What Does a Good Handicap Really Mean in Golf?

  • 4 min read

What Does a Good Handicap Really Mean in Golf?

Every golf player has heard about the Golf Handicap. So basically, it is a number that shows your expertise level. A Golf Handicap is the number of strokes shot by a golfer during a golf round.

Golfer writing scores on a handicap card with another player in the background on a sunny golf course.

Normally, a golfer has a higher handicap number, which begins to drop with the increase in golf skills. A short time ago, Golf Handicap was restricted to the golf club members which excludes those people who cannot compromise the club's fee. Then, World Handicap System (WHS) stepped forward to provide all golfers an opportunity to become a golf handicap.

What does Handicap in Golf mean?

A person’s handicap number is the ability to judge how a golfer plays in a relative par. It is only in golf that when two players of different abilities compete with each other, they have a fair chance to win. 

So, digging more into it: if we have 2 players, player 1 and player 2 who have handicap index of 12 and 15 respectively, player 2 would be awarded 3 extra shots (based on the difference of players handicap number) to get a fair chance of winning against player 1. 

What is a Good Golf Handicap?

It's quite difficult to determine what a good handicap is as it varies for different age groups and genders and is a subjective answer.

When a player has played the whole 18 holes, the handicap level is calculated. The lesser the number, the better golfer you are. The handicap of a golfer goes up and down, and there is always room for improvement. As an example, if the golfer normally makes 80 strokes to par 72 golf courses, then its handicap would be 85 - 72 = 13 (Par is the number of hits a golfer makes to conclude the course).

What is the Average Handicap in Golf?

Detailed view of a golfer's hands marking scores on a colorful scorecard on a golf course.

The average handicap of female golfers is 28, and the average handicap of male golfers is 16, which is likely to drop in upcoming years when golf will be more easily accessible. With the help of the above-mentioned average of Golf Handicap, any golfer can examine its mastery of where it stands.

What is a Low Handicap in Golf?

Scratch golfers are those whose handicap number is 0, which means in a standard course of golf they make strikes that are equivalent to the course rating. A Low Handicap number is near or under the scratch which is generally under the Handicap index and might be 5 or 6. Reminding the golf rule, lower the Handicap number, and the better golfer you will be.

What do you think is a good golf handicap according to your age?

What is a Decent Handicap in Golf?

For golfers whose handicap index lies between 10 to 20 is marked as a decent handicap because they are amateurs (play golf as their passion but not as a profession). In golf, the decent handicap number also relies on the level of expertise of golfers as for beginners it may range up to 30 or more, and for a maestro, it can be up to 5 or even less than that.

What is a Plus Handicap in Golf?

So, when we talk about highly skilled, professional, and competitive golfers we may talk about Plus Handicap Golfers. They are the players whose proficiency and abilities are even of higher quality than the course level.

We may understand it in this way when a golfer habitually strikes beneath par on the course. We can also say that when a golfer, on average, strokes two under par during a golf course, his handicap would be +2.

How a Handicap Number in Golf Increases?

Certain factors affect the Golf Handicap index, which includes practice, weather and mental conditions under which a golfer is performing as it is a mind game, ability to focus, and capabilities. Similarly, handicap figures can be improved by keeping track of fairways hit, greens (holes), number of putts, and gold gear. Your fitness would also increase your strength, flexibility, and performance in the game. Practice, practice, and practice; stay patient, consistent, and determined. Your Handicap figure is about to drop.

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So, cutting it short, a Golf Handicap index is an instrument which ensures a fair comparison among the competitors. It is also crucial to keep track of one's Handicap number and measure the improvement in specific intervals. Meanwhile, a Good Handicap number is instinctive and is sensitive to answer but we figured out that it comprises certain factors which includes age, fitness, gender, concentration and above all training and practice. So, if your aim is to achieve a Decent Handicap or even Plus Handicap, your voyage towards proficiency will need stability and commitment.