Calculating Your Course Handicap

In Planning/Organization of Tournament Golf with PGA Professional Ed Ekis, we’ve been discussing Handicap Indices. In order to obtain a Handicap Index, a player must join a licensed golf club and post adjusted gross scores. These scores are subject to peer review. After at least five scores have been posted, the club will be eligible to issue a Handicap Index to the player in accordance with the USGA Handicap System.

A Handicap Index, issued by a golf club, is a number that represents the potential ability of a player on a course with a Slope Rating of 113. The Index is updated and reissued at established revision dates, usually the 1st and the 15th of each month.

A Course Handicap Tool like this helps determine your Handicap from course to course.
A tool like this one helps determine your Handicap from course to course.

A player is responsible for knowing the Handicap Index issued to the player at the most recent revision. A player must then convert the Handicap Index to a Course Handicap. A Course Handicap is the number of strokes a player receives from a particular set of tees at the course being played using the following formula:

Handicap Index  x  Slope Rating (of tees being played)/113 = Course Handicap

For example, a Handicap Index of 16.2 would convert to a Course Handicap of 20 at a course with a Slope Rating of 140. The resulting figure is rounded off to the nearest whole number (.5 or more is rounded upward). Each set of tees will have a different handicap table based on the Slope Rating.

Portions of this post courtesy of The USGA Handicap System.

Leave a Reply