Equitable Stroke Control

Equitable Stroke Control (ESC) is the downward adjustment of individual hole scores for handicap purposes in order to make handicaps more representative of a player's potential ability. ESC sets a maximum number that a player can post on any hole depending on the player's Course Handicap. ESC is used only when a player's actual or most likely score exceeds the player's maximum number based on the table in Section 4-3.

This explanation of Equitable Stroke Control is from the USGA Handicap Manual 2012-2015, Section 2 Definitions, Equitable Stroke Control (ESC).  You can visit the USGA Web Site at www.usga.org.

See the chart on the right for the maximum number of strokes you can take on any one hole. 

Equitable Stroke Control
Course handicap
Maximum number
on any hole
9 or less
Double bogey
10 to 19
20 to 29
30 to 39
40 or more
If you do not
have a handicap