How do I get a Handicap?

How do I get a handicap?

First you need to get your GHIN#.  BTW, this is one of the great benefits of joining an NCGA Associate Club such as NorCal Golf Club.

Once you you get your GHIN# you can now begin posting your scores under the rules of golf using your GHIN#.  Most courses have a computer on site to enter your score after a round.  Our club also offers the option of Internet Posting of your scores.  You should always do your best to post after  your round on site.

To establish your handicap you will need to post 5 scores.  During the first 5 rounds you can count all your strokes.  Once you have a handicap you must use the Equitable Stroke Control system to post your score.

Slope and Rating
I think we all know by now that some courses are harder then others.  This is why each course has a slope and rating that adjusts your handicap up or down so you receive the correct amount of strokes for that course during a tournament.

You will need some basic understanding of these concepts once you have posted 5 scores and have a handicap index.  During a stroke play tournament you have to count them all, but your index is determined using a combination of the course rating, slope, and your handicap to determine the maximum amount of strokes you can post on any one hole.

Here is the basic formula you will need to post scores properly:

(Course rating – par)+((slope/113)*handicap) = course handicap

For those of you who don’t enjoy math as much as I, I’ll give an example.

My current handiap is 13.1 and I’m playing the blue tees at Poppy Hills, course rating is 73.0 and the slope is 141 (it’s a tough course!)

To calculate my course handicap I take the course rating of 73.0 and subtract par of 72 and I get 1 stroke for the rating.

I now take the slope of 141, divide by 113 (average slope of all courses) and get 1.25.

I take my 13.1 handicap, multiply by 1.25 to get 16.375, and I get one more stroke for the course rating for a total of 17.375.

Looking at the table at the USGA’s Equitable Stroke Control page I see that a 10-19 handicap can only take 7 strokes on any one hole. The Equitable Stroke Control page has a more detailed explanation if this if you are still not clear.

You can find all the information you need on posting your scores here:

Equitable Stroke Control at

Posting your score at

If you’re the curious type and would like more information on slope ratings, I know just the place for you.  Dean Knuth the developer of the USGA’s Course Rating and Slope Rating System, become known as the “Pope of Slope” and maintains a web site that has more information then you would ever want to know about course ratings and slope.

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