FAQ & Definitions
Question: What is a handicap index?
Answer: A handicap index is the USGA's service mark used to indicate a measurement of a player's potential ability on a course of standard playing difficulty. It is expressed as a number taken to one decimal place (e.g., 10.4) and is used for conversion to a course handicap.
Question: What is a slope rating?
Answer: A slope rating is the USGA's mark that indicates the measurement of the relative difficulty of a course for players who are not scratch golfers compared to the USGA course rating (e.g., compared to the difficulty of a course for scratch golfers). A slope rating is computed from the difference between the bogey rating and the USGA course rating. The lowest slope rating is 55 and the highest is 155. A golf course of standard playing difficulty has a slope rating of 113.
Question: What is a USGA course rating?
Answer: A USGA course rating is the USGA's mark that indicates the evaluation of the playing difficulty of a course for a scratch golfer under normal course and weather conditions. It is expressed as strokes taken to one decimal place, and is based on yardage and other obstacles to the extent that they affect the scoring ability of a scratch golfer.
Question: Can I post scores via the internet?
Answer: Effective January 1, 2002, Section 5-2 of the USGA Handicap System was modified to allow clubs the option to give their members the opportunity to occasionally post scores via the Internet. If a golfer is a member of a club that accepts internet scores, scores can be posted directly to the internet by clicking on the Post On-Line icon. The scores will immediately become part of the golfer's scoring record and will be appear on the club's handicap computer the next time the club connects to GHIN's computer.
Question: How do I know if my club has agreed to accept internet scores?
Answer: If you are unsure whether your club has accepted the internet score posting option, please contact your club or enter your GHIN# and last name or club # at the internet score posting screen. If your club has accepted the Internet score posting option, the next screen will prompt you for your score. On the other hand, if your club has not adopted internet score posting, you will not be allowed to continue to the score posting screen.
Question: Can I view my score history and USGA Handicap Index via the internet?
Answer: Yes. Visit www.GHIN.com to view the following information: the 20 scores that were used to compute your USGA Handicap Index, your Handicap Index and your 20 most recent scores. Only the scores posted via the internet and scores that have been transmitted (sent) from clubs to the GHIN computer will be listed. Be sure to look at the effective date of the USGA Handicap Index online because in some instances USGA Handicap Indexes are not immediately updated.
Question: What does the different letter(s) next to my scores represent?
Answer: The letter(s) immediately following each adjusted gross score indicates specific aspects of a score within a player's scoring record. The following is a list of possible score types: A = Away I = Internet AI = Away Internet P = Penalty C = Combined Nines T = Tournament TI = Tournament Internet CI = Combine Internet Scores (at least one nine posted via Internet) Question: What does the letter mean next to my Handicap Index? Answer: J = Nine Hole USGA Handicap Index exceeds 18.2 for men and 20.2 for women L = USGA Handicap Index exceeds 36.4 for men and 40.4 for women N = Nine Hole USGA Handicap Index R = Reduction (link to question below that deals with "R" next to Handicap Index)
Question: How do I change my address on my handicap account?
Answer: If you know that you will be moving or if your correct address does not appear on your handicap account, please contact your club where your handicap membership is held. They will be able to change your address. Once they transmit that information, GHIN's computer will automatically be updated. You can also contact the KGA office directly to have your address updated.
Question: How do I correct an erroneous score that has been posted to my handicap?
Answer: To correct or delete incorrect scores in your record, contact the handicap chairperson at your club. He/she can make the corrections (this also applies to scores posted via the internet). After your club has made the correction, it must transmit (send) it to the GHIN computer. Once this has been done, your handicap score history in GHIN's computer will be corrected. The scoring record which appears on ghin.com won't be updated until the next Handicap Revision. However, your 20 most recent scores on ghin.com will be updated immediately.
Question: What is a multi-member?
Answer: A multi-member of the KGA is a member who belongs to more than one KGA golf club. A player should be issued only one GHIN number no matter how many KGA member clubs the player joins, unless the player has a 9 hole handicap at one course and a 18 hole handicap at another course. In that case, the player will need two different GHIN numbers.
Question: What does an "R" mean next to my Handicap Index?
Answer: The "R" signifies a "reduction" has been placed on your Handicap Index. The USGA has a section (10-3) in its Handicap System that automatically reduces the Handicap Indexes of players who consistently scores better in competitions than in informal play. To be used, the procedure requires that a player have two or more eligible tournament scores and a minimum of two tournament score differentials which are at least three strokes better than the player's current USGA Handicap Index. What most players don't realize is that an eligible tournament score under Section 10-3 is a tournament score contained within the player's last twenty scores or any tournament score made within the current year. All tournament scores posted will stay with your scoring record for a year from the date that they were shot.
