What Is A Handicap In Golf – How To Get One For Beginners & Complete Guide

If you have been playing golf for some time, you probably have an established golf handicap.

Having a golf handicap gives a golfer a score that shows how good they are, allows them to compete in matches with other players and to keep good track of where they stand in their game at any given moment.

A golf handicap can be a bit complicated to figure out, but luckily the GHIN handicap system will do most of the work for you. Let’s take a deeper look into what a golf handicap is and how you can get one.

Intro To Golf Handicaps, What Are They And What Do They Measure Overall

A golf handicap gives a golfer a general indication of how far over par they will shoot for a given round. Handicaps are adjusted for the course that you are playing on, and they can be used to facilitate a match against two players.

If your handicap is a 14 and the person you are playing against is an 18, you can still have a fair match with each other using your handicaps. Golf handicaps are not challenging to obtain, and every serious golfer should have one. In fact, you will be required to have one to play in local tournaments and events.

Does Everyone Have A Golf Handicap – How Can I Get One?

Not all golfers are going to have a golf handicap. This is because you need a certain number of rounds in place to start to establish a handicap. If you are new to the game, you will not have enough rounds to know what your handicap is.

You can get a handicap at your local golf course or by using an online system to track your rounds. One of the most critical parts of establishing a golf handicap is to record all of your rounds. Golf is a game of honesty and integrity. You need to have all of your rounds recorded for your golf handicap to be accurate.

How Can I Calculate My Own Handicap?      

You can calculate your handicap, but it will require that you do quite a bit of math. Many people think that their handicap is simply how many over par they shoot. However, there are factors included for the length of the golf course and the difficulty of the golf course as well.

You can look on the GHIN handicap website, and they will explain the breakdown and how you can do the math for your own handicap calculations. In the end, you are going to want a system that allows you to figure out your handicap quickly and easily, not by doing the math manually.


What Is A Golf Handicap Used For?

Aside from using a golf handicap to give a person a better idea of what type of player you are, golf handicaps are used for golf matches. A fair golf match can only occur if the handicaps of the players are known. Let’s look at an example of a golf match when the handicaps of two players are known.

If player A is an 18 handicap and player B is a two handicap, they can still have a fair match. As long as all golfers have been posting all of their rounds in the GHIN system, the handicaps will do their job to make the match fair.

Since player A’s handicap is 16 strokes higher than that of player B, he is going to get 16 extra shots than player B. On a scorecard for the first 16 handicap holes, player B will have to give player A a stroke.

This means that is player A was to make a four on the hole, and player B was also to make a four on the hole, player A would win. It takes a bit of practice to get used to the golf scoring handicap system, but it won’t take long to be an expert once you get it down.

What Are The Benefits Of Having A Handicap

The benefits of having a golf handicap are that you are going to be able to compete in fair matches with other players, and you will be able to keep track of where you stand as a player. It is quite fun to see your handicap drop from a 20 to a 10 in a season.

A drop in handicap shows a significant improvement in skill, and it often takes quite a bit of time to get the handicap to drop. The handicap will also let you know that your golf game might need some work.

If you used to be a 12 handicap and all of a sudden you are now a 22, maybe you need to evaluate your skill level and make sure that you are not making some critical errors in your game. Usually, you will be able to pinpoint the issue down to a problem with your driver, short game, or putter.


Pros And Cons Of Having A Good Handicap?

When your handicap is a single digit handicap, you are considered to be a great golfer. This is a very good thing when you are telling people about your golf game; however, if you can’t play to the single digit handicap, it certainly won’t help you much.

As a single digit handicap, there is not much room for error. If you play a round of golf against another player, your game has to be in great shape to be able to beat them. This is the negative of being a single digit handicap. However, if you are as good as your handicap says, you should have no issues!


People have lots of questions about handicaps. Since the initial process can be a little difficult to figure out, it is essential to understand the basics of having a golf handicap. Here are some frequently asked questions that should help even the beginner golfer understand the golf handicap process a bit better.


How Many Strokes Do I Get With My Handicap?

