What is a golf handicap

What is a Handicap in golf? You'll have heard of it but why do we have one and how is it calculated? 



What is a golf Handicap? 

The Handicap is there to help level the playing field by giving all players a fair chance of winning, regardless of ability. With your Handicap you can play Tiger Woods at your local golf course and still have the chance of winning. 

It measures your ability and, depending on the difficulty of the course, will estimate what you should score. 

How does the golf handicap work? 

To put it simply, your handicap will usually be a number between 0 and 36 with the zero handicap often known as a scratch golfer. You can have a handicap below 0 which is known as a 'plus' handicap. 

As mentioned your handicap gives you a fair chance against any opponent. If you're playing matchplay the handicap system tells you how many shots you are giving/receiving. 

So if your handicap is 20 and your opponents is 10, you know that they're giving you shots on Stroke Index Holes 1-10. 

If you're playing a medal round, you simply deduct your handicap off the score and you are left with your net score. 



How is the golf handicap calculated? 

Back in 2020 the handicap system changed. It's an article in itself so if you want a good breakdown, check out this article from Golf Monthly. 


What is a good Handicap? 

It's really a matter of opinion. Someone who plays off 30 is going to have a different opinion than someone off 15. The average male golfer is a 16-handicap so we'd say that if you're in single figures then you can safely say you have a good handicap. 

Don't be ashamed however as you get a fair chance of winning whether you play off 2, 22 or even 202 (not that that's possible)!

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