Posting your golf scores is a vital part of the United States Golf Association’s handicap system. A player’s USGA handicap index is based on the best 10 of his previous 20 rounds and is updated throughout each golf season. Players must report every 9- or 18-hole score, provided it’s achieved on a course with a USGA slope and course rating, which includes the great majority of courses in the U.S. Posting each score keeps a player’s handicap index “accurate and up to date,” says the USGA.
Post your score immediately after your round by taking your scorecard to the appropriate person or location at each course. The USGA’s handicap manual states this location should be “convenient,” as the organization prefers to have scores posted in person. If in doubt about who’s in charge of handicap statistics at a particular course, check in at the pro shop, or ask to speak to one of the golf pros. When posting your score you must provide either your name, or the identification number you received when establishing your handicap.
Report your adjusted gross score, taking the “equitable stroke control” (ESC) rules into account. ESC limits the score a player can report on any single hole, given his course handicap. For example, a player with a course handicap of 9 or less can’t report a score of more than a double bogey on any hole. Therefore, if a 5-handicap player scores a 6 on a par-3 hole, he must report the score as a 5 when posting it for handicap purposes.
Provide additional information if you post your score at a course other than your home course. If you play a round at a new course and don’t have time to post your score afterward, you can post it at your home course. Provide the person taking your information with the date you played, the course name and its USGA course and slope ratings.
Post your score online if you can’t report it in person. Log on with your name and ID number at GHIN.com, or use a link provided by your local golf organization. For example, Indiana golfers can post scores at IndianaGolf.org. Use the “Handicapping” or “Post Scores” option and log into the site. Select the “Enter ESC Score” or “Hole-By-Hole Score” option. Enter the date and number of holes you played and the course rating and slope information. There will be an option to look up the course information. Enter your adjusted gross score, select the round type (home, away or tournament) and click the “Post Score” button.