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USGA stroke control changes should simplify handicapping. To understand why your handicap changes, you must first understand how your handicap is compiled. The handicap computer takes the scores you post and enters them into a mathematical equation based on the slope and or rating of the courses you played. The end result of this process is a handicap index. Your handicap table is more or less a conversion chart that changes from course to course according to the slope and rating of that particular course. Simplification of equitable stroke control in the USGA handicap system, which went into effect January 1, 1993, has meaning and implications far beyond a mathematical technicality.

In the past, the par of the hole was a determining factor. Players were allowed to post a maximum of a certain number of strokes above par depending on what their handicap was. Under the new system starting 1993, par is not considered. The new rule says simply that the maximum score postable on any hole (regardless of that hole’s par) is limited by the player’s handicap. For handicaps of 9 or less, the maximum hole score is 6; for 10 – 19 the maximum is 7; for 20 – 29, 8; for 30 – 39, 9; for 40 – 49, 10. There’s no limit to the number of holes on which a player may post the maximum. A scratch handicap can theoretically post a card with all sixes (108) if that’s what he shot.

Under the old system, each player was allowed a limited number of bogeys or double bogeys, etc., depending on his/her handicap. Reducing the scores for proper posting took time and required close attention to a chart. A player could quickly scan a card for any holes over 6, 7 or whatever without considering the par on that hole. It will take less time and less understanding. Thus it will likely produce more accurate results. Our staff professional will walk you through the handicap computer system until you are familiar with the process. Annual cost: $40.00 billed in January each year.

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