USGA/RCGA Handicap Mode

Select Handicap Calculation Mode
There are three modes available for calculating handicaps:
Note: You can switch between USGA, RCGA, and CUSTOM calculation modes at any time. Switching handicap modes has no effect on scoring data; handicaps are simply recalculated based on the new setting. 
Follow these instructions to select a handicapping mode:
USGA \ RCGA Handicap Mode
You can change the ceiling for the USGA Index and RCGA Factor. The recommended ceilings are 36.4 for men and 40.4 for women (18.2 / 20.2 for nine holes). However, you can relax the Index (or RCGA) ceiling if desired. Any 18 hole handicap that exceeds the standard USGA \ RGCA limit is identified in with a "L" (to indicate a Local handicap). Any 9 hole handicap that exceeds the standard USGA \ RGCA limit is identified with a "J" (to indicate a 9 hole local handicap). A Handicap Index computed above the limit can only be used for intraclub play.
How are USGA \ RCGA handicap Indexes calculated?
Handicap System uses the exact formulas established by the USGA and RCGA to calculate indexes and factors. Below is a brief overview of the basics formulas used to calculate handicap indexes and factors. Many details are NOT discussed here..such as the "Reduction of Handicap Index for Exceptional Tournament Performance". For complete information about USGA handicapping, visit the USGA website at www.usga.org. For information about RCGA visit their website at www.rcga.org
Step 1:
First, enter only a golfer's adjusted gross scores (not gross scores). To adjust a gross score, use Equitable Stroke Control (ESC). ESC prescribes the maximum number of strokes that can be entered for any hole, based on the golfer's Course Handicap. (See tables below.) ESC is used to decrease individual hole scores for handicapping purposes, to create handicaps that better represent a golfer's playing ability. Note: If entering scores hole by hole (score card), the software automatically applies ESC for an adjusted gross score.
18 hole handicapping
USGA 


RCGA 

Course Handicap 
Limit on any hole 

Course Handicap 
Limit on any hole 
9 or less 
Double bogey 

9 or less 
Double bogey 
10 through 19 
7 

10 through 19 
7 
20 through 29 
8 

20 through 29 
8 
30 through 39 
9 

30 through 39 
9 
40 and above 
10 

40 and above 
10 
9 hole handicapping
USGA 


RCGA 

Course Handicap 
Limit on any hole 

Course Handicap 
Limit on any hole 
4 or less 
Double bogey 

4 or less 
Double bogey 
5 through 9 
7 

5 through 9 
7 
10 through 14 
8 

10 through 14 
8 
15 through 19 
9 

15 through 19 
9 
20 or more 
10 

20 or more 
10 
Maximum strokes per hole are allowed according to the player's course handicap. If a golfer does not yet have an index, the maximum allowed index will be used. (36.4 / 18.2 for men, 40.4 / 20.2 for womenfor 18 \ 9 hole handicaps).
Step 2:
Next, compute a Handicap Differential for each score that is to be considered in the Handicap Index calculation. The Handicap Differential is computed using the following formula:
Handicap Differential = (Adjusted Gross Score  Course Rating) X 113 / Slope Rating
(113 is the Base Slope, or the Slope Rating of a course of standard difficulty according to the USGA.)
If your adjusted gross score is more than the Course Rating for the course on which the round was played, the Handicap Differential will be a positive number. If your adjusted gross score is lower than the Course Rating, the Handicap Differential will be negative.
Step 3:
The third step is to select the lowest Handicap Differentials. The following table is used when selecting the best, or lowest, Handicap Differentials. If more than 20 scores have been entered, the 10 best differentials of the 20 most recent scores are used for the calculation.
USGA System Number of Handicap Differentials Available 
Handicap Differentials Used 
RCGA System Number of Handicap Differentials Available 
Handicap Differentials Used 
5 or 6 * 
Lowest 1 
5 to 6* 
Lowest 1 
7 or 8 
Lowest 2 
7 or 8 
Lowest 2 
9 or 10 
Lowest 3 
9 or 10 
Lowest 3 
11 or 12 
Lowest 4 
11 or 12 
Lowest 4 
13 or 14 
Lowest 5 
13 or 14 
Lowest 5 
15 or 16 
Lowest 6 
15 or 16 
Lowest 6 
17 
Lowest 7 
17 
Lowest 7 
18 
Lowest 8 
18 
Lowest 8 
19 
Lowest 9 
19 
Lowest 9 
20 
Lowest 10 
20 
Lowest 10 
* The USGA \ RCGA does not calculate a handicap until five scores have been recorded.
Step 4:
Then find the average of the selected lowest Handicap Differentials. Simply add the selected Handicap Differentials together and divide by the number of selected Handicap Differentials.
Step 5:
The fifth step is to multiply the average of lowest Handicap Differential (computed in step 5) by 96%. This number is called the net Handicap Differential average.
Step 6:
Next, delete the digits after the tenths place of the net Handicap Differential average. Now you have the Handicap Index or Factor. Do NOT round up to the nearest tenths place. As established by the USGA, the default maximum Handicap Index on an 18hole course is 36.4 for males and 40.4 for females. On a ninehole course the default maximum Handicap Index is 18.2 for males and 20.2 for females. The maximum ceiling can be increased.
Example of a Handicap Index Calculation
The following is an example of how the Handicap Index is calculated using the USGA System. This example assumes only 14 scores have been posted for this golfer.
Sum of the lowest five Handicap Differentials: 
68.7 
Average of lowest Handicap Differentials (68.7 divided by 5): 
13.74 
Handicap Differential Average multiplied by 96%: 
13.1904 
Delete digits after tenths place: 
13.1 
Handicap Index (factor for RCGA): 
13.1 
Step 7:
The final step is to calculate a Course Handicap.
A Course Handicap is the number of strokes a player receives on a particular course.
The computer determines a course handicap by multiplying the Handicap Index by the Slope (from the course and tee you choose) and dividing it by 113 (the base slope) then rounding to the nearest whole number.
Course Handicap = Index X (Slope of Tee / 113)
Example of a Handicap Index Calculation
The following assumes an index of 12.5 and a Home course slope of 120.
Course Handicap = 12.3 x 120/113 = 13
More about USGA Handicapping
The Handicap System can calculate indexes and handicaps using the exact USGA (United States Golf Association) calculation formulas and nomenclature. This also includes the "Reduction of Handicap Index for Exceptional Tournament Performance". If a player consistently scores better in tournaments, his\her handicap is subject to adjustment by the "USGA Handicap Index for Exceptional Tournament Performance".
However, just because you have our software does not automatically mean you can issue USGA handicaps. Your organization must first be in compliance with USGA guidelines to issue USGA handicaps. Any organization wishing to issue USGA handicaps should be familiar with the guidelines and rules required by the USGA. These guidelines and rules are thoroughly discussed in the "USGA Handicap System Manual". For details visit the USGA website at www.usga.org
Note: If your organization does not qualify to issue USGA handicaps, you can still use the Handicap System to issue a custom handicap which emulates the USGA. This would not be an official USGA handicap, but would be very close.
See Custom Mode.