Golf Handicaps

Written by Michael O'Brien
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A golf handicap sounds like something you may not want--until you realize it actually helps your game. That's the good news about a golf handicap. The bad news is that they are nearly impossible to accurately calculate by yourself. A handicap is calculated by using five score cards.

Golf Handicaps Are Complex

In PGA rules, the handicapper evaluates your performance and reduces your score on any hole where you took more than two over par. Once you have a handicap, changing it is a pretty complicated process, although it will alter slightly over time. Don't worry about getting a handicap until you are ready. Once you're committed to the game and want to join a club, you'll be ready for your handicap.

If you're a new golfer and you mostly play with your friends, you don't really need an official handicap. In this circumstance, your friends can estimate your handicap. Most likely they'll estimate your handicap to be one that allows you to do well, but not so well you'll beat them. If you want an official handicap, you'll have to join a club. You'll have to have a handicap if you are to join in any league or tournament play.

The purpose of the handicap system is to level the playing field. Golf handicaps make it possible for new players to compete with strong players. Playing against someone who's better than you is a sure-fire way to improve your game. For those who are interested in handicaps, but are not looking into joining a club or league handicaps, software programs are available that can calculate an accurate score.


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