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How to Calculate Your Golf Handicap

How to Calculate Your Golf Handicap

Golf. It is one of the most popular sports in the United States and it is only rising in participation rates. 

At the end of 2020, there were about 25 million people across the country playing golf. 

Some of them probably looked like they never saw a golf course and others probably looked like they never left it. If you have two people you know with vastly different skill levels in golf, how do you even the playing field? 

Well, you could take Ocala golf lessons. Until you see improvement from that, you would need to use a golf handicap. 

What is a golf handicap? How do you figure out what your golf handicap is? 

This is your guide. 

What Is a Golf Handicap? 

A golf handicap is the number of strokes that you would have to take away from your average score to keep up with a scratch golfer.

Pars are there to tell you how many strokes a scratch golfer would take to hole a ball on each hole. With a golf handicap, this determines how many more strokes you need to do the same thing. 

This has a formula that looks complicated, but it is rather simple once you break it down. The formula is: 

Course Handicap = [Handicap Index * (SR / 113)] + (CR- Par) 

We will go over each part of the formula below. 

Handicap Index 

The first part of the course handicap formula is the handicap index. How do you figure this out? 

You need to keep track of your golf scores from your most recent rounds. At a minimum, you need to have at least five full rounds of golf to compare. However, you can use ten rounds on 9-hole courses if you cannot meet the 18-hole requirement. 

The maximum amount of scores that you can use is your last 20 rounds. However, if you have 20 different scores, you ideally want to just use your 8-10 best scores from those 20. 

So let's say that you shoot the following scores in your 10 best games:

65, 70, 66, 64, 62, 68, 72, 76, 75