Although every game has rules and regulations, golf’s rules are a little more strict than the others. Not only this, you have to know about lots of terms related to the golf game. When you think about going to the golf course to learn golf, you must know it. Among these golf terms, the handicap in golf is a little more complicated than the others because it is a term used to calculate the scores and determine a golfer’s skill. Usually, low golf handicaps consider as a high skill to play golf. But don’t worry about a unified handicapping system.
In this article, we describe the term “Handicap” in such a simple way that you will not be confused about this term after reading. And you can effortlessly determine what your playing handicaps in golf are.
Table of Contents
- 1 What are golf handicaps in the game of golf?
- 2 How does the handicap system establish in golf?
- 3 How does the handicapping system work in golf?
- 4 How to determine your handicap in golf?
- 5 Expected Golf Score for Different Handicap Score
- 6 What is a good handicap in golf?
- 7 World Handicapping System Explained – Golf Monthly
What are golf handicaps in the game of golf?
The golf handicap is a numerical score of the golfer’s capability. Different players’ categories show the eligible to compete with one another depending on the handicap in a championship. Besides, it means the difference between the total number of par and the average stroke’s number a golfer takes in about ten games.
Par is also the stroke’s number that a player should take to finish a course hole. In a par 4, you should drop the ball into the hole creating four strokes. In golf, the lowest handicap denotes the better golfer. If the golfers have zero golf handicaps, they are called scratch golfers. You also will get some pro golfers having negative handicaps. It means they take the strokes less than par to sink the ball.
How does the handicap system establish in golf?
Although golf handicapping came in the late 17th century, it did not start until the 19th century. At the early age of golf, the golf competitors negotiated with each other about how many strokes they can take and the holes they would be in effect.
In England and Scotland during the late 19th century, the CONGU unified handicapping system was to take the average best three scores of the year and par. But some proficient players could not become happy with the fairness of the handicapping system. And in 1926, The British Golf Unions Joint Advisory Committee or European Golf association introduced The Standard Scratch Scores and computerized Handicapping Scheme.
In 1911, The USGA introduced a single standard handicapping scheme with a scratch golfer’s good average scores for assessing every course. This system became popular among USA golfers though the USGA changed it with the golfing system’s improvement. By the 21st century, there are six major recognized handicapping systems worldwide, and every golf team has different variants compared to others still having the same level playing field.
Now golf has become the game of the entire world, and these daily course rating adjustment schemes create incompatibilities and difficulties in translating between systems in elite tournaments. That’s why The USGA and The R&A work together to establish a World Handicap System (WHS) to eliminate all the difficulties which make differences between tournaments. This new WHS is in the process of introducing throughout the golf world.
How does the handicapping system work in golf?
From introducing a handicap to golf, different regional golf associations use other calculation methods of golf handicap differential. Perhaps, in every system, to figure out the golfer’s handicap or to utilize in the handicap competitions, depending on some basic terms. Before calculating your handicap, you have to know the features of the handicapping system or the terms used for playing in a handicap championship. We describe these terms before the calculation system because it will help you understand this confusing word ‘Handicap”. Once you know every fact in a fair golf competition, complex calculation of handicap becomes accessible to you to find out your golf abilities to get the accuracy of golf shots.
The number of strokes that a golfer takes for completing a hole or round is called gross score. Net score refers to the golfer’s score after subtracting the handicap. Usually, In a golf handicap guide, there are three different scoring systems for 9-hole and 18-hole rounds. These are –
- Stroke Play
The total stroke’s number counts over one or more rounds of 18 holes in this scoring system to calculate handicap differential.
The total scoring counted over the number of strokes at each hole of 9 or 18-hole rounds.
- Match Play
In this system, the players, teams earn their points in each hole where they performed best against their opponents.
According to the authorized golf associations rules, the committee in charge must hold a handicap stroke table in every competition between golfers. This table shows the number of handicap strokes given for the hole of the golf course. Usually, the table prepares with the scorecard and stroke allowances of each hole from 1 to 18. The stroke index is the numbering system used in the handicap golf championship. In both golf match play and stroke play, this table of stroke index uses handicap stroke to the player as the rules.
2. Course Rating
Generally, course rating indicates the average ‘good score’ of a scratch golfer for a set of tees on the golf course. It is also known as competition scratch score, daily scratch rating, and standard rating, and for a par 72 course, the course rating is between 67 to 77. The course’s length and the obstacles on the path consider calculating the course rating in the past. But in modern golf, The USGA Course Rating use in almost all golf competitions.
3. Slope Rating
The slope rating describes the relative difficulty of a course for a bogey golfer compared to a scratch golfer. Usually, the slope rating ranges from 55 to 155, and the standard rating is 113. However, the higher the rating, the higher the golfers’ relative difficulty participating in the fair competition.
4. Course Handicap
For most of the championship, the player can’t use their exact handicap; they must use the following formula for handicap index calculation.
Course handicap = (Handicap Index × Slope Rating)/113
Course handicap = (Handicap Index × Slope Rating)/113 + (Course Rating – Par)
How to determine your handicap in golf?
You already get the related ideas that use to calculate the golfer’s handicap. That’s why here we describe the systematic process step by step through which you can quickly figure out your handicap.
Step-1: Keep the golf club swinging score
When you are playing golf, keep a record of the scores you make on the round. And also, write down the total number of shots you take for completing the game. Generally, the golf score between 12 and 20 matches will give you the most accurate calculating of your handicap. But you can consider only five golf rounds you play, although most courses require a minimum of ten round data to determine the exact handicap value.
Step-2: Discover your adjusted scores
The USGA fixed a score course rating set for the effective handicapping systems used for every handicap deferential counting procedure. These are the maximum number of shots you should take for a minimum of one-hole while playing an 18-hole course or 9-hole course. The nine and 18-hole scores will be different for amateur golfers because of the difficulties of golf courses.
For the very first time, your magic number is 10. It means that how many shots you take over ten for completing a hole will be subtracted from your actual score to establish your handicap. After getting your handicap, you can quickly determine your adjusted handicap using any number instead of 10. When you get the adjusted handicap, you can use the below chart.
Step-3: Find out the slope angle
Generally, Scorecards list the slope rating, but you can get it from the pro shop member if not. It will help you to keep accurate data on your information legit. Keep in mind that the golf course’s course rating and the slope are not the same. The course rating indicates how difficult to play golf on this course for a scratch golfer. On the other hand, the slope rating fixes based upon the players who play bogey golf on this course.
According to Lehman’s terms, you can make a score of 18 strokes for the course. Therefore, in a par -70 course, a bogey golfer can make an average score of 88.
Step-4: Calculate your handicap lookup
At this stage, you have to do mathematic using your handy calculator for handicap calculations. At first, you have to subtract your adjusted score from the course standard rating. Then, multiply the getting difference by 113. At last, divide the result by the slope rating. The number you finally getting after the entire calculation will be your accurate and final handicap. The basic formula of handicap differential calculations states below.
For example, The adjusted score is 95.
The course standard rating is 71.4.
The course slope rating is 120.
Such a handicap = (Adjusted score – Course rating) × 113 / slope Rating
Expected Golf Score for Different Handicap Score
|0-9||The top score of Double-Bogey|
|40 or above||10|
What is a good handicap in golf?
Although the golf pros should register an official handicap to the Council of National Golf Unions, most golfers who play golf as a recreational game don’t report it officially. According to the UK-based research golf magazine Golf Monthly, the average golfers have the lowest handicap of around 16 to 20. On the other hand, The USPGA (United States Professional’s Golf Association) declared a handicap of 15 as an official average for the pro golfers. Another golf news journal, Golf digest, found that the golfer with no official handicap takes a lot higher golf swings than the actual average score differentials.
For a bogey golfer, it is around a 20 handicap. Perhaps they score a bogey on most of the holes in the course. However, a handicap of 15 considers acceptable skill levels of individual golfers. Every golf courses golfer should practice lowering the number for competition purposes because it allows them to compete with opponents more confidently. Every golf player should follow golf fitness tips for getting equitable stroke control on the competition day.
World Handicapping System Explained – Golf Monthly
Although the golf terms handicap and standard course rating system are a little more complicated for golf learners or beginners, you can understand every term related to calculating the handicap and unified handicapping system after reading this article. Besides, you get lots of golf terms that may also be tricky to realize for those who start to play golf for a short time. To get an understanding of golf terms, you can read other articles published on our website. If you do this, we are sure your golf knowledge will increase your confidence like a skilled golfer.