USGA Handicap FAQ

For any questions not mentioned below, please refer to the USGA Handicap Manual located here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the rules for the local tournament?

To view the Official rules, please click here.

I canít register for a local tournament whatís wrong?

Each player needs to register using their own unique email address. Unfortunately, the site will not permit players to share email addresses.

How do I know if Iím eligible to compete in a local tournament?

All golfers must be registered prior to their local tournaments at To register for a local quattro Cup tournament, please click here.

Teams are made up of two people; teams can be men, women or co-ed. All golfers may only play in one local tournament per year.

All golfers must be 21 years of age on or before February 1, 2014, and have an established USGA handicap.

Professional golfers, Audi of America, Volkswagen of America personnel, Audi dealership personnel or their immediate family members may not compete in a quattro Cup tournament.

I need to change my partner in the local tournament what do I do?

If you need to change your partner in a local tournament, the player who is unable to attend should cancel their registration. To cancel a player registration, please click on the cancel link in the confirmation email.

The partner who is still attending should then modify their registration with the new partner information, the site will attempt to link the new partner to the original player so you have the proper pairings.

The new player should then register for the local tournament.

How are team handicaps determined for the local tournaments?

Per the official rules: The player with the lower course handicap is allowed 60% of his course handicap. The player with the higher course handicap is allowed 40% of his course handicap. The maximum course handicap difference between both players shall not be higher than 20.

Player A has a handicap of 18
Player B has a handicap of 10

The team's handicap will be calculated from:
40% of player A's handicap = 7.2
60% of player B's handicap = 6

Team handicap = 13.2

What is the format for the tournament?

Per the official rules: The method of play for all Audi quattro Cup tournaments is Select Drive Alternate Shot (Greensome Stableford,

Both players hit a tee shot.

The best shot is selected and the partner whose ball was not selected will hit the next shot with the ball that is in play.

The team alternates shots until the ball is holed.

Players should mark their scorecards with the gross score for each individual hole. Handicap is applied at the end of the tournament by the tournament committee.

Where can I find out additional information on the Greensome Stableford method?

Please refer to the Official Rules on this website or visit and enter Stableford in the search box.

How many holes must be played in a round of golf for the round to be recorded for handicap purposes?

According to the USGA Handicap Manual Section 5-1, to post a 9-hole score the player must play 7 to 12 holes and at least 7 holes must be played in accordance with the principle of the Rules of Golf. To post an 18-hole score, the player must play at least 13 holes in accordance with the principles of the Rules of Golf.

How many scores must be entered to be issued a handicap index?

In order to obtain a Handicap Index®, a player must be a member of a golf club that is licensed to use the USGA Handicap System.

Once a player joins a golf club, the player should post adjusted gross scores. When the player posts five adjusted gross scores, and a revision date passes, the club will issue the player a Handicap Index. To determine your areaís revision schedule, please refer to our Authorized Golf Association Revision Schedule.

What is a penalty score?

A "penalty score" is a score posted by the Handicap Committee for a player who does not return a score or otherwise does not observe the spirit of the USGA Handicap System. (See Section 8-4b and 8-4c(iv).)

What score should be entered for a hole that the player did not complete?

A player who starts but does not complete a hole or is conceded a stroke must record for handicap purposes the most likely score. A "most likely score" is the score a player must post for handicap purposes if a hole is started but not completed or if the player is conceded a stroke. The most likely score consists of the number of strokes already taken plus, in the player's best judgment, the number of strokes the player would take to complete the hole from that position more than half the time. The most likely score may not exceed the player's Equitable Stroke Control limit, defined in Section 4-3. This most likely score should be preceded by an "X."

There is no limit to the number of unfinished holes a player may have in a round, provided that failure to finish is not for the purpose of handicap manipulation.

What is an Equitable Stroke Control limit?

According to the USGA Handicap Manual Section 4-3 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 for handicap purposes in order to make handicaps more representative of a player's potential ability.

A handicap determined from scores to which ESC has not been applied may not be termed a Handicap Index.

ESC is used when a player's actual or most likely score exceeds a maximum number, based on the table below, for the player's Course Handicap from the tees played.

9 or less Double Bogey
10 through 19 7
20 through 29 8
30 through 39 9
40 or more 10

What scores should be posted?

If 13 or more holes are played, the player must post an 18-hole score. If 7 to 12 holes are played, the player must post a nine-hole score. (See USGA Handicap Manual Section 5-2b for more information.)

When should a score NOT be posted?

