How do I calculate my golf handicap? We get this question all the time. Or in many cases we find that some of our members do have misconceptions about the methodology. So here it is in very simple terms: How to calculate your Handicap Index?
What is a Golf Handicap Index?
The golf handicap has the objective of showing the potential ability of a golf player (and not the average ability like many believe). I am not going to go into details about why potential ability and not average, and there are some details that I will leave out, but if you are interested in the full story go to the USGA Handicap Manual.
Keep in mind that TheGrint utilizes the USGA Handicap System to calculate your Handicap Index.
How to calculate your Handicap Index?
Average the handicap differential of the 10 best rounds out of your last 20. Then multiply that average by 96% and you will get your handicap.
We still however need to explain 1) How to get the handicap differential of each round? and 2) What happens when you have less than 20 rounds of golf recorded?
Calculating the Handicap Differential of a golf round
The handicap differential represents how good your round was on a certain golf course . Contrary to the golf round score, the handicap differential can be compared to any handicap differential even if you played on a different golf course. That is because it utilizes the course and slope ratings to adjust if the golf course you played was more difficult than a normal course.
To calculate the handicap differential use the following formula
Handicap Differential= (ESC Score – Course Rating ) *113 / Slope Rating
The ESC Score (Equitable stroke control) is the score minus any strokes that went over the maximum score per hole based on your handicap. The max score per hole is: “9” for players with a course handicap of 30 or more, “8” for players with a course handicap of 20-30, “7” for players with a course handicap of 10-20, and “Double Bogey” for players with a course handicap of 9 or less.
The course and slope ratings can be found on the scorecard of any golf course and they represent the difficulty of the course. For more details go to Course Slope Ratings
Once you get the handicap differential of each round, average the best (lowest) 10 of the last 20 rounds.
What if I have less than 20 rounds recorded?
Because the USGA handicap system aims to calculate the potential ability and not the average, it always takes the best scores instead of all the scores. Below is the table of how many differentials are used depending on the number of rounds posted.
So, in summary… Calculating the Golf Handicap Simplified
- Calculate the handicap differentials of each of your rounds
- Average the best 10 handicap differentials out of the last 20 rounds
- Multiply that number by 96%
NOTE that this article is intended for a broad explanation, there are many other guidelines like how to round numbers that are not included, for the complete explanation visit the USGA Handicap Manual.
Enjoy your Golf!