When you look at your golf handicap, you will notice that the number is called your handicap index. The index is something that will allow you to calculate your course handicap at any golf course you play.

When you get to the golf course that you are going to play for the day, you will take your golf handicap index and transfer it to a course handicap for that golf course. If you are a 15.2 index, chances are your course handicap will be around a 15.

If you happen to be playing a really difficult golf course, your handicap may be closer to an 18. At the same time, if you are playing an easy course, you may have to play to a 13. The index is used to convert your handicap to be fair for the course you are playing that day.

How Often Should I Play To My Handicap?

Most golfers will feel as though one out of three rounds is played exactly to their handicap. The other two rounds are played above, and sometimes you will get one below. The handicap is essentially the average of your rounds.

The way the handicap system works, your handicap will change constantly. Most people find that after a few years of playing, your handicap will settle in at a place that you are comfortable with.


What Does The C Mean After My Golf Handicap?

When you look at the rounds that were counted towards your handicap, you may see that some have the letter C after them. The C simply stands for combined. There were two nine hole rounds combined to form an 18 hole round. These are sometimes better rounds for a golfer because nine hole rounds can sometimes produce better results.

If you only play nine holes of golf, try and play both the front and the back nine from time to time. This will help to make your handicap a bit more accurate.

What Does +1 Handicap Mean?

A +1 handicap means that you usually shoot one under par when you go out to play a round of golf. If the par of the course is 72, then your handicap is showing that you would likeky shoot 71 for your round. A plus one handicap golfer is a very good player.


What’s A Good Handicap For A Beginner

It will take a little while for a beginner to develop a handicap. You will need about ten rounds before your handicap starts to show some consistency. The beginner golfer is going to probably have a handicap of about thirty or above. When a beginner can start to get a handicap under 30, that is excellent news.

This means that a player is starting to break 100, which is something that is looked at as a great accomplishment in the game of golf.


What Handicap Do You Need To Be A Pro?

Most professional golfers are scratch or below. It depends on what type of professional golfer you want to be. If you want to play on the PGA Tour, you are going to need a handicap of +5 or even more. You will have to be shooting under par on a majority of your golf rounds.

To be a golf professional at a private or public golf course, you will usually be a single digit or preferably a scratch golfer. To be an excellent teaching professional, you need to understand how to shoot very low scores.


What’s My Handicap If I Shoot 100

If you typically shoot 100, your handicap is going to be about 25-30. This will depend on the golf course that you’re playing and how difficult it is.


What’s My Handicap If I Shoot 85?

A golfer that shoots 85 will probably be around a 15 handicap. If the golf course the player that shoots 85 is playing is a hard golf course, then the handicap could be closer to a 12.

Remember that the course slope and rating are calculated when it comes to the handicap, not just the number of strokes over par.


What Is My handicap If I Shoot 80?

A golfer that shoos 80 is probably a single-digit handicap. These players typically have a handicap anywhere from 7 to 10. Golfers in this range are unquestionably considered to be good players.


What Is My Handicap If I Shoot 110?

If you shoot 110, your handicap is probably going to be about 35. At some point, if your handicap gets high enough, the GHIN handicap system may max out your handicap. This is to keep the game fair for those that are trying to compete. Usually, the variation in scores for those with high handicaps can be very wide.


What Is A Scratch Golfer

Senior Golfers 2

A scratch golfer is a player who has a zero handicap. Scratch golfers are typically going to shoot par when they head out for a round of golf. Scratch golfers are excellent players that have worked hard to get their game to this point. Although a scratch golfer can have a round where they shoot 80, most of the rounds will be right around par.


What’s A High Handicap Golfer?

A high handicapper is usually a golfer with a handicap over 25. This means that the player is probably not always breaking 100, and therefore they are considered to be a high handicapper.



The handicap is an essential element in the game of golf. You must know and understand your golf handicap so that you can compete with other players. It is also good to understand your handicap so you can see how your game is progressing. If you are very honest about your scores, you will love seeing how your handicap lowers when you spend time working on your game. It is difficult to see these improvements if you are dishonest about your handicap and don’t record scores correctly.