Rules Guy: Does a round played on a simulator count toward your handicap?

Golf simulator

Can simulator rounds count toward your handicap?

The Rules of Golf are tricky! Thankfully, we’ve got the guru. Our Rules Guy knows the book front to back. Got a question? He’s got all the answers.

If I play a USGA-rated course on a simulator, following all other rules of golf including putting, is that score eligible to be posted for handicap purposes? —Luke Walsh, via email

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Just as, for the moment, you can’t win the Tour de France at home on your Peloton, nor Wimbledon on your Wii, you can’t post a virtual round toward your actual handicap.

ball on fringe
Rules Guy: When taking relief, can the fringe be used as the nearest fairway reference point?
By: Rules Guy

That said, it is not at all unreasonable to think that this could change in the not-too-distant future. Blue-blazer caricatures notwithstanding, the USGA is a more progressive organization than generally understood, and you can bet that this is an issue the governing body will keep an eye on as technology and mores evolve.

Got a question about the Rules? Ask the Rules Guy! Send your queries, confusions and comments to We promise he won’t throw the book at you.

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