• Learn from the Pros

man swinging golf club

Understanding How to Calculate Your Golf Handicap

The National Golf Foundation reports that over 25 million people played a golf course in the United States in 2020. With the sport of golf growing year after year, it is important to become knowledgeable about the game before you step foot on a course. 

For newcomers to the game of golf, handicaps are a great welcome. You may calculate what your Course Handicap should be for the specific golf course you're playing by using your Handicap Index.

Golf handicaps help to maintain a competitive game even amongst people of varying skill levels. Keep reading to learn more about a golf handicap and how to calculate yours! 

What is a Handicap in Golf?

Golf handicaps are used to increase the level of competition between players of various skill levels. These help to make a game more even amongst players, even if they have varied levels of experience. Based on the difference between your score and the course's par round total, your handicap represents your level of skill.

A player with a handicap of 3 indicates that their prior rounds on average were 3 over par. When evaluating a player's performance in comparison to a direct head-to-head encounter, handicaps are frequently used. Based on how they individually played that day, handicaps let golfers compete and win against more skilled players.

How to Calculate a Golf Handicap?

Calculating your golf handicap is as simple as punching in a few numbers to a time-tested algorithm. The algorithm to calculate your course handicap is: 

(Handicap Index) x (Slope Rating) / 113

Once you have everything you need, you may begin entering data into the algorithm to determine your exact golf handicap for that particular outing.

Find Your Adjusted Gross Score

As you can see, the handicap calculation is quite intricate. Golfing handicaps are always changing. Whether it is because you are playing on a new course or have changed your average score over time. 

If you are just starting out you will need a few games under your belt to calculate a handicap score. Add together all of your strokes during a round to get your Adjusted Gross Score (AGS). Then you will make the necessary adjustments for the highest possible per-hole scores. 

If you weren't previously graded, handicaps must be determined each time you play a new course. Additionally, every five rounds, a player's handicap should be changed to reflect their current ability level.

Calculate Your Differential 

Your handicap differential is used to explain the difference between your score and course rating. The formula to find your Handicap Differential is: 

(AGS- Course Rating) x 113 / Slop Rating

The UGSA assigns a numerical value called a "Course Rating" to each set of tees on a course. It roughly represents how many strokes a scratch golfer would need to finish the course. The slope rating is also publically accessible on most courses. 

Find the Handicap Index

You must play at least five 18-hole rounds or ten 9-hole rounds in order to determine your handicap index rating. However, the handicap index rating can be determined using up to 20 scores.

To determine your handicap index, you will two or more handicap difference scores. Your potential scoring ability is indicated by a Handicap Index. This is always expressed by a value with one decimal place. 

Once you've got those scores you will add them together and divide them by two. The handicap index is then calculated by multiplying by 0.96. The result should be rounded up or down as necessary.

Find Slope Rating for Your Course

A course's slope rating is found by subtracting the course rating from the bogey rating and multiplying that value by a pre-determined constant. Most courses work to save you from this by making the information available at the clubhouse or website.  

Tips to Improve Your Handicap Score

The best way to improve your handicap score is to work on your swing. Many times, golfers neglect to attempt alternative strategies because they are so focused on one method of improving their swing. Don't be scared to experiment with your golf swings, and think about booking lessons.

Regular practice and playing various golf courses using a golf simulator to lower your handicap score. With the aid of golf monitors and software, you can get details on how to improve your swing and tactics. 

Apart from perfecting your technique you can work to improve your strength and endurance. Working out will give your drive more force, increase your accuracy, and give your body more endurance at the end of your round.

By the time you reach the end of a game, you can grow weary and lose control of your swing. Improved fitness will also give you the necessary strength to slowly improve your handicap. 

The physical and mental stamina required while playing a competitive round of golf can't be replicated at the driving range. Playing an actual game on slopes and different fields is better than hitting at a flat driving range. After the game, give yourself some time to think back on your accomplishments and areas for development.

Use Your Golf Handicap

Golf handicaps allow you to play a spirited game, even without the most advanced golfing skills. With golf handicaps, you can fairly compete with others who have different skill levels. 

Now that you know all about calculating your golf handicap, you should play a few rounds at our illustrious course. Visit us at Blue Sky Golf Club for your next golfing excursion.