According to the USGA Handicap Manual Section 5-1e a score should not be posted when:

(i) Fewer than seven holes are played

(ii) Made on a golf course in an area in which an inactive season established by the authorized golf association is in effect

(iii) The length of the course is less than 3,000 yards for 18 holes (or less than 1,500 yards for 9 holes)

(iv) As a condition of the competition, the maximum number of clubs allowed is less than 14, or types of clubs are limited as, for example, in a competition that allows only iron clubs

(v) Scores are made on a course with no USGA Course Rating or Slope Rating

(vi) A player uses non-conforming clubs, non-conforming balls, or non-conforming tees

(vii) With respect to Rule 14-3 (Rules of Golf), when an artificial device or piece of unusual equipment is used during the execution of a stroke or when equipment is used in an unusual manner during the execution of a stroke. (See Decision 5-1f/2 for an exception.)

If I belong to more than one club, how and where do I post my scores?

From USGA Handicap Manual Section 6-5:

(a) Register as a multi-member with the authorized golf association or computation service, if such service is provided, so that all scores at every club will enter into the player's scoring record for computation; or

(b) Return all scores to all clubs in person, or, if the club allows, by e-mail, facsimile, Internet, or surface mail (see Section 5-2), together with the USGA Course Rating and Slope Rating, and date.

If a member of a club in Michigan plays golf at a club in Florida during the winter, should he post those scores at the Michigan club in the spring and post his summer scores from Michigan at his club in Florida in the fall?

If a player maintains a Handicap Index at more than one club, and the clubs do not use a networked computation service, all acceptable scores must be posted at all clubs. This will result in the same Handicap Index at all clubs unless there are administrative problems such as transmission problems or mailing delays. Failure to post all acceptable scores at all clubs produces a Handicap Index that is not based on the player's best 10 differentials of the last 20 scores and consequently may not be termed a Handicap Index. If a player has a different Handicap Index at different clubs, despite posting all scores at all clubs, the committee in charge of the competition may require the player to use the lowest Handicap Index when competing with players from more than one club. (See Decisions 6-5/2 and 6-5/3.)

How often am I expected to play to my handicap?

A player is expected to "shoot his/her handicap" once out of every four to five rounds. A player can calculate their "Target Score," or the score needed to shoot their handicap, by adding their Course Handicap to the USGA Course Rating of the tees being played. The playerís average score will be two to four strokes higher than their target score.

What is meant by peer review?

The USGA defines "peer review" as the ability of golfers to gain an understanding of a player's potential ability and to form a reasonable basis for supporting or disputing a score that has been posted. There are two essential elements of peer review:

1. Members of a golf club must have a reasonable and regular opportunity to play together (see Decision 2/8).

2. Access must be provided to scoring records, as well as to a Handicap Index list, for inspection by others, including, but not limited to, fellow club members. There are two forms of scoring record display:

General - A General scoring record must provide the six most recent revisions of the player's Handicap Index, along with scores, score types, ratings, differentials and dates (month and year only) relating to the most recent handicap revision. This must be made available to those involved in peer review.

Complete - A Complete scoring record must provide the six most recent revisions of the player's Handicap Index, along with scores,* score types, ratings, differentials and dates (month, day and year) relating to the most recent handicap revision. This must be made available to fellow club members, the club Handicap Committee and competition officials of any competition in which the player is going to participate.

*The course name for each score should appear in any "Complete" scoring record display and must be included for a Type 3 club.

What are the considerations when a Handicap Index is reduced based on exceptional tournament scores?

A Handicap Index is displayed with an "R" (e.g., 10.4R) because two or more tournament scores have been posted within the past year that are at least three strokes better than the current Handicap Index based on the most recent twenty scores.

Tournament Scores (T-Scores) are kept for a minimum of one calendar year from when they are posted or longer if they are still within a playerís current 20-score history.

At each handicap revision the most recent twenty (20) scores as calculated are weighed against the average of the two best T-Score differentials, and if the difference of both T-Score differentials is at least three strokes lower than the Handicap Index (as calculated from the most recent 20 scores), the player is eligible for a reduction. A reduction (if necessary) is an automatic calculation of the handicap vendor or local computation software provider.

Is a handicap ever increased and, if so, for what reason?

According to rule 8-4c(iii) an increased handicap may be given for a temporary disability. The increased handicap is not a Handicap Index and must be identified by the letter "L" to indicate that it is for local use. For example, a player having had recent surgery may be given a higher handicap while recovering.