the end, however you score those 2 holes will have almost no affect on your actual index.  I would guesstimate my course handicap and then apply par plus.

Welcome to TST!

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2 hours ago, David in FL said:

Kudos for wanting to get it right, but @iacas is absolutely right.  In the end, however you score those 2 holes will have almost no affect on your actual index.  I would guesstimate my course handicap and then apply par plus.

Welcome to TST!

First, I'll echo the welcome!

I'll also echo the recommendation, guestimate your handicap, and then use par plus.  Another option is to ask in the pro shop, they may have already adjusted the slope and CR in accordance with the USGA recommendations, which @jlbos83 mentions in his post up there.  I wouldn't recommend doing the calculation yourself.  A Handicap Committee looking at your scores might wonder what's happening.

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Thanks everyone! Makes sense. I will mention it's 2 holes on a 9-hole course, so it's really like 4 holes, so a little "worse" than it probably seemed. I have a sensible plan though, so I'm all set! Thanks.

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