124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2


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.