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Equitable Stroke Control (Limiting Strokes per Hole)

Equitable Stroke Control, or "ESC" is the practice of limiting how many strokes a player can take on a hole for handicapping purposes only. Golf League Tracker supports entering limits for players so that an unusually high score doesn't skew a player's handicap. The term for this, coined by the USGA, is Equitable Stroke Control.

You have the option of setting different maximums for different handicap ranges, although I suggest switching over to the World Handicap System Maximum of Net Double Bogey, whcih applies to all players.

World Handicap System

With the new 2020 World Handicap System coming into effect, the USGA is simplifying their Equitable Stroke Control Settings to be the same for all handicap ranges.  The new maximum is:

Net Double-Bogey

Golf League Tracker handles this calculation automatically when you choose Net Double Bogey and apply it to the full range of handicaps.

USGA Pre-2020 Handicap System

The USGA ESC system prior to the World Handicap System has range of maximum values which they've defined that are based on a player's current handicap. In generally, the lower the handicap for a player, the fewer strokes they can take on a hole. The logic for this is that for a lower handicapped player, it's more unusual to make a high score on a hole vs. a higher handicapped player.

The following is the USGA maximum stroke count for an 18-hole handicap:

Handicap Maximum Number
Up to 10 double bogey
10 up to 20 7
20 up to 30 8
30 up to 40 9
40 and above 10

Table Converted to a 9 Hole Handicap

9 Hole Handicap Maximum Number
Less than 5 double bogey
5 up to 10 7
10 up to 15 8
15 up to 20 9
20 and above 10

Setting ESC in Golf League Tracker

To set ESC in Golf League Tracker, you will go into the League Settings in the League Setup tab, choose Equitable Stroke Control from the settings category list, and alter the values. There are 6 different handicap ranges which you can set. For each range, there are 3 different settings:

  • ESC # Low Range
  • ESC # High Range
  • ESC # Adjustment

Example 1

Set all players to a maximum score of triple bogey per hole:

  • Set "ESC 1 Low Range" to -99
  • Set "ESC 1 High Range" to 99
  • Set "ESC 1 Adjustment" to triple bogey

Example 2

Set players below a 10 handicap to a maximum of a 7, and players 10 handicap or more to a maximum of 8:

  • Set "ESC 1 Low Range" to -99
  • Set "ESC 1 High Range" to 10
  • Set "ESC 1 Adjustment" to 7
  • Set "ESC 2 Low Range" to 10
  • Set "ESC 2 High Range" to 99
  • Set "ESC 2 Adjustment" to 8