What's a 7-handicap, really?
On the right day and right course, you'll break 80. Congratulations. As a 7-handicap, you're in the top 21 percent of male golfers—top 3 percent for females—according to the United States Golf Association. A professional career isn't happening anytime soon, but you should be proud of the level you've attained. Perhaps similar dedication and talent has led you to quasi-mastery in other areas. The problem is, the precision of golf's handicap system isn't encountered anywhere else. So for those who want to know how they compare to others—other than by height—we've described the equivalent of a 7-handicap in the following important life pursuits. Go judge yourself.
SOFTBALL: Teammates optimistic when you're batting with runners in scoring position. You don't strike out. Fielding errors accompanied by appropriate level of gravity and surprise. Can reasonably explain the infield-fly rule.
SKIING/SNOWBOARDING: Covers the terrain of the entire mountain and enjoys doing it. Looks good on good snow, but reverts to less-graceful form in icy or variable conditions. Occasionally sustains minor injuries. As far as jumping, stylistically has never progressed further than a spread eagle or heel grab.
POOL: Has the potential to go on runs of five or even six consecutive potted balls, but more reliably dinks in one or two. Possesses an elementary understanding of spin and how to position the cue ball, but execution is another matter. Extent of imagination is two shots ahead. Once purchased a mid-priced cue from a sporting-goods store.
CAMPING: Can provide a comfortable experience for a friend or loved one in temperatures over 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Gets the fire going on the first try and prepares hot, though not always delicious, meals. Three nights is the limit. Always returns looking and smelling like he or she has been away longer.
TENNIS: Verbatim from the National Tennis Rating Program on a 4.0 player, so we're not even making this up: "Has dependable strokes, including directional control and depth on both forehand and backhand sides on moderate shots, plus the ability to use lobs, overheads, approach shots and volleys with some success. Occasionally forces errors when serving, and teamwork in doubles is evident. Rallies may be lost due to impatience."
BEER PONG: Hits on a full rack half the time. Rarely needs more than three attempts on a "last cup." Skills sharpest after three beers, but after that it's a steady decline.
WORK: Communicates abstract ideas clearly in meetings. Returns all emails within the same business day. Is aware of, though doesn't necessarily participate in, style trends. Showers every morning. Shops online efficiently and averages no more than an hour reading about sports.
PARENTING: Knows the names of child's friends and even some teachers. Refrains from altercations with refs and other parents at sporting events. Employs guilt and bribery to drive results. Arguments may be lost due to impatience.
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