A Quick Glimpse at Net Double Bogey - World Handicap System | Oregon Golf Association

A Quick Glimpse at Net Double Bogey - World Handicap System

With the launch of the World Handicap System next January, we will see the current procedure of Equitable Stroke Control (ESC – Handicap System Section 4-3) abolished in favor of Net Double Bogey (to be Rule 3.1 in the Rules of Handicapping).

Net Double Bogey will be used when a player’s actual score or Most Likely Score (* see notation below) exceeds a maximum number derived using the following formula:


  • Net Double Bogey = Par + 2 + / - Handicap strokes received or given on a hole

Note that the minus symbol above and “strokes given” would apply to those rare folks with plus handicaps. The rest of us need to think of this new adjustment simply as “Double Bogey Plus”, because it’s easier to leave “Net” out of it! This terminology also is consistent with another adjustment already in use whenever we don’t play a hole or play a hole other than under the Rules of Golf, called “Par Plus”. So, here’s the best way to teach yourself this new Rule:

  • Double Bogey Plus = Par + 2 + any handicap strokes you’re entitled to on the hole

Unlike the current ESC procedure, where your maximum hole score is determined by your Course Handicap, all golfers will use Net Double Bogey. This is the primary method used around the world and will provide for a more consistent adjustment. However, until the WHS is officially launched, please use the current ESC procedure.

* Most Likely Score is used whenever you start but don’t finish a hole, no matter the reason. MLS is the number of strokes you’ve already taken, plus the number of strokes it would take you to finish the hole most of the time, based on your best judgment about your own game.

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