With the new world golf handicap System coming into play in 2020 it’s time to brush up on your knowledge
ONPAR are here to answer all of your golf handicap questions from explaining exactly what a handicap is, to working it all out! With the new World Handicap System coming into play in 2020, it’s time to brush up on your knowledge and ensure you are ahead of the game before the new season.
What does a golf handicap mean?
A golf handicap is a numerical indicator of how good you are at the game! Your handicap is the number of strokes over par you should hit when playing a round of 18 holes. For example, if your handicap is 8 and you went to play 18 holes on a par 72 course, you should finish the round scoring 80. 8 more than the par of the course.
The lower your handicap, the better you are. The handicap is an indicator of the level of golfer you are and often changes as you become better at golf. If you were playing with a friend who has a handicap of 6, technically, they would be the better golfer.
How do I get a golf handicap?
First of all, you need to know that you need to play at least ten rounds of golf before you can be handicap eligible. You need to take somebody around the course with you to mark your scorecards. This person must then sign your card to confirm your score for the round.
Handicaps will change over time as the golfer continues to play more courses. You will often find your handicap goes down quite quickly at the beginning, but can potentially be a slow burner the lower you get (that’s where lessons come in handy!) so the more practice you have, generally, the better your handicap. Handicaps allow golfers to compete against each other fairly when they’re mixed ability.
How do I calculate my golf handicap?
Your handicap is calculated by taking your recent scores and comparing them to the difficulty of the courses where the scores were taken from, then working out an average.
You need to keep your scorecards from your best ten recent rounds and then either input them onto an online calculator or ask a golf professional at your club to help you manually calculate it.
You want to make sure your handicap is really accurate for the level you are currently playing at I.e no cheating! Because in golf, you’re really only cheating yourself when it comes to competing! Just on a side note, the system for calculating handicaps changes wherever in the world you are playing.
Average golf handicap for a beginner?
It’s hard to judge the average handicap for beginners. However, the maximum handicap for a male golfer is 36, and 40 for a female. So potentially anywhere in that region is usually beginner standard.
A golfer with a 0 handicap will consistently play to the par of the course and is also known as a scratch golfer.
What handicap do Tour players have?
You may spend years getting down to single figures or even a scratch handicap, but unfortunately, as soon as you become a PGA Pro, not just a touring pro at that, they stop carrying a handicap.
However, many budding fans can work out an approximate handicap by following and calculating their last 20 scores and compare with the course and slope rating and input it into an online handicap calculator!
What is the new handicap system?
So, you’ve just read all about what a handicap is and now I’m telling you the system is changing? Yep that’s right! In 2020 a new handicap system will be rolled out nationally to all golf clubs. This may not affect your golf club until later on in the year, in which case the above information is still completely relevant!
The new World Handicap System will unite 6 different regional handicap systems into one and will mean a player’s handicap is transportable anywhere on the globe. The new system will allow golfers to submit scores from playing social rounds instead of just competitions. It is still an averaging system whereby the golfers best 8 scores out of 20 will be used with course ratings and slope systems.
Now, a player’s handicap will be updated daily, each time they submit an acceptable score. Martin Slumbers, CEO of the R&A commented: “Our hope is that the launch of the WHS will be a catalyst for change; signalling the start of a new era of golfer engagement, being inclusive by embracing all golfers, whatever their level of ability, and broadening its appeal to a much wider audience.”