Equitable Stroke Control

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Equitable Stroke Control (ESC) is a method of recording scores used to calculate a golf handicap. Its purpose is to avoid recording a very high score on an individual hole which might inflate the handicap calculation. Equitable stroke control is a sliding scale system, based on the difficulty of the course and the current handicap of the golfer.

Each rated course should post a calculation of the player's course handicap. Course handicaps are always rounded to whole numbers, and reflect the difficulty of the course relative to an average course. For example, an individual with a handicap of 5.9 playing on a difficult course might have a course handicap of 8. Playing on a much easier course, the course handicap might be 5.

United States Golf Association[edit]

Once the golfer checks their course handicap, equitable scoring follows the rules:[1][2][3]

Course Handicap Maximum Score per Hole
up to 9 Double Bogey
10 through 19 7
20 through 29 8
30 through 39 9
40 or higher 10

For example, if a golfer has a course handicap of 8, shoots a score of 83, but that score includes a six on a par 3 (a triple bogey) then the posted score should be only 82. However, if a golfer with a course handicap of 11 had the same score, the proper score to post is 83.

Golf Canada[edit]

As of March 1, 2012, the Golf Canada adopted the same rules as the USGA.[4]


  1. ^ http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Handicap-System-Manual/Rule-04/
  2. ^ http://www.usga.org/HandicapFAQ/handicap_answer.asp?FAQidx=9
  3. ^ "Golf guide". Thursday, July 19, 2018
  4. ^ http://www.rcga.org/news_details.aspx?id=2648