Every player has their own set of strengths and weaknesses that impacts their overall performance in any game. In the game of golf, you can attest your performance in the form of Golf Handicaps. The lower your golf handicap, the better golfer you would be, and vice-versa.
If you have just started playing golf, it is necessary to understand your golf handicap. Even if you aren’t new to golf, knowing your golf handicap can help you better your game.
Golf Handicap is a uniform system through which various players can determine who is the best and ensure healthy competition among them. Therefore, if you want to improve your golf game, you should always aim for a lower golf handicap.
You should read further to know how I beat my partner and other fellow golfers in a game by improving my Golf Handicap or Handicap Index.
How Can I Beat My Partner’s Handicap?
The only way through which you can beat your partner’s golf handicap and them in the game is by improving your golf skills. When you improve your game skills, it would automatically result in improving your golf handicap. Hence, it increases your chances of winning.
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Knowing your golf handicap can help you evaluate your skill. Hence, you can enhance your game by lowering your golf handicap.
The following are some ways through which you can decrease your golf handicap and beat your partner or any other fellow golfer in a game of golf.
Exercising And Practicing Consistently
If you want to win any game, especially golf, you should exercise regularly and maintain your physique even if you don’t have any tournament or game in the near future.
Make sure that you have a strong upper body and a stable lower body with a tight core. This would ensure your golf swing speed is not less. You would be able to cover a long distance without exerting too much pressure on your body, especially your arms.
Also, before starting the game, you should spend some time on the field and practice some shots. It’s suggested to practice by making an imaginary boundary and then practicing a couple of shots before the main game or tournament.
Apart from physical fitness and continuous training, it would be best to focus on your concentration levels and calmness. A good golfer doesn’t let someone’s better or worse play get to them and divert their focus from the game.
Regulating The Length Of Strokes
One of the primary ways of controlling the length of the strokes or the distance covered by the golf ball is to have a proper posture along with the correct grip.
It’s suggested to have a forward stance along with the golf ball, with your shoulders tilted away from the ball. This primary position would result in farther and straighter strokes. Moreover, properly holding your golf club would decrease the chances of any penalty stroke.
In addition to it, regulating the length of the strokes also implies that you should play a stroke in such a way that you’re able to finish the course quickly.
For example, if there is a water obstacle in the game, you should plan your strokes in a way that you’re able to cover the minimum distance over water in a single shot. If you plan for a perfect but long shot over water, the golf ball might fall in the water midway, and you may lose.
Learn To Shape Your Ball
Learning how to shape your ball and control its trajectory would play a significant role in reducing your golf handicap. If you have been playing golf for a long time, you can use blade irons. They are heavy to use. However, they are the best if you want to shape and control the golf ball.
The blade iron would also give you feedback on your shot in the form of vibrations. This would help you avoid making mistakes and rectify them in the next shot itself.
However, if you’re new to golf, you should choose a cavity back iron as it’s light in weight. It allows the golf ball to cover a longer distance in a lesser number of strokes.
Decrease The Penalty Shots
All professional golfers take risks. However, the majority of the risks taken by them are calculative. As soon as they hit the golf ball with their club, they realize when and where the golf ball would land.
This is what makes them professionals and have a low golf handicap. They plan their strokes in a way that covers a long distance and, at the same, doesn’t result in any penalty. They might play a bogey stroke, but they make sure that it’s not a penalty.
Penalties increase the number of strokes and demotivate the golfer as well. Therefore, if you want to improve your game by decreasing your golf index, you should focus more on eliminating penalties rather than on a perfect shot.
Moreover, there is no point in playing a perfect shot if it’ll increase the total number of strokes in the game.
Make A Bogey Stroke As It Is Okay To Make Mistakes
This is the last but the most crucial point you need to remember if you want to beat your fellow golfers in a game. It’s important to know that a good player is not someone who doesn’t make any mistake but instead knows how to turn a mistake into their advantage.
If you ever feel like you’re not on the top of your game, breathe and make a bogey shot. It would increase the overall number of strokes, but it would help you decrease the unfruitful strokes on a brighter note.
The deliberate bogey stroke would buy you time to plan your stroke. At times like this, it’s suggested that you play a stroke that you know is simple, less risky, and would give a positive result for sure.
Since we’ve talked so much about the importance of golf handicaps in a game of golf, let us now understand the meaning of ‘handicap’ in golf. You can also know how to calculate it on your own quickly.
What Does ‘Handicap’ Mean In Golf Terminology?
The term ‘Handicap’ in the game of golf refers to the method used to calculate multiple players’ scores, irrespective of their expertise in the game. It’s used to make certain that all players are able to compete with each other in a fair manner despite their different skill levels.