Question: What should a player do if he/she does not finish a hole or is conceded a stroke?
Answer: If a player does not finish a hole or is conceded a stroke then, he/she shall record his most likely score. Most likely score is the number of strokes already taken, plus in the player's best judgment, the number of strokes needed to complete the hole from that point more than half the time. The most likely score should have an "X" preceding the number. For example, player A is just off the green in 2 strokes, and his partner just holed out for a 2; therefore, player A decides to pick up. What should player A record on the scorecard? Player A determines he will most likely chip up and two putt; therefore, player A will record an X-5 on the card. (2, already taken, + 3 to complete the hole). Player A does not automatically put down his ESC maximum. First, he determines his most likely score and then after the round checks to see if the most likely score is above his ESC limit. In this case, player A has a Course Handicap of 24 and his maximum is 8. X-5 is not above his limit and therefore, X-5 is the score he shall use for posting purposes. For further information on most likely score please refer to Section 4-1 of the Handicap System manual.
Question: How many scores do I need to establish a USGA Handicap Index?
Answer: You will need five 18 hole scores or ten combined 9 hole scores to establish a USGA Handicap Index or five 9 hole scores to establish a 9 hole handicap (Handicap Index (N)).
Question: What is the current method for adjusting my hole scores under Equitable Stroke Control (ESC)?
Answer: ESC is an adjustment of individual hole scores (for handicap purposes) in order to make handicaps more representative of a player's potential. ESC is used after the round and is only used when the actual score or the most likely score exceeds his/her maximum number. ESC sets a limit to the number of strokes a player can take on a hole depending on his Course Handicap. ESC applies to all scores, including tournament scores. Below is the maximum number a player can take: Course Handicap Maximum Number 9 or less Double Bogey 10-19 7 20-29 8 30-39 9 40 and above 10 Please refer to Section 4-3 of the Handicap System Manual.
Question: What should a player do if he/she does not play a hole or does not play it under the principles of the Rules of Golf?
Answer: For Handicap Purposes, the player shall record par plus any Handicap strokes for those holes not played. For example, player A is not able to play holes 16, 17, and 18 due to darkness. Player A has a Course Handicap of 12 and holes 16, 17, 18 are a par 5, 3, 4, and are allocated as the number 4, 16, 10 handicap holes respectively. Therefore, player A will record an x-6, x-3, x-5 on holes 16, 17, and 18 respectively. Please refer Section 4-2 of the Handicap System Manual for more information.
Question: What scores are acceptable for posting purposes?
Answer: Almost all scores are acceptable because of the basic premise of the Handicap System which is every player will try his/her best at every hole, in every round regardless of where the round was played. Therefore all of the following are acceptable scores:
• 18 holes
• 7 or more holes
• Scores on all courses
• Scores in all forms of competition: match play, stroke play, team competitions
• Scores made under the Rules of Golf
• Scores played with preferred lies Please refer to Section 5-1 of the Handicap System Manual for more information on acceptable scores.
Question: How do I post a 9-hole score to my 18-hole Handicap Index?
Answer: "How do I post a 9-hole score if I have an 18-hole Handicap Index?" "Do I divide the Course Rating and Slope by two?" Actually, there are two separate nine-hole Course and Slope Ratings for an 18-hole course. Each club that has been issued a USGA Course and Slope Rating should have separate 9-hole Course and Slope Ratings displayed on the club scorecard and a poster certified by the authorized golf association at the club. The 9-hole USGA Course and Slope Ratings should also be easily retrievable on the screen of a computer used for score posting. Two nine-hole scores that combine to create an 18-hole score should be designated with the letter C. The combining of nine-hole scores may be any combination of nines, i.e., a front nine middle tee score combined with a front nine back tee score. This 9-hole score is retained within a players scoring record until it is older than the oldest 18-hole score in that record (best T-Score file excluded). See Section 5-2d of the USGA Handicap System Manual for more details.
Question: Can a golf club's Handicap Committee modify or change my USGA Handicap Index?
Answer: Yes, Rule 8-4/b of the USGA Handicap System states the following: The Handicap Committee has the responsibility of making certain that a player's USGA Handicap Index reflects his/her potential scoring ability. There are five areas in which a Handicap Committee may modify a player's USGA Handicap Index.
(i) Improving faster than the system can react
(ii) Numerous away scores change Handicap Index
(iii) Temporary disability
(iv) Failure to post scores
(v) Player manipulates round