Handicapping Help: What is ESC and why is it important?


ESC stands for Equitable Stroke Control. All scores for handicap purposes, including tournament scores, are subject to the application of Equitable Stroke Control (ESC). This mandatory procedure reduces high hole scores for handicap purposes in order to make handicaps more representative of a player’s potential ability. ESC is used when a player’s actual or most likely score exceeds the maximum number of strokes a player can post for a hole. Players should use the table below which shows their ESC stroke limit based on their course handicap from the tees played for an 18-hole round. IMPORTANT: maximum number of strokes are based on COURSE handicap, not Handicap Index. That means that your ESC may be higher or lower at different courses or when playing different tees based on your individual course handicap.


Need to figure out your course handicap? Use this super-easy course handicap calculator.

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