Handicap

Handicap Information Center

Sterling Farms Women’s Golf Club maintains a current license from the USGA to utilize the USGA Handicap System, and to issue a Handicap Index to each of its members.  In order to maintain that license, the club must follow the procedures of the USGA Handicap System.  Failure to follow all procedures endangers the license of the entire club and the handicaps of all of its members.

Two basic premises underlie the USGA Handicap System, namely that each player will try to make the best score at every hole in every round, regardless of where the round is played, and that the player will post every acceptable round for peer review. The player and the player’s Handicap Committee have joint responsibility for adhering to these premises.

Handicap Issuance

Every player must earn a Handicap Index.  No player has an inherent right to a Handicap Index without providing full evidence of ability to the Handicap Committee.

Once earned, a handicap index is issued and revised every two weeks during the course of the season (every three weeks at the end of the season).  Players can print a copy of their handicap label in the clubroom at the clubroom computer.  Alternatively, players can have a copy of their current handicap index emailed to them.  Sign up via www.ghin.com by clicking the “E-MAIL UPDATE” link at the top of the page.

The handicap index email is sent from the CSGA.  CSGA does not disclose the addresses of its members, so signing up for this service will not subject you to unwanted “spam”.  This is the best and fastest way to receive your handicap index at each revision.

Handicap Maintenance Procedures

Scores to Post  

  • Post all scores from all rounds played, whether or not you turned in a scorecard for the round.  This only includes rounds played on a golf course that is “in season” (e.g., rounds played on CT courses from April to October; rounds played on Florida courses all year round).  Exceptions are only for rounds not played principally under the Rules of Golf, e.g., tournaments using a scramble format.
  • For rounds where you play at least 13 holes, post an 18-hole score, using par + any handicap strokes allotted to a hole to determine your score on any unplayed holes.  For example, you have a 10 handicap and you only play 15 holes.  Hole #16 is the 14 handicap hole, #17 is the 18 handicap hole, and #18 is the 8 handicap hole.  On holes 16 and 17, you take a par because you don’t get strokes there.  But on #18, you take a bogey because you do get a stroke there.
  • For rounds where you play at least 7 holes, post a 9-hole score, again using par + any handicap strokes allotted to a hole to determine your score on any unplayed holes.
  • For holes where you have “picked up”, post the score that you most likely would have gotten had you continued to play the hole, i.e., consider your score to the point where you picked up and add to that the number of strokes it typically would have taken you to get the ball in the hole from there.  Be sure to apply Equitable Stroke Control (ESC) to that hole’s score, if necessary.

If you need help determining the correct score to post for any round or whether the round is acceptable for posting, please contact the Handicap Committee.

Equitable Stroke Control (ESC)

Equitable Stroke Control is a 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 one hole depending on the player’s Course Handicap.  ESC is used only when an actual or most likely score exceeds the player’s maximum number based on the table below.  Each player is responsible for adjusting his own score in accordance with ESC.

18 Hole Handicap 9 Hole Handicap
Course Handicap  Max. # Posted for Any Hole Course Handicap  Max. # Posted for Any Hole
9 or less Double Bogey 4 or less Double Bogey
10 – 19 7 5 – 9 7
20 – 29 8 10 – 14 8
30 – 39 9 15 – 19 9
40 and above 10 20 and above 10

Note that when playing in a tournament, your scorecard should reflect your actual score, not your score that is adjusted for ESC.  When entering your score in the computer for handicap computation purposes, use ESC to adjust your hole-by-hole scores, as necessary.

Tournament Scores

Please note that any rounds played in the following types of tournaments should be posted with a “T” designation:

  • Any SFWGC “major” (i.e., Governors’ Cup, Club Championship, Anne Morgan Memorial Senior Championship, Team Championship)
  • Any “major” from another golf course, e.g., Hubbard Heights Club Championship
  • Any SNEWGA “major” tournament (i.e., Memorial, Team Day, Super Seniors/Legends, Individual Championship, Seniors, Association Matches, Member-Member, Pro Lady)
  • Any statewide “major” tournaments, e.g., CT Open, CT State Amateur
  • Any local or other regional “major” tournaments, e.g., City of Stamford Amateur, Met Amateur
  • Any USGA tournaments, e.g., Senior Amateur Qualifier

Routine weekly competitions are posted as “home” scores (with an “H”).  Routine rounds played away from Sterling Farms are posted as “away” scores (with an “A”).

Where to Post  

Please note that you can post your scores in one of three places:

  • The women’s club computer, which is located above the restaurant (Royal Green at Sterling) in the same office as the Stamford Golf Authority and open every day (in season) 8:30am – 4pm;
  • As a guest in the men’s club computer, which is located in the Pro Shop and open until 7pm;
  • Online via www.ghin.com using your GHIN number

Make sure your playing partners post their rounds, too!

Deadline to Post

The USGA recommends posting immediately after the round.  However, barring that feasibility, all scores must be posted within 2 weeks of being played.

Failure to post in a timely manner will disqualify the player from weekly prize eligibility.  Repeated failure to post in a timely manner will subject the player to having a penalty score posted.  A “penalty score” is a score posted by the Handicap Committee for a player who does not return a score or otherwise does not observe the spirit of the USGA Handicap System.

The handicap of a player with excessive failures to post in a timely manner will be withdrawn.

The foundation of the handicap system is taking responsibility for posting every round played and making sure your playing partners do so as well. Without peer review, the handicap system has no merit.

Making Corrections

If there are any mistakes on your record, please notify the handicap committee.  This includes anything related to your GHIN record including name or email address, as well as mistakes made while posting scores.

Questions?  Please contact anyone on the Handicap Committee or the SFWGC Board of Governors.

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