Principles of Most Likely Score
The number of strokes already taken to reach a position on a hole, plus
The number of strokes the player would most likely require to complete the hole from that position, plus
Any penalty strokes incurred during play of the hole.
When Most Likely Score is Applied
When a player starts a hole but does not hole out, the player records their most likely score or net double bogey, whichever is lower.
Examples that might result in a player starting a hole but not holing out
The result of the hole has already been decided,
A hole has been conceded in match play,
A player's partner has already posted a better score in a Four-Ball format and the player picks up, or
A player has already reached their net double bogey limit on a specific hole.
Limits of Use
No limit to the number of most likely scores that can be recorded within a player's adjusted gross score.
Guidelines for determining Most Likely Score
If the ball lies on the putting green and is no more than 5 feet from the hole, add one additional stroke.
If the ball lies between 5 feet and 20 yards from the hole, add 2 or 3 additional strokes, depending on the position of the ball, the difficulty of the green and the ability of the player.
If the ball lies more than 20 yards from the hole, add 3 or 4 additional strokes, depending on the position of the ball, the difficulty of the green and the ability of the player.
When Obtaining an Initial Handicap Index
The maximum score for each hole is limited to par + 5 strokes.