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Use of Partial Handicaps

Philosophies differ on the use of "partial" vs. "rounded" (full) handicaps. ASGTour advocates the use of rounded (full) handicaps as recommended and utilized by the USGA.

In an ASGTour single round event players tied for first place split the prize money of the positions for which they are tied. A USGA  tie-breaker is then used to determine an official event "Champion" who will  be awarded the champions trophy. In multiple round event "Majors" a sudden death playoff is utilized to determine the winner.

Recently, we inquired of the USGA as to their position on this subject. Following is the official response from the USGA in it's entirety:

Friday - May 6, 2011

In regard to your inquiry, prior to each round a player must convert their Handicap Index® to a Course Handicap using the Slope Rating of the tees being played.  The result is rounded to the nearest whole number (0.5 rounds up).

The USGA does not recommend using half strokes because golf is played in full strokes.  A 300 yard drive is worth the same amount of strokes as a 7 inch putt. 

Course Handicap = Handicap Index® x Slope Rating / 113.

“The USGA Handicap System” manual is available to view online at,  

If you have any other questions, please feel free to call or reply. Thank you for your interest in the USGA Handicap System™.


Adam Karnish

Coordinator of Course Rating and Handicap Administration

United States Golf Association




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