SEGA Handicaps

The handicap calculation that SEGA uses is an estimate of potential scoring ability based on results from participation in SEGA stroke-play events.
Authorized U.S. Golf Association (USGA) clubs can only give out official USGA handicaps. SEGA is not officially recognized by the USGA.

Handicap Index (often referred to as “Handicap”): A USGA Handicap Index is a numeral, significant to one decimal place, that represents a golfer’s potential for scoring. A handicap index of 14.5, for example, indicates a golfer will, on his or her best days, shoot somewhere around 14 or 15 strokes over the course rating. Handicap Index is not an average of a golfer’s scores, but rather an estimate of what the golfer might shoot on his or her best days.

Handicap Index is figured through a complicated formula (discussed below). Handicap Index is used to figure a particular Course Handicap for a particular golfer from particular tees at a particular course. Course handicap tells golfers the number of strokes they are assigned/allowed, and on which holes, during a handicapped round.

Course Handicap: Course Handicap is a number that tells golfers how many strokes they are projected to use during play for that specific course and permitted to take during a handicap round. Course Handicap is not the same thing as Handicap Index. In fact, Handicap Index is used to determine Course Handicap.

Every golf course should have posted a chart showing course handicaps for players based on their Handicap Index and the slope of the tees played. For example, the chart may show that a player with a Handicap Index of 14.5 — playing tees with a slope of 108 — has a course handicap of 13. The same golfer, playing tees with a slope of 138, has a course handicap of 16. As you can see, the course handicap accounts for slope rating and may award extra strokes on a difficult course, or take away strokes on an easier course.

To calculate your handicap for a course:
Take your Handicap Index multiplied by Slope Rating of the Tees Played divided by 113.

For example: Your Handicap Index is 14.6 and you played a course with a slope of 127. The formula is: (14.6 X 127) / 113. The answer to this example is 16.4. Your course handicap is therefore 16 (round up or down).
Course & Slope Rating:
Course rating tells scratch golfers how difficult the course will be. Slope rating tells bogey golfers how difficult the course will be.

The minimum slope is 55 and the maximum is 155 (slope does not relate specifically to strokes played as course rating does). The slope rating for a course of average difficulty is 113.

Like course rating, slope rating is done for each set of tees on a course. A course may have a separate slope rating for certain tees used by women or seniors.

Slope rating is a factor in the calculation of Handicap Index, and is also used to determine the course handicap.

Equitable Stroke Control (ESC) Score: All scores for handicap purposes, including tournament scores, are subject to the application of Equitable Stroke Control (ESC). This mandatory procedure reduces high hole scores when entering scores to establish a Handicap Index. This makes handicaps more representative of a player’s potential ability.

Course Handicap Maximum Number
9 or less Double Bogey
10 – 19 7
20 – 29 8
30 – 39 9
40 and above 10

For Handicap purposes, after the round, SEGA will adjust your hole scores when any score on a hole is greater than the maximum number you can post. Your ESC score is what will be used to calculate your handicap differential.

Handicap Differential: Handicap differential is a numeral used in calculating Handicap Index.
Formula to calculate Handicap Differential: (ESC Score minus Course Rating) x 113 / Slope Rating.
How SEGA figures your SEGA handicap index

Handicapping for the U.S. Golf Association (USGA) is based on the premise that EVERY round you play is turned in to the handicap committee for use in index calculations.

Establishing Handicap Indexes for SEGA members differs from the USGA method. SEGA uses only scores from SEGA tournaments to compute a SEGA Handicap Index.

The USGA Handicap Index is computed using the best 10 of the last 20 rounds. If we did that at SEGA, handicaps would hardly ever change — because we’re only using tournament rounds where individual scores were recorded. Such a number, derived over a span of many months from a few eligible SEGA events would not reflect a player’s “current” potential ability.

Prior to 2013, SEGA used the best five of the last 10 tournament scores to calculate Handicap Index for members. With input from members at the annual meeting in August 2012, SEGA adopted use of the BEST THREE of the most recent FIVE tournament scores to calculate Handicap Index for individual members.

Here’s how we calculate a SEGA Handicap Index:
SEGA takes an average of the best 3 of the most recent 5 tournament rounds, then multiplies the result by 96%. The digits after the tenths are dropped. The result is a Handicap Index.

Remember, the Handicap Index is used to calculate your course handicap. You may have the same Handicap Index for a couple tournaments, but if the slope rating of a course changes, you may have a higher or lower handicap than in a previous tournament.
For example, a 14.5 handicapper playing from the white tee box with a slope of 108 has a course handicap of 13. But the same 14.5 handicapper playing from the white tee box with a slope of 138 has a course handicap of 16.