Handicapping Improvements
By klangdon on 10/17/06
We made 2 significant changes tonight to the way we are calculating handicaps. Both changes were required to make sure that oobgolf is following the exact USGA handicapping guildlines.

Equitable Stroke Control (ESC)
I'm going to let the USGA give you the definition here:
All scores for handicap purposes, including tournament scores, are subject to the application of Equitable Stroke Control (ESC). This mandatory procedure reduces high hole scores for handicap purposes in order to make handicaps more representative of a player's potential ability.

What's that mean? Basically it means you can't ever score an 11 on a hole for handicapping purposes. If your handicap is low enough you probably can't even record a score over double boogie. Below is the chart we now use to identify a player's max score per hole:

Course HandicapScore
9 or lessDouble Bogey
10 through 197
20 through 298
30 through 399
40 or more10

Please note that in the chart "Course Handicap" is not the same as a golfer's Handicap Index. Course Handicaps are displayed just under the date on your oobgolf scorecard. To calculate the course handicap for a course you have not yet played it multiply your current Handicap Index by the Course Slope and divide by 113. (Handicap Index * Course Slope ) / 113

oobgolf is still keeping all your scores exactly how you entered them. But when calculating a handicap we will apply ESC. Whenever a ESC is needed you will see a new line on your scorecard. Here is an example of a score that requires ESC adjustment: White Deer - Vintage. You will notice the extra "ESC Adjustment" line and that the second hole's score has been adjusted.

oobgolf's automatic ESC adjusting only takes place for golfers who have entered hole-by-hole data. If you are entering total scores only you will need to make this adjustment yourself based on the chart above. If you are entering hole-by-hole data it is suggested that you do not make the adjustment, so that you may have the real hole score for other scoring statistics.

Most Recent 20 scores
We needed to modify our algorithm so that it only uses the past 20 scores. This was an oversight on our part and prior to 10/18 we were using the best scores from ALL entered scores. The USGA handicapping manual details this in the following paragraph:

The Handicap Index formula is based on the best Handicap Differential(s) in a player's scoring record. If a player's scoring record contains 20 or more scores, the best 10 Handicap Differentials of the most recent 20 scores are used to calculate the Handicap Index.

For more details on usga handicapping see: http://www.usga.org/playing/handicaps/manual/index.html

If you have any questions or concerns about these or anything else related to handicapping on oobgolf, please post a comment below.

[ comments ]
Josh says:
Nice, I love how you guys are on top of this stuff.
RShirley says:
I was under the impression that for handicap there was a tie between actual hole score, hole handicap and players handicap. Is it correct that according to your system a 5 handicap golfer can actually get credit for double bogey on every hole? OR just on the 5 hardest holes on the course, ie handcap holes 1 - 5?
D.Sauers says:
I love you new colorful format. It is nice to know someone cares about the average golfers handicap. Thanks!

Miyon Holloway says:
This is Great good. jobb OOB. I'm telling everyone about this site.
forsha09 says:
With the new GPS and all that I can make it do, I'm trying to input what I now feel are accurate Driving Distances. And while I have changed my "settings" to include that stat, I'm finding no place to enter the information when I record my scores. Can anyone get this info. to me?
michaelswilson says:
Good info . . . I can't figure all of this out quite yet though!
Awol says:
wicked that brings my scores down lol
teamgilla says:
I just want to ask the same question as RShirley asked previously as i have 2 holes that were Par 5's that i had 9's on (yeah i know bad day) in my round on the 9/1/2010 that have been adjusted to 7's that i actually get a shot on each hole so therefore the equivalent of a double bogey is 8. Could you please explain if this is not the case? By the way i am from Australia and the usga system is about to come in to force in a couple of weeks so any help would be appreciated in understanding this
mmerrie says:
May i suggest that any hole's score which is amended by the ESC is highlighted in the ESC line, just to make it stand out.
shaun3867 says:
well i think my handycap went down
MD76 says:
Just started a group in Oklahoma, so far we all love it!!!!!!
cswade360 says:
I'm happy, so very very happy!
OlaCarlander says:
Any chance You will ever support European handicap system? I havent yet figured out the differences but our system is pretty plain if you have the courses slope chart (thats already in the oobgolf database). After that you just calculate the score on each hole regarding to your own hcp.
Lets say you have 17 hcp, and the course you are is "sloped" to have an extra shot for the hardest hole. Then you have exactly one shot extra for each hole, and we calculate each hole separately (playing stableford that is).
If you would have 16 in above example, you would not get an extra shot on the easiest hole but on the rest.
Its quite straight forward, the mess is that there seem to exist many different ways in the world :(. But support for stabelford games would suffice for us Europeans I guess.
snkli says:
Assuming we enter hole-by-hole data, does the automatic ESC adjustment also occur for 9 hole rounds?
BagBoyMaxie says:
I love that you guts are on top of this and care about averages golfers like me and many others. Thank you guys, I love this website!!
twood says:
9 hole rounds are paired up with another 9 hole round to create an 18 hole round, which is then accounted for in your index.
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