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Bringing definition to equitable stroke control
Golf Pro Graham Lewis

Q: Alice had just finished her round of golf and was preparing to post her score for handicap purposes.  She began to change some of her hole scores by marking them with a lower score. Ruth noticed what she was doing and asked Alice why she was changing her score for some of the holes.  
A: Alice replied that she was using equitable stroke control as required by the handicap system. ESC keeps an exceptionally bad hole from changing a handicap index too much and sets a maximum ESC number that a player can post on any hole depending on that player’s course handicap.
Many of us don’t know what ESC is or how to apply it when playing a round of golf. For handicap purposes, after a round, a player is required to adjust hole scores (actual or most likely) when these hole scores are higher than the maximum ESC number allowed.  Remember, the key is to adjust your score after the round.
This means that when you finish a hole, you should put down the actual score for that hole. If you pick up before holing out, you should put down the score for that hole that you would most likely have had if you would have holed out. Use your best judgment. After your round is complete and all bets have been settled, you should check each hole to see if your score for that hole exceeds the maximum you are allowed under ESC. If it does, then you adjust your score.
What is allowed under ESC? If your course handicap is 9 or less, the most you can post for handicap purposes is a double bogey. (10-19) = 7; (20-29) = 8; (30-39) = 9; 40 or more =10.  
As always, have fun playing and practicing the game of golf.  Email me with questions at

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