With the launch of the World Handicap System, the old procedure of Equitable Stroke Control has been abolished in favor of Net Double Bogey.
Net Double Bogey is used when a player’s actual score or Most Likely Score (* see notation below) exceeds a maximum number derived using the following formula:
Note that the minus symbol above and “strokes given” will 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:
Unlike the old ESC procedure, where your maximum hole score is determined by your Course Handicap, all golfers now use Net Double Bogey. This is the primary method used around the world and will provide for a more consistent adjustment.
* 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.