Golf Handicap Scores

Written by Michael O'Brien
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For many, golf handicap scores are a necessary part of the game. Many also believe that playing with a handicap is somehow dishonorable. Nothing could be further from the truth. Handicaps are as much a part of the game of golf as any other. Different players have varying skill levels. Handicaps are meant to make things fair for all players.

How Golf Handicaps Work

Golf handicaps are all about mathematical averages. Let's say you are playing a hole that's listed as a par four. This means that you have to get the ball into the hole in no more than four strokes, or hits of the ball with your club. How many strokes does it actually take you to get the ball into the hole? Is it more or less?

An average is then determined based on your score per hole. If, for example, you got the ball in five strokes over par on the first hole, three strokes over on the second, and four over par on the third hole, your average rating would be about four over par. That many strokes will then be subtracted from your score every time you play a hole. Now apply this idea to a nine or 18 hole game average, and this is your handicap.

This may seem like an unfair advantage, but really it's not. Players with higher skill levels will have less points subtracted from their score. Players with lower skill levels will have more points subtracted. In the end, everyone has a fair chance of winning. Over time, you can always become a better golfer and decrease that handicap score. In the meantime, handicaps exist to make the game more fun for everyone involved.

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