Golf Handicap is the average number of strokes a golf player would take to finish the course or game by hitting the golf ball into the hole. Your golf handicap can be denoted in the form of ‘Par n,’ meaning that it would take you ‘n’ number of strokes to finish a single game.
Therefore, if you have a less golf handicap score (value of ‘Par n’), it would indicate that you’re a better golfer as it would take you fewer strokes to finish the games. It’s used to determine how a player performed compared to their level and not that of any professional golfer.
A pro player could finish the game in fewer strokes but could have the same golf handicap as an amateur player who has been playing consistently.
Let us now look at how you can calculate your golf handicap and compare your performance with other players.
How To Calculate Golf Handicap?
The United States Golf Association (USGA) maintains the standards of Golf Handicap as it is a uniform system that ensures the integrity of the game. It makes use of an already determined formula through which you can easily calculate your golf handicap.
Before we discuss how you can calculate your golf handicap, it’s essential to know that Scratch golfers have a Course Handicap of zero, irrespective of the golf course and its rating.
A person can determine their golf handicap only after they’ve scored at least three 18-hole rounds. To simplify things, a single 18-hole round score can be made by doubling the 9-hole round scores.
Several elements such as slope rating, course handicap, and adjusted gross score are used to calculate a golf handicap. These elements were added, and the formula to calculate the Golf Index was changed in the year 2020 to ensure that it’s fair for players belonging to different courses.
You can calculate your USGA Golf Handicap Index as per the changes announced in the year 2020 by following the steps mentioned below.
1. Calculate Adjusted Gross Score
Adjusted Gross Score refers to the score you receive by subtracting the equitable stroke control from your actual score. The score is changed under the Golf Handicap System provided by the USGA.
The Equitable Stroke Control refers to the adjustments made in an individual’s score in a way that you can calculate the golf handicap with ease.
2. Calculate Handicap Differential
In order to calculate your Handicap Differential, you would first need to know the particular rating of your golf course along with the course slope rating. Both of the terms, Course Rating and Course Slope Rating, were introduced by USGA.
The Course Rating refers to the difficulty of the golf course as per a scratch golfer. Similarly, the Course Slope Rating refers to the average difficulty of a golf course as per the bogey golfer.
Bogey golfers refer to those golfers who have a score of Par+1. This means that they exceeded the expected number of strokes within which they had to complete the game.
Once you have all the values mentioned above, follow the steps mentioned below.
- Subtract the rating of the course from the Adjusted Gross Course.
- Multiply the result by 113.
- After multiplying, divide the value by the Course Slope Rating.
3. Calculate The Average Of Lowest Handicap Differentials
Once you’ve calculated the various Handicap Differentials, calculate the average of ten lowest Handicap Differential values out of the twenty differential values.
However, if you only have ten Handicap Differential values, calculate the average of the lowest three Handicap Differential values. Whereas, if you have fifteen Handicap Differential values, calculate the average of the lowest six Handicap Differential values.
4. Calculate The Final Golf Handicap
After calculating the average of Handicap Differentials, multiply it by 96% or 0.96 to get your final Golf Handicap. However, you don’t need to round off the Golf Handicap value received after multiplication.
According to USGA, the maximum golf handicap index of men and women for an 18-hole course is 36.4 and 40.4, respectively. For a 9-hole course, the values are 18.3 and 20.2 for men and women, respectively.
In addition to Golf Handicap, you can also calculate your Course Handicap. Calculating your Course Handicap would help you immensely to create a target of the number of strokes within which you can complete the course while maintaining your golf handicap.
Course Handicap refers to the total number of strokes you’d be allotted during a particular course or game. It is used to figure out the number of strokes given or taken by any player.
Let us now look at the following examples that would help you in calculating your Golf Handicap.
What Is My Golf Handicap If I Shoot 120?
Shooting 120 in a golf game would mean that it’s the adjusted golf score made by any golfer. In order to calculate the golf handicap, let us assume the value of course slope as 113 and the course rating as 72.
Since the first step of calculating the golf handicap is calculating the Handicap Differential, the Handicap Differential for shooting 120 would be:
The Final Golf Handicap is calculated by multiplying the Handicap Differential by 0.96. Therefore, Golf Handicap for 120 Shoot = 48 ×0.96 = 46.08
What Is My Golf Handicap If I Shoot 115?
Shooting refers to the overall adjustment score made by any golfer. In order to calculate the golf handicap for shooting 115, take the value of course slope as 113 and the course rating as 72.
The first step of calculating the golf handicap is calculating the Handicap Differential. Therefore, the Handicap Differential for shooting 115 would be:
The Golf Handicap is calculated by multiplying the Handicap Differential with 0.96. Therefore, Golf Handicap for 115 Shoot = 43 ×0.96 = 41.28
What Is My Golf Handicap If I Shoot 110?
In order to calculate the golf handicap for shooting 110, let us take the value of course slope as 113 and the course rating as 72.
