The USGA Handicap System™ enables golfers of all skill levels to compete on an equitable basis, making the game of golf more enjoyable. A Handicap Index, issued by an authorized golf club, indicates a player's skill and is a number taken to one decimal place, (e.g., 10.4). The System provides a fair Course Handicap for each player, regardless of ability, and adjusts a player's Handicap Index up or down as the player's game changes.

At the same time, the System disregards high scores that bear little relation to the player's potential ability and promotes continuity by making a Handicap Index continuous from one playing season or year to the next. A Handicap Index is useful for all forms of play, and is issued only to individuals who are members of an authorized golf club.

A Handicap Index compares a player's scoring ability to the scoring ability of a scratch golfer on a course of standard difficulty. A player posts scores along with the appropriate USGA Course Rating, Slope Rating, and date of each score to make up the scoring record. A Handicap Index is computed from no more than 20 scores plus any Eligible Tournament Scores. It reflects the player's potential because it is based upon the best Handicap Differential(s) posted for a given number of rounds, ideally the best 10 of the last 20 rounds.

See the full USGA Handicap System Manual here.


The Golf Handicap and Information Network (GHIN) is a service provided by the USGA to golf assocations and clubs that allows their member golfers to post scores, calculate handicaps and retrieve handicap information online. ASGA members can use their unique GHIN numbers to access these services. Golfers post scores under the USGA Handicap System, and GHIN tracks those scores and updates the golfers' handicap indexes.

Handicap Lookup

Post Scores Online

The Arkansas State Golf Association encourages golfers to post their scores where they are played at the club's computer kiosk; however, scores can also be posted on the GHIN website using the link below or via the ASGA Mobile App.

Post Scores Online

Course Handicap™ Calculator

A Handicap Index is portable from course to course, as well as from one set of tees to another set of tees on the same course. A player converts a Handicap Index to a Course Handicap based on the Slope Rating of the tees played. The Course Handicap™ calculator allows players to convert their Handicap Index to the Course Handicap for any course that has been properly rated.

Use the USGA Course Handicap Calculator here

Equitable Stroke Control

The ESC procedure sets a maximum score that a golfer can post for handicap purposes on any hole. The maximum number depends on the golfer's course handicap. Comparing each score to par is no longer necessary, so there's no need to worry about the number of scores you can reduce to a certain level. The accompanying table tells you the maximum score you can post for any one hole.

 18-Hole Course Handicap  9-Hole Course Handicap  Maximum Score Posted on Any Hole
 9 or less 4 or less Double Bogey
 10 through 19 5 through 9 7
 20 through 29 10 through 14 8
 30 through 39 15 through 19 9
 40 and above 20 and above 10