What is a Handicap in Golf?


Golf is often a very technical game that includes a lot of calculation and brain work. You are often frustrated when competing against other people because your opponents outscore you in every hole. Once in a while, we drop an excellent game, and many other times, we produce a below-par performance, particularly when we are not professional golfers. How then can you enhance your game? Here are some top tips to help. Also, you can consider Golf Clubs that help to learn and develop golfing skills for best golf performance.

To massively improve your game, you should play with other golfers equally capable as yours. In any sport, you feel better when competing with players on the same level. Now, to get involved in such kind of play is where a handicap comes into existence. So, what exactly is a handicap? Visit Back2Basics.golf to learn more.

A Handicap

A golf handicap is a golfer’s ability. It’s a numerical measure of golfing skills. A golf handicap is usually given depending on the number of strokes it takes to drive the ball into the hole. Usually, handicaps decline depending on the skill set. Therefore, good golf players have a lower handicap while upcoming players have a high handicap.

The average handicap for golfers is usually 15, meaning that it would roughly take 90 strokes on a standard 18-hole course. Once you know your handicap, you can identify other players with matching handicaps and play together. Playing the game with players whose handicap is not too wide apart helps you play a better game and thus enjoy it. Just like the way there aren’t boxing matches between amateurs and professional heavyweight boxers, it’s the same case for golf.

Quality Handicap

Since handicaps are based on a difficulty level on the golf course, players strive to improve and get the best. They are usually based on recent plays and thus can change as other rounds of games are played. The maximum handicap for males is thirty-six (36), while females have theirs at forty (40).

Fair Play

Handicap allows players of different abilities and other skills to compete against one another, depending on their variance in individual handicaps. In such a game, players with a lower handicap usually must offer their counterparts advanced strokes before the round begins.

The advanced strokes depend on the difference in the two players’ handicaps. For instance, a nine handicapper playing with a 16 handicapper must give the latter seven advance strokes. The advance strokes are a form of a head start to put in some fairness. Who shoots a lower net score wins the round in a stroke play.


The scorecard usually details handicap numbers that the lower-handicapped golfer must offer to the higher-handicapped golfer during a fair Play game. The handicap numbers must be granted on all the 18 holes equally.

How to Improve a Handicap

To improve a handicap means to decrease the handicap number. It’s pretty easy because you only have to take lessons as a beginner or more practice for average to novice golfers. However, you cannot expect the number to decline rapidly. It all depends on the lessons you take and the hours you put into practice. You can always use a golf putting mirror to help you practice.

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