What is a Golf Handicap?

What is a Handicap?

The purpose of the USGA Handicap System is to make the game of golf more enjoyable by enabling golfers of differing abilities to compete on an equitable basis.

What is GHIN?

The Mississippi Golf Association works in cooperation with the USGA on handicapping for golf clubs and individuals in the state of Mississippi. GHIN (Golf Handicap and Information Network) is the handicap service for member clubs and individuals. To register for a GHIN Handicap or find out how to get one - Click Here

The GHIN system is the biggest and most dependable handicapping system in the country and is currently being used by more than 10,000 clubs and two million golfers.  When a GHIN member plays at any GHIN course anywhere in the country, the handicap index may be adjusted for the course and tees played, and the score is automatically transmitted back to the members home club.

Below are some additional questions regarding the use of a handicap and how to get the greatest benefit out of your memberhsip.

How do I Start a Handicap?

It is best to start with the club to which you belong or where you usually play as a guest. Ask in the Golf Shop about the GHIN Servive to be added at which point they should be able to provide you with a GHIN Number to begin posting scores. Most all Mississippi Clubs use the GHIN service and you can see a complete list of those who do in the Course Directory - Click Here.

If you are not a member at a club you can check out our membership options to get a Handicap - Click Here.

When will I get my Handicap Index?

Five scores are required to establish a Handicap Index. The best ten of your last twenty scores posted are evaluated upon each revision to determine your Handicap Index.

The USGA Handicap System runs on a national revision schedule. On the 1st and 15th of every month your handicap index will be revised and any scores that were posted between revisions will be reviewed for your new index.

What Scores Should I Post?

Section 5 of the USGA Handicap Manual - Click Here

Fair handicapping depends upon full and accurate information regarding a player's potential scoring ability as reflected by a complete scoring record.

To post a 9-hole score, the player must play 7 to 12 holes. To post an 18-hole score, the player must play at least 13 holes under the Rules of Golf.

What is ESC (Equitable Stroke Control)?

Section 4-3. Equitable Stroke Control

ESC is used when a player's actual or most likely score exceeds a maximum number, based on the table below, for the player's Course Handicap from the tees played. Using this Chart a Golfer should determine his or her Course Handicap using the Tees played and currenyt Handicap Index. On any given a hole a score posted should not exceed the maximum listed here. To determine your Course Handicap - Click Here

Equitable Stroke Control

Course Handicap Maximum Number on any Hole
9 or less Double Bogey
10 through 19 7
20 through 29 8
30 through 39 9
40 or more 10

Does your Handicap Represent your True Potential?

Handicaps allow players of different abillities to compete on an equitable basis. The system trusts that golfers play honestly and post all acceptable scores. Remember that your USGA Handicap Index reflects your potential ability and not the average of your scores. A player is expected to play to his or her Course Handicap or better only 25 percent of the time.

For more information on Handicapping and complete details - Click Here.