Beginner InstructionMay 30, 2016

What You Need To Know About Handicaps

One of golf’s charms is that players of different abilities can compete against each other. In theory, you could play a competitive match against Phil Mickelson if you were given the right number of strokes to adjust your score at the beginning of the match. Here’s how a handicap is calculated, how you use it, and where to go to get yours.

• A handicap it’s a calculation of the score you would be expected to shoot based on the difficulty of the course. It’s based on a weighted average of your ten best recent scores.

• A player who has a handicap eight shots higher than another would get a stroke subtracted from his or her score on each of the eight hardest holes on the course.

• Official handicaps are tabulated by the USGA, and you can get one by paying a small fee.