If you’re a golfer, you probably know about handicaps. You might even have a guess about your own handicap. But, if you’re like most golfers, you have no idea how a handicap is actually calculated.
Knowing how to calculate a golf handicap is an important skill for any serious golfer. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the golf handicap system.
What is a Golf Handicap?
A golf handicap is a number which represents a golfer’s ability based on their previous golf scores. It’s a way to compare yourself to other golfers and track your progress.
Specifically, your handicap is a number between zero and 28 if you’re a man and between zero and 36 if you’re a woman. The number represents how many strokes over par you should score on a neutral course.
How Does the Golf Handicap System Work?
The golf handicap system is somewhat complicated and strange, but it’s easy to understand with a little patience.
Because you can’t have more than one handicap, the number doesn’t depend on the individual golf course. Whether you normally play easy courses or difficult courses, you only have one handicap.
So how is your handicap calculated?
First, there are a few important numbers to remember: Course rating, slope rating, and equitable stroke control.
The course rating is dependent on the golf course you’re playing on. It’s what a hypothetical zero handicap player (a scratch player) should score on the course in 18 holes.
The slope rating is a measure of the difference in expected score between a bogey player and a scratch player.
And the equitable stroke control is your score; however, slight modifications are made so that a single bad hole doesn’t ruin it.
For a single round of golf, you calculate your “handicap differential” by taking your equitable stroke control, subtracting the course rating, then multiplying that result by 113, and finally, dividing it all by the course’s slope rating.
But that’s your handicap differential, not your handicap. Bare with me; we’re almost there.
Once you’ve calculated your handicap differential for five different rounds, your official handicap is your lowest single handicap differential. If you have more than twenty official rounds under your belt, then your handicap is the average of your lowest 10 handicap differentials.
But you don’t need to worry about all the details.
If you’re a member of a golf club, they probably offer a handicap calculation service. Or, if you’re just curious, you can use an online handicap calculator.
How Do You Use Your Handicap?
Now that you have your handicap, you can use it to calculate your net score next time you go golfing.
To do this, you need to find your course handicap, which is your handicap multiplied by the course’s slope rating then divided by 113. Then, your net score is simply your score minus your course handicap.
You can compare this net score to the course rating to get an idea of how well you played.
Lower Your Golf Handicap
Now that you understand what your golf handicap is, it’s time to get out there and lower it.
There’s no better way to improve your game than by playing. Visit Blue Sky Golf Club in Jacksonville and get out there today!