To calculate the golf handicap, we must first calculate the Handicap Differential. The Handicap Differential for shooting 110 would be:
Next, multiply the Handicap Differential with 0.96.
So, Golf Handicap for 110 Shoot = 38 ×0.96 = 36.48
What Is My Golf Handicap If I Shoot 105?
In order to calculate the golf handicap for shooting 105, let us assume the value of course slope as 113 and the course rating as 72.
Then, calculate the Handicap Differential. The Handicap Differential for shooting 105 would be:
The Final Golf Handicap for shooting 105 is calculated by multiplying the Handicap Differential with 0.96. Therefore, Golf Handicap for 105 Shoot = 33 ×0.96 = 31.68
What Is My Golf Handicap If I Shoot 100?
Shooting 100 in a golf game means that it’s the adjusted golf score made by a golfer. In order to calculate the golf handicap for shooting 100, let us take the value of course slope as 113 and the course rating as 72.
As mentioned above, you must first calculate the Handicap Differential. The Handicap Differential for shooting 100 would be:
Calculate the Final Golf Handicap by multiplying the Handicap Differential with 0.96. Therefore, Golf Handicap for 100 Shoot = 28 ×0.96 = 26.88
What Is My Golf Handicap If I Shoot 95?
To calculate the golf handicap for shooting 95, let us assume the value of course slope as 113 and the course rating as 72.
As usual, the first step of calculating the golf handicap is calculating the Handicap Differential. Therefore, the Handicap Differential for shooting 95 would be:
The Golf Handicap is then calculated by multiplying the Handicap Differential with 0.96. Therefore, Golf Handicap for 95 Shoot = 23 ×0.96 = 22.08
What Is My Golf Handicap If I Shoot 90?
If you want to calculate the golf handicap for shooting 90, let us take the value of course slope as 113 and the course rating as 72.
Calculate the Handicap Differential first by using the formula mentioned above. The Handicap Differential for shooting 90 would be:
The Golf Handicap for shooting 90 is calculated by multiplying the Handicap Differential with 0.96. So, Golf Handicap for 90 Shoot = 18 ×0.96 = 17.28
What Is My Golf Handicap If I Shoot 85?
In order to calculate the golf handicap for shooting 85, let us assume the value of course slope as 113 and the course rating as 72.
As you know, the first step of calculating the golf handicap is calculating the Handicap Differential. So, the Handicap Differential for shooting 85 would be:
The Final Golf Handicap for shooting 85 is calculated by multiplying the Handicap Differential with 0.96. Therefore, Golf Handicap for 85 Shoot = 13 ×0.96 = 12.48
What Is My Golf Handicap If I Shoot 80?
If you want to shoot 80 and want to calculate the golf handicap, let us assume the value of course slope as 113 and the course rating as 72.
Firstly, calculate the Handicap Differential. Therefore, the Handicap Differential for shooting 80 would be:
Finally, calculate the Golf Handicap. The Golf Handicap is calculated by multiplying the Handicap Differential with 0.96. Therefore, Golf Handicap for 80 Shoot = 8 ×0.96 = 7.68
By looking at all the examples above, you can calculate your Golf Handicap given that you know the Course Rating and the Course Slope Rating.
What is My Golf Handicap: FAQs
After going through the terminology and the importance of calculating your Golf Handicap, there might be some questions that come to your mind. They can be about how many golfers have a particular golf handicap or if all golfers have a low handicap index.
The following are some FAQs regarding how many golfers have a specific golf handicap to clear out your doubts.
✅ What Percentage Of Golfers Break 80?
Only 2% of adult golfers in the United States have an average score above 80. This is the reason that it is also known as the ‘Holy Grail of Scoring.’
✅ What Percentage Of Golfers Are Scratch?
There are around 1.85% of male scratch golfers and only 0.69% of female scratch golfers. Scratch golfers are those players that can easily play on any neutral Course Handicap.
✅ What Percentage Of Golfers Are Single Digit Handicap?
Out of the 10% golfers with a USGA-recognized handicap index, only 1% have a single-digit handicap. Some of the professional golfers with a single-digit handicap are Tiger Woods, Padraig Harrington, and Mike Bender.
Golf Handicap or Handicap Index is one of the most crucial things that a golfer should know before playing any tournament. It is one of those methods through which you can calculate your score, keep track of your performance, and set targets accordingly.
You can calculate easily by following the updated method provided by the USGA in the year 2020. This method removed the discrepancies in the golf handicap between players belonging to different courses.
You can improve your golf handicap score by practicing on a regular basis and reducing the number of strokes to clear a game. Most importantly, you can reduce your golf handicap by taking care of your health and staying in shape for all the games.
You now know how to calculate your golf handicap. Try to reduce it and become an excellent player in no time!