# Strokes only on certain holes??

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Ok. Im new to the handicap system and have learned alot since I've become a member of this site. I guess I figured that when me and my buddy play and we use our handicaps (starting this weekend) that I would just get a number of strokes determined by our course handicaps. Now I've been reading that only certain holes I would get strokes on. How does that work? How do I determine which holes and how many strokes?

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Let's say your a 10 handicap, and he is a 5 handicap.

Then you get 5 strokes.

You get one stoke on each of the 5 hardest holes. So the holes handicaps 1 through 5.

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That's right, you only get strokes on certain holes. Those holes depend on which difficulty rating (could be wrong on the term) each hole is. The difficulty rating of each hole is listed on the score card and it is a number between 1-18. For instance, if you're a 15 handicap, you would only get a stroke on the 15 hardest holes.

If your handicap is over 18, then you stroke every hole and get 2 strokes on the hardest holes over 18. For example: A 22 handicap would stroke every hole and get 2 strokes on the 4 hardest holes.

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Ok. So thats what the numbers in gray are on the scorecard under the distance, par, HANDICAP. AHHHHH I've always wondered that but never played for anything but fun and the enjoyment of the game. Now I'm wanting to take the game serious and play competitivly so this is confusing stuff I'm trying to learn lol. Next question would be how are they numbered? 1=the hardest? or 1=the easiest?

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1 would be the hardest hole.

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Is that the way everyone else scores as there playing with there partners? I guess I'm confused as to why its like this? Seems easier to just add up the scores at the end and subtract the strokes that are given and the lowest number wins. How do you guys keep score when playing against a playing partner? Can someone please explain how to properly keep score this way then? Seems like this would put a big emphasize on scoring well on the hardest holes or your wasting the strokes given.

Sorry for all the beginner questions, but I want to play the right way and reading the wording in the rules Ive found online can be confusing.

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If by chance, you are playing match play (re: you against another on a hole by hole basis), then the strokes given on the hardest holes has a lot of meaning.

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Ok I can see that. I've never played match play, just counted strokes.

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change the name of this thread to light bringer.... in 4 minutes i just learned a whole lot of info, thanks for starting this up!

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So if we are playing stroke play, do we add up the scores and subtract the number of strokes given? Does the strokes per hardest hole only pertain to match play?

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If the difference between the two handicaps is large enough and the slope of the course high enough wouldn't the strokes given be more than just the difference of the two handicaps.

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As an example if a hc5 played a course with a slope of 120 he would get 5.3 strokes, a hc15 would get 15.9 strokes. 5.3 rounds to 5, 15.9 rounds to 16 which would be a difference of 11 strokes instead of 10 strokes. Right?

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Originally Posted by Shogun

So if we are playing stroke play, do we add up the scores and subtract the number of strokes given? Does the strokes per hardest hole only pertain to match play?

The following is the way I've interpreted the information, but I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed so take what I say with a grain of salt.  Nonetheless, here's my interpretation:

To answer your first question, yes--with a caveat.  The caveat is that your handicap index is just a "base" number.  You use that combined with the slope rating of the course you're playing that day to determine your course handicap.  For instance, say you have a handicap index of 15.0 and your bud has an index of 10.0.  You go to golf course A and play the white tees.  On the back of the card, it'll tell you what the slope rating is for the white tees.  Let's say that number is 118.  According to the USGA calculations, you would receive 16 strokes and your bud would get 10.  Now, let's say you decide to play a different course the next time out and the slope rating is 126 from the whites.  You would now get 17 strokes and your bud would get 11.

To answer your second question, no.  You apply those strokes according to the difficulty of the holes regardless of format.  In match play, it is used to equalize the playing abilities between players as it applies on a hole by hole basis.  In stroke play, it's used to equalize the playing abilities between players as it applies to total score. Same principle, just different emphasis.  The reason why it's applied to the most difficult holes is due to the skill set required to play those holes well.  Certain holes will be inherently more difficult than others due to their layout/design.  They could be longer, tighter and/or have more conspicuous hazards, etc.  Because of this, players tend score higher on these holes than others relative to the designated par number.  For instance, in the previous example above (course A with 118 slope), the #1 handicap hole may be a 420 yard par 4 with a required tee shot carry of 220 yards.  In contrast, the #18 handicap hole may be a 336 yard par 4 with no hazards between the tee and the green.

Originally Posted by KingG

As an example if a hc5 played a course with a slope of 120 he would get 5.3 strokes, a hc15 would get 15.9 strokes. 5.3 rounds to 5, 15.9 rounds to 16 which would be a difference of 11 strokes instead of 10 strokes.

Right?

Correct.  But, once you combine your index (which can be a whole number or fraction) with the course slope, it yields a whole number so you don't have to round up or down.  At least, that's been my experience with the USGA.

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Originally Posted by KingG

As an example if a hc5 played a course with a slope of 120 he would get 5.3 strokes, a hc15 would get 15.9 strokes. 5.3 rounds to 5, 15.9 rounds to 16 which would be a difference of 11 strokes instead of 10 strokes.

Right?

Course handicaps are even numbers - there is no decimal, but you would still get 11 due to rounding of course HC.

The easiest way to get course HCs is go to www.ghin.com, and use their calculator.

Also the #1 handicap hole is not necessarily the toughest - it is the hole where a higher HC is most likely to need a stroke. Basically if a course had a 240 yard par 3, it may not be the #1 handicap since a scratch golfer could struggle there as easily as a bogey golfer.

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Yes to meenman . The #1 handicap hole is not necessarily the hardest one on the course. This is almost a universal misunderstanding.

It's the hole where the USGA raters determine that the difference in average score of a scratch golfer compared to a bogey golfer is the greatest of all the holes on the course, and on which the bogey golfer is most in need of a stroke.

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Note: This thread is 3080 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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