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Equitable Stroke Control (ESC)

Equitable Stroke Control (ESC) is the downward adjustment of the individual hole scores for handicap purposes in order to make handicaps more representative of a player's potential scoring ability. ESC sets a maximum number that the player can post on any hole depending on the player's Course Handicap. A Handicap Index determined from scores to which ESC has not been applied may not be termed a USGA Handicap Index.

Here's how to apply ESC Procedure:

1. Convert your USGA Handicap Index to a Course Handicap for the set of tees you are going to play.

2. Use the chart below to look up the maximum score you can post on any hole based on your Course Handicap.

3. If you do not complete a hole, write down the score you most likely would have made. If you do not play a hole or do not play a hole under the Rules of Golf, write down par plus the handicap strokes you would receive on that hole. Such scores should be preceded by an "X." Do not write down your maximum score for an incomplete hole unless your probable score exceeds your maximum score.

4. Once you have completed your round, scan your score card to locate any scores higher than your maximum score and reduce them to your maximum score.

5. There is no limit to the number of holes you can adjust.

Equitable Stroke Control Table

Course Handicap

Course Handicap

Maximum Score
Posted on any hole

9 or less

4 or less

Double Bogey

10 through 19

5 through 9


20 through 29

10 through 14


30 through 39

15 through 19


40 and above

20 and above


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