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Regarding handicap index, score keeping and ESC (Equitable Stroke Control)


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I'm looking to establish an official USGA handicap so that i can participate in some tourneys next season and was reading up on this subject. Apparently there is something called Equitable Stroke Control (ESC) http://golf.about.com/cs/handicapping/a/whatisesc.htm
where the maximum score that you can post on your scorecard for any given hole on the course is "capped" based on your course's handicap rating (which is calculated based on your handicap and course slope rating).

I keep all my gross scores and stats, even those "blow-up" holes resulting in a snowmen and such. So the questions that I have are:

1) Does anyone actually cap their scores for any given hole according to the USGA set rules regarding ESC?
2) If you do, do you also maintain for stats tracking purposes your actual score and how you did (not capping your score)?
3) In an actual amateur tourney or club tourney, do you cap your scores for any given hole according to the ESC?

I understand that your handicap index is a measurement of your "potential" and not so much an averaging out of your past scores, but it seems that by adhering to the ESC concept, you're almost "cheating" yourself when you have a blow up hole but cap yourself to a double bogey on a par 5 for example.

Thanks in advance
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#1 & #2 - I hole out & write down what I actually scored (my ESC is 8 but even if I shoot a 9, I write it down). When I post my score for handicapping, the system I use examines each hole's score and adjusts it down if its too high relative to the my ESC value. The sum of all of the holes (examined & adjusted if called for) is the score the system uses for handicap purposes. For stats I use my true gross score.

#3 - no, ESC only applies for handicap purposes (post processing)
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ESC has no application other than when posting your score for handicap purposes. The intent is purely to prevent a few very bad holes inflate your index (and thus create the potential for unintentional sandbagging).

When playing in any match, etc. or just keeping score for personal progress measurements you should always use your real score.

That said ESC is mandatory, if you do not use it when posting a handicap, you are cheating (whether you mean to or not).
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Thanks for the replies guys, makes sense. So ESC is purely just for handicap maintenance purposes. I've been using my iphone's golf scorecard program (golfshot gps) to determine my "estimated" handicap index, but have always posted raw scores for a hole to the app. I'm pretty sure the app does not filter out my blowup holes for determining my estimated handicap. I might try using one of the online sites to re-calc my approximate handicap by filtering out the blowup holes based on ESC.
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I, too, use GolfShot on my iPhone, I swear by it. You are correct, it does not do ESC UNLESS you enable handicap scoring when starting a round. The thing is, if you don't have a handicap currently, your ESC is 9, I believe, so that is what it will post for you. It will also give you both a net and a gross score at the end of the round. If you do use handicap scoring and don't have one entered in the Settings, it will automatically start tracking it for you. And as you progress, it will indeed filter out the over ESC holes and also give you appropriate handicap holes.

Personally, I know my ESC is 8 so I just use gross scoring and don't put anything more than 8. But I also keep a legit handicap with my eClub.
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Note: This thread is 4005 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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