Handicap - FAQs

Have a question about your Handicap Index? Consult the list of questions below, and if afterward your question still isn't answered, email handicap@scga.org.

Frequently Asked Handicap Questions

I didn’t get my latest eRevision. Now what do I do?
I don’t want to rejoin my golf club for 2014. What do I need to do to join a different one?
I forgot to renew. How do I find a club to join?
Where would I get my membership card from?
I just joined a club and already have 18-hole scores in my score file but my file still shows NH. What's happening?
If currently a member of the SCGA, what do I have to do to make sure my membership is good for 2014?
What is the “R” next to my index?
I have an incorrect score in my file. How do I fix it?
How is a Handicap Index calculated?
I am new to golf. How do I figure my Course Handicap?
How many scores does it take to establish a Handicap Index?
I heard that I had to use my adjusted gross score as the score to post. What is that?

Q: I didn’t get my latest eRevision. Now what do I do?

Make sure you have made revisionupdate@ghin.com part of your “safesender” list. This is from where the eRevision is currently coming. Make sure the report is not sitting in your spam file. Also, the system is set up to try to deliver an eRevision up to three (3) times. After that, delivery is discontinued. You may print out your Handicap Index information from the SCGA website's Handicap Index Lookup just by hitting "print." You may also contact the Handicap Department at handicap@scga.org and another copy of your score file can be emailed to you. Please include your name and member number with your email.

Q: I don’t want to rejoin my golf club for 2014. What do I need to do to join a different one?

Contact a golf course facility or club that you wish to join, or visit SCGA Clubs Seeking Members to look for clubs open to membership. Let them know you already have an SCGA/GHIN number. Once they process your application, you will receive a Handicap Index from that club after the next revision. Let your old club know you will not be rejoining for 2014.

Q: I forgot to renew. How do I find a club to join?

If you don't wish to renew with your previous club, visit SCGA Clubs Seeking Members to look for our clubs that are currently open for membership. Let them know you already have an SCGA/GHIN number. Once they process your application, you will receive a Handicap Index from that club after the next revision.

Q: Where would I get my membership card from?

If you are on your club roster as of Jan. 1, 2014, your membership card and the Winter issue of FORE Magazine will be mailed directly to your home. Members added after Jan. 1 will pick up their membership packet from their clubs. Make sure your club has your current and correct mailing address.

Q: I just joined a club and already have 18-hole scores in my score file but my file still shows NH. What's happening?

Your score file will show NH (no Handicap Index) until it goes through a revision on the 1st or 15th of the month. If you need your Handicap Index prior to the revision, your club's Handicap Committee can issue you a local handicap when at least five scores are posted (identified by a capital L - ex. 15.4L).

Q: If currently a member of the SCGA, what do I have to do to make sure my membership is good for 2014?

An SCGA membership runs from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31. You will need to contact your club to find out when you need to renew through them so they don’t remove you from the club roster by Dec. 31.

Q: What is the “R” next to my index?

The “R” indicates that a golfer is being reduced due to exceptional tournament scores. The reduction is an automatic part of the Index calculation. Eligible tournament scores stay in a stored tournament file for a year from the date they were posted or within the scoring record. Each revision, the computer looks at what the golfer’s calculated (10-2) Handicap Index is. If there are at least two tournament differentials in the file at 3.0 points below the calculated Index, then the golfer may be reduced. The calculation also takes into account the total number of eligible tournament games the golfer has posted. If the golfer has shown they can play to a certain level but the current Index is not reflecting that potential, the system automatically reduces the golfer down to his or her playing potential.

How long it lasts depends upon the calculated index, which is based on the scores the golfer has posted, what the two low tournament differentials are and how many eligible tournament games are in the player's file.

To be clear, this is not a penalty, but rather part of the formula for calculating a player's Handicap Index. If you feel this reduction is not warranted, you can speak to your Handicap committee about removing or modifying the reduction.

Q: I have an incorrect score in my file. How do I fix it?

To have a score corrected or removed, a golfer must contact the Handicap Chair at his/her golf club. We do not perform any file maintenance requests that come directly from individual members.

Q: How is a Handicap Index calculated?

For each score posted, a handicap differential is calculated. The formula is:
Handicap Differential = (Adjusted Gross score – USGA/SCGA Course Rating) x 113 / USGA/SCGA Slope Rating

Using this example:

  • Bill’s adjusted gross score was 95 at a course with 73.5/130 (Course Rating/Slope Rating)
  • Adjusted Gross Score 95.0
    Minus the course rating (73.5)
  • Result = 21.5
  • Multiply Result by standard Slope (113) of a golf course: 21.5 X 113 = 2429.5
  • Divide by the slope of the tees played: 2429.5/130 = 18.688 Handicap Differential = 18.7 (rounded)

Once your score file consists of 20 scores, your ten lowest differentials are added together, divided by ten and then multiplied by 96%, the result being your Index. You do not round the result. Your ten lowest differentials are used, not necessarily the ten lowest scores in your score file.

A player needs a minimum of five scores to calculate a Handicap Index. If a player has at least five but fewer than 20 differentials available, the Handicap Index will be computed as follows:

Scores Available = Differentials to be used
5 or 6 = Lowest 1
7 or 8 = Lowest 2
9 or 10 = Lowest 3
11 or 12 = Lowest 4
13 or 14 = Lowest 5
15 or 16 = Lowest 6
17 = Lowest 7
18 = Lowest 8
19 = Lowest 9

Q: I am new to golf. How do I figure my Course Handicap?

The easiest way to determine your Course Handicap for the tees you will be playing is to use the Slope tables at the back of the Southern California Golf Association Directory of Golf.   Take your calculated Index (example 16.1) and locate the Slope table (example: 136 for the middle tees 72.0/136).  For a 16.1 playing on a 136 Slope, the Course Handicap converts to a 19. Other places to determine your Course Handicap is the Slope Conversion Charts at the golf course. Or visit the Handicap Index Lookup feature on this website's homepage. Enter your member number to bring up your scoring file and under the tab C.H. Calculator, enter the Slope for the tees you will be playing.

Q: How many scores does it take to establish a Handicap Index?

A player needs a minimum of five 18-hole scores to calculate a Handicap Index (or 10 nine-hole scores). See “How is a Handicap Index Calculated?” above for more details.

Q: I heard that I had to use my adjusted gross score as the score to post. What is that?

An adjusted gross score is a player’s gross score adjusted under the USGA Handicap System procedures for unfinished holes, conceded strokes, holes not played or not played under the Rules of Golf, or Equitable Stroke Control (ESC). 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.

Say a player has a 19 Course Handicap: the most he could post for any hole would be a 7. So if he scored 102 and had an 11 on the sixth hole (a par 5) and had a 9 on hole 14 (a par 4), he would need to deduct four strokes for the sixth hole (11 - 7 = 4) and two on hole 14 (9 - 7 = 2) for a total of six strokes deducted from the 102 gross score. This gives him an adjusted gross score of 96 (102 - 4 - 2 = 96).