# Course Handicap: What Is It and How Is It Used?

By Brent Kelley. Golf Expert

Brent Kelley is a sports journalist who has covered golf for more than two decades, at newspapers, magazines and online.

But not all golf courses are created equal; some are easy, some are tough, and some are in the middle. What happens if your handicap index was earned playing a very easy course, but now you're about to play a very tough course? Handicap index alone doesn't account for that, so a second calculation is needed.

That second calculation is course handicap, which adjusts your handicap index up or down depending on the degree of difficulty of the specific course you're about to play.

The average slope rating is 113. So course handicap takes into account your handicap index, the average slope rating of 113, and the slope rating of the course you're preparing to play. The calculation

is this: Your Handicap Index multiplied by Slope Rating of Tees Played divided by 113.

For example: Player A's handicap index is 14.6 and he's playing a course with a slope of 127.