What is a golf handicap? How to Calculate

You might have read of golfing handicap and wondered how such golf handicaps functions. If such is the scenario, this comprehensive guide will cover you.

One key element of golf play is to know how golf handicaps function. Through proper understanding of how the golf handicap works, you will have complete insight into your golf status, how to evaluate it, or even where you rank in comparison with several other golfers.

We will explain how the golf handicap functions, how to measure a handicap either manually or with a calculator, as well as provide several useful tips for increasing your scores.


An essential step here is to understand all about the golf handicap and why the knowledge is crucial to your improvement. We’ll address the topic in this first segment “So how does this golf handicap work? We will discuss the merits and offer golfers around the globe some facts and information about the program.

Analysis:  Understanding golf handicap

It would be essential to begin by giving you an illustration of exactly what the golf handicap is all about and why it occurs.

Generally, the United States Golf Association implemented the golf handicap system; this system calculates golf scores against several parameters. The estimate provides a numerical calculation of the capability of a golfer.

A possible explanation of the golf handicap system is proven to work among golfers is that it can correctly calculate the absolute number of strokes allocated to all ranges of golf players.

With an estimate of 24 million golfers in the whole of the US (NGF), this implies that there are significant numbers of golf handicapped people.

When planning to start, many amateur golfers can struggle to comprehend a hole’s difficulty, what the basis is, and what the anticipated score is for the hole. Nevertheless, you can accurately understand your foreseen score for that specific hole and then overall for the round by having a precise golf handicap.

Therefore, it can be a useful guide for golfers of all capacities to know what your level of play and ability is, compared to the other golfers.


A beginner golfer will typically play at the start of the maximum handicap. Presently, for a male golfer, the max golf handicap is 36.4, according to the USGA handicap system. According to the USGA system, the present maximum golf handicap for a female golfer is now 40.4.

Nevertheless, a new golf handicap system, called the world handicap system, will be introduced this year 2020. There are presently numerous different handicap entities like the R&A and USGA. This year’s new format will imply that both male and female golfers will experience an improved maximum.

Currently, the maximum golf handicap for men and women is 54.0 once the new golf handicap program becomes operational.


It’s easy to get your handicap and quick to start. Generally, the way to implement a handicap is to join a licensed golf course, and then you have to keep a record of your golf scores, by utilizing their program or perhaps an app like hole19. It seems to be valid for a variety of golf courses and not only for country clubs and private courses.

An ideal way to commence would be to ask a staff member at the course whether they are providing golf handicap services.


Golfers have a basic knowledge of how to calculate golf handicap for themselves, which is an important skill. Below we’ll go through the full calculation of golf handicaps.

Step 1 method of calculating is as follows:

(Score–Course Ranking) x 113 (this is the average slope ranking of a golf course)/Slope Ranking= x Using the figures underneath in the instance of a golf handicap calculator, which would be: (100–72.9) x 113/128 = 23.92. This outcome is the “handicap difference.” While evaluating a handicap, a minimum of five differentials and a maximum of twenty must be inclusive.

When you utilize five differentials to evaluate your golf handicap, then you should use the least one for the final evaluation.

The final evaluation will be to multiply your differential by 0.96; this will make the handicap coefficient to be 22.9 from the example above, 23.92x 0.96 will give you 22.9.

However, if you choose, you can make use of a custom-made golf handicap calculator to calculate your handicap by utilizing your scores, course levels, and slope levels (they will be available on the relevant website of your golf course).


Once you have a solid understanding of how handicaps work in golf, we would like to give you a few tips that will enable your game to blossom the next moment you venture into the course. It may take some time to minimize your ranking, but that shouldn’t mean there are no other quick wins you can add to your game.

Rule 1:  Start practicing Putting to Minimize Three Putts

Now you know how the golf handicap functions; let us take a look at specific strategies that can help you can get the best possible score.

Once it comes to practice time, several amateur golfers completely ignore their putting. What they fail to realize is you’ll undoubtedly remove a round off your score with a decent putt anyplace from around five shots.

Three putts are among the worst; they are not liked by golfer’s, so try out most of the exercises underneath to up your game:

Rule 2:  Practice Efficiency

How often have you been at the driving range, where you see people trying to hit a very far distance, as best as they could with the best golf driver? If golf holes can be 400-500 yards, distance has some relevance; however, inconsistency in a round is a huge contributing factor of bogeys. Do you like to hit it for 200 meters and on the fairway, or for over 250 meters and amongst the trees, or over bounds?

Rule 3:  Play with handicappers that are less than yourself

It can be depreciating and less motivating to play with people with lesser handicaps frequently. What it does, however, is provide a great chance to learn. Watch how they swing, have a chat with them, observe their routine. Everything brings you together for a better round of golf.

Rule 4:  Purchase Quality Equipment

It’s accurate that quality equipment doesn’t come cheap, so it makes beginning golfers be at the expense of a good score due to old equipment. If you want to improve your game and move from a starting point, then a decent set of good golf iron in your golf pack should eventually be in place.

Rule 5:  Remain focused

Golf can be a long term game, with an average of about 4 hours anywhere. It is a significant fault of missed shots all through the golf course, and it takes a very long time to retain concentration and accuracy.

Rule 6:  Take note of your progress

You must monitor your game progress. These days, a variety of golf applications are available at your disposal.

One of the most popular is hole19 because it uses a GPS rangefinder to assist you during your rounds. Nevertheless, as far as your golf handicap is concerned, we like to record your results easily, to produce statistics relevant for tracking such as regulatory greens, putting averages, driving efficiency, and so on.