Capital Region NY Chapter

Handicap Central

Here's your resources for learning about and obtaining a handicap index, and posting your scores in the GHIN system. If you have any questions, contact the Chapter Handicap Director at

Click here to post a score on GHIN. 
Should you adjust your score before posting? Scroll down this page to Equitable Stroke Control.

Click here to renew your GHIN handicap through this Chapter.
Are you a GN21 user? The GN21 system that was free as part of EWGA membership remains available on a legacy basis this season, so that existing users can validate a handicap index for leagues and competition. We encourage you to make your transition ASAP to GHIN--you can post scores on both systems until you have the 5 rounds needed to establish a GHIN index.

What is a golf handicap?

Players often ask, what is a golf handicap and why do I need one? Some players think that, since they only play golf a couple of times a year, or only play 9 holes instead of 18, that a handicap isn't relevant to them.  But it is!

So what is a handicap, really?

A handicap is an indication of a player's ability. A player actually has two handicaps: her handicap index, and her course handicap. A specific formula is used to compute a player's handicap index from her score history, by factoring in both scores and the difficulty of the courses played.  

A player's handicap index is used to calculate her course handicap, the number of strokes above par she receives, depending on the difficulty of the particular course she is playing. Your course handicap will be higher on a more difficult course and lower on an easier course.  

Why would I want a handicap?  

A handicap allows players of different ability levels to compete with each other. Using handicaps helps to even the playing field, making the game more fun. 

You need a handicap index to participate in competitive golf events and certain Chapter golf leagues. The change in your handicap index also gives you a way to track your improvement throughout the golf season.

How do I get a handicap index?

Your Chapter provides access to the USGA GHIN Handicap System for an annual fee ($22 in 2019). To obtain a GHIN index through the chapter, use our easy online GHIN registration and payment system.

For general information on the USGA Handicap system visit and click on Handicapping, or visit

To establish a handicap index, you must enter a minimum of 5 scores, either full 18-hole rounds or combined 9-hole scores. You must play your best round possible and post every acceptable round played (as defined by USGA rules).

For more information:  Handicapping: The Basics

Equitable Stroke Control

When posting a score on GHIN, you first may need to adjust that score for Equitable Stroke Control. Here is a chart showing how many strokes you're allowed take per hole, depending on your handicap for the course.

Maximum Number of Strokes to Post Per Hole



9 or less

Double bogey

10 through 19


20 through 29


30 through 39


40 and above


To determine what your handicap would be for a particular course before posting, use this formula: Handicap Index multiplied by Slope Rating of tees played, divided by Standard Slope Rating (113) = Course Handicap (rounded to nearest whole number; .4 rounds down and .5 rounds up)

For example: 10.4 Handicap Index X 125 Slope Rating /113 Standard Slope Rating = 11.5 rounded up to 12 Course Handicap

Once you have figured your course handicap, you will know the maximum number of strokes you may take. You must lower your score as necessary to this number on any hole, including par 3s.