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How Golf Handicaps Work

Know much about How Golf Handicaps Work?

Hey again, and welcome to yet another interesting read. This is the follow on from my other article “golf handicaps for beginners” Today we will be going over how Golf Handicaps work. This article will help if youre a mid handicapper looking to brush up on knowledge. Asking what’s your golf handicap is a common joke amongst a group of golfers. If you have been playing golf for years, a handicap is simply taking the point of a game as a nip, tees, and clubs at the 19th hole. As a golfer, it’s essential for you to know how golf handicaps work. Did you know that only 20% of golfers have legitimate golf handicaps? Golfers often do not have a handicap. In fact, they only guess the average score and then subtract 72 from it. Well, that is not a golf handicap. That is one of the main reason I decided to write this How Golf Handicaps Work guide to help you guys out.  

A golf handicap refers to the numerical measure of the potential of a golfer that is used to allow golfers of varying abilities to compete with each other. That in essence is how Golf Handicaps work. If you are a better player, then you have the lowest handicaps. Generally, amateur golfers who happen to be golf club members are eligible for the official handicaps of the national and regional association annual fees payment. Golf clubs, along with the associations, administer handicaps provide extra peer-reviewing intended for low handicaps.

The United States Golf Association (USGA) built a golf handicap system to level the playing field for every golfer. When it comes to handicap calculations, the esoteric system of slope and course rating is used to compute how many strokes a golfer should get.

If you are still confused about how Golf Handicaps work, then continue reading. I prepare you with the following ideas.

How A Golf Handicap Is Calculated

its time to learn how golf handicaps work

For golfers, a low handicap means you are better than those with a high handicap. If your golf handicap is 6 while the other player has 10, it means that you are a better player. To get the right handicap, simply get your scores at the course you usually play at. The golf handicap at one time is 96% of the average of the best 10 of the previous 20 scores. A handicap reflects the golfer’s current form since recording the score every time he or she goes out is necessary.

For example, your 10 scores happen to average out at 100. Meaning, for the first 10 rounds, you hit 1,000 shots. In case that the par for the 18 holes course is 72, then the average score would be 28 over par. In other words, 28 is your golf handicap. Keep in mind that every time you play, the handicap will adjust to account for the latest score. Now youre begining to get to grips with how Golf Handicaps work. Lets keep learning.  

What Is A Good Handicap in Golf

While most golfers don’t register for the official handicap, it remains to be among the best methods to measure skills. If you wish to be a good golfer, then you need to get an official handicap. Golfers who have handicaps between 16 and 20 are considered to be average players. In USPAG, the official average handicap is 15. In other words, your usual scores would be about 90 on the average course.

Bogey golfer is another way to measure whether or not you are a good golfer. In this measurement, players are typically scoring a bogey on most holes. Your general score is a little more than 90, while your playoff is around the 20 golf handicap.

It’s fair to say that you are a good golfer is your handicap sits between 15 and 20. But, your golf handicap is still considered as good with below 15. mind that it’s a lot easier to reduce handicaps when the numbers are higher. For example, it will be easier for you to go from 23 to 22 and from 5 to 4. That is the reason why if you have 10, the other player with 5 is considered to be a better golfer. Understanding this will esure your fully get how Golf Handicaps work.

What Is My Golf Handicap If I Shoot 100

Lets continue learning how Golf Handicaps work. Most golfers in the US are capable of shooting more than 100. Take note that no other attempts were made to figure out the golfers’ national average score.

If you shoot 100 at an 18-hole course while your par is around 72, then your average score will be 28. The value of your handicap in this example is 28. As mentioned, whenever you play rounds, handicap values recalibration may take place.

What Are The New Handicap Rules for 2020

new golf handicap rules

In order to fully understand how Golf Handicaps work you need to keep up to date with regulation changes frequently. Here’s what you need to know about the most recent handicap rules:

  • The unifying system allows golfers across the globe to compare their skills and provide accurate handicap.
  • The course ratings are extended and serve as the basis for handicap index calculations.
  • The course rating will be the primary factor for handicap calculations, where it indicates the expected score for the scratch players for a set of tees while the slope rating expresses the difference in difficulty between the bodey golfers and scratch golfers.
  • The handicap system counts the 10 best scores of the players out of their 20 most recent rounds.
  • The playing condition calculations can potentially adjust the scores according to the abnormal weather, where the range will be from -1.0 to +3.0 for inclement conditions.
  • The low handicap of the players within the past 12 months is used to cap the handicap as well as avoid it from rising very quickly.
  • If a single low score is more than seven shots under the current handicap index will automatically adjust the system, which will trigger the exceptional score reduction lowering the handicap to become more precisely reflect ability.
  • The maximum handicap scoring for men and women is raised to 54.0 from which the highest score on any hole is then the net double bogey.


Thats all there is to know about how Golf Handicaps work. A century ago, the handicap was introduced to help the players of different abilities play competitively together. In the golf handicap system, there’s a big chance that you can beat a friend by 10 strokes. However, he or she will get the victory if your handicap is 2 while his or hers is 15.

I find playing with golfers of your own ability, in the beginning, a nice move. Once you get familiar with it, then it’s time for you to play with golfers who are better than you. That way, you have the best opportunity to grow. With the above information, I hope that you discovered something new about how golf handicaps work. If you wanted to learn more about different types of golf wedges or better yet read a review of the best wedges for mid handicappers. Thanks for taking the time to read. 

Warren Belmore

Warren Belmore

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