Golf Handicaps for Beginners

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Lets learn more about Golf Handicaps!

Golf handicaps for Beginners! Let get you started on the path of getting that handicap as low as you can get it. Lets not forget if you want a more in-depth read up, check out my how golf handicaps work article. This is short version of that article, just to get your started learning more about handicaps. Do you play as a bogey golfer or a scratch golfer? Are you curious what is a golf handicap? Well, I guess this golf handicaps for beginner guide is for you.

Using the new handicap system, you can measure your playing ability. This system is used so that players of different skills level could play from the level playing field and provided by the United States Golf Association. With the help of a handicap system, weaker golfers can deduct their strokes off particular holes.

Once a round is over, golfers of different handicaps can add their scores less than the strokes they want to be taken off. As a result, each of them can get a net score according to their handicap. Besides, this gives them a chance to win on any given day.

One of the reasons why you need to record your handicap is that you can easily track your progress. While you can see how well you are progressing, you will also figure out the areas you need to improve at.

There might be several variations of handicap, but the general calculation is according to the most recent rounds of the golfers. Meaning, it is never out-dated and it might increase or decrease according to your current level of ability. This article is also to help to any high scorers or mid handicappers who wanted to recap on their handicap knowledge. Lets get started with learning about Golf Handicaps for beginners, so you no longer have to wonder “what is a golf handicap?

What is the starting Handicap in Golf?

In golf, what is a handicap is a common question for beginning players. Besides, you may be curious about what will be your handicap index after each game or will your number of strokes will affect your performance. Regardless of which golf course you usually play, you can calculate a handicap. Bear in mind that the most accurate handicap comes from playing a similar course.

After you established a handicap, you can start traveling to different courses where you can use a regular handicap. Getting a lower score means you are a better player. Generally, below 10 is generally a good handicap. If you have a handicap of 10, you typically shoot about 82 for an 18-hole course.
To start determining your handicap in golf, consider the following steps:

1 - Record your Shots

Make sure to play and record your scores. During the rounds, keep the accurate record of the total number of your shots. You can play 12-20 rounds to get an accurate handicap. Courses often require at least 10 rounds. Lets continue learning about that handicaps. 

Determine the Adjusted Scores

Based on the USGA, the basic handicapping scores are part of the overall system. Your scores will be the maximum amount you have to get in any one-hole of golf. In case it is your first time to establish a handicap, then your number will be 10. Meaning, in every shot you take more than 10, you can subtract from the final score.

With an established handicap, you are allowed to adjust it accordingly.

You can use:


Maximum Score

Handicap of 40 or more


Handicap of 30 to 39


Handicap of 20 to 29


Handicap of 10 to 19


Handicap of 0 to 9


Find the Slope

The golf scorecards often come with a course slope rating that is listed on them. Do not be confused between the course slope and course rating. In comparison, the course slope is according to the people playing the bogey golf while the course rating refers to the number that shows the scratch golfers how difficult the course is.

For example, 18 strokes above par are your typical score. As a result, your par-70 course provides an average score of 88.

Do the Math

In order for you to determine your handicap, get your adjusted score, and then subtract the course rating. After that, multiply the difference by 113. Lastly, divide the answer by the slope rating – voila you got your handicap.

For better understanding, consider the example below.

Adjusted score: 95

Course rating: 71.4

Course slope rating: 120

Formula: adjusted score – course rating x 113 / slope rating – handicap

  1. 95 – 71.4 = 23.6
  2. 6 x 113 – 2666.8
  3. 8/120 = 22.2

What is my Golf Handicap If I shoot 100?

Nearly 45 percent of golfers score over 1000 strokes in every round. This suggests that 108 is a good score for beginners, equating to double-bogey on every hole of the par 72 courses.

To give you an idea about the percentage of golfers shoot below 100, take a look at the table below:

Average Score

Percent of Golfers

Under 80


80 to 89


90 to 99


100 to 109


The scores are calculated according to the course rating and slope. In case you shoot 100 while playing a 18-hole course while you par is around 72, then your average score will be 28. it’s good to note that whenever you play rounds, the handicap values can be recalibrated.

What is considered a beginner Golfer?

Do not worry if you are confused about which league you should join because it is normal for a beginner golfer. But, once you figured out which league suits your playing style and ability. There’s no way for you not to get an incredible golfing experience. So, how can you tell that you are a beginner golfer? My answer to that is simple. You are considered a beginner golfer if you have not yet taken lessons, have not played, and of course, new to the game.

As a beginner, there are several ways on how you can advance your abilities. You can take advantage of a program that is designed to fit your needs as a beginner. That way, you have the best chance to be more familiar at your pace in a judgment-free and safe environment.


If you are new to golf and you want to play on a course, then it’s not surprising to know whether or not you need a handicap. My answer to that is it depends. I want you to know that some courses require golfers to provide an official handicap, while others do not. So, you need to check with the course if a handicap is necessary. Besides, the above information will help you calculate your handicap. Despite being a beginner golfer, you can easily adapt to the system.

After reading this post, I hope that you learn something new about the handicap for new golfers. Besides, you are now more aware of what a golfers handicap is. So, no need to be confused about your golf handicap. I hope you enjoyed reading this article. If you wanted to learn more about the different types of golf wedges, please do. I hope that you learn something new about the golf handicaps for beginners guide. If you have been looking for a decent wedge for a mid handicapper, come have a look at these. 

Warren Belmore

Warren Belmore