Equitable Stroke Control (ESC)

figure-with-questionmark.fwSo what exactly is this 'Equitable Stroke Control'?

Equitable Stroke Control

"Equitable Stroke Control" (ESC) is the downward adjustment of individual hole scores for handicap purposes in order to make handicaps more representative of a player's potential ability. ESC sets a maximum number that a player can post on any hole depending on the player's Course Handicap. ESC is used only when a player's actual or most likely score exceeds the player's maximum number based on the table in Section 4-3 of the USGA Rules (copied below).

Simply put, it answers the question: 'What is the maximum number of Strokes I can post on any Hole?' So why not just: 'Fair Stroke Correction'?! You would have understood straight away, because that's all it is!

Well, it really only depends on your Course Handicap (CH) and the applicable value in the ESC table(s) you will find below.

When you fill in your Scorecard to be used for calculating your Handicap you must know what your Course Handicap (CH) is and then apply Equitable Stroke Control (ESC).  (Oh well, by the way, just in case you did not finish all holes, or conceded holes (USGA Handicap Manual 5-2-b 'Posting a Score When a Complete Round is not Played') you may also need to know what a Most Likely Score (4-1 'Unfinished Holes and Conceded Strokes') is... mmm.... maybe not so simple after all....).

Anyway, you will end up posting your Gross Adjusted Score - how cool does that sound?! You're beginning to sound like a PRO!

Please note you cannot use a score adjusted for ESC in a Tournament - it only applies for your Handicap.

 Here's the USGA ESC Rule when playing 18 Holes:    And here's the USGA ESC Rule when playing 9 Holes:
  18-Hole Course Handicap    Maximum Number Posted on Any Hole  
9 or less Double Bogey
10 through 19 7
20 through 29 8
30 through 39 9
40 or more 10
  9-Hole Course Handicap     Maximum Number Posted on Any Hole   
4 or less Double Bogey
5 through 9 7
10 through 14 8
15 through 19 9
20 or more 10

These figures are also available in the PRO Shop, posted in the Hallway between PRO Shop and Snackbar, the Lockerroom and in the Starter Shed. Of course you can always ask the Woodlawn Golf Course manager or our PRO. Alternatively you may click here to go to the ESC Rule page of the USGA Website - highly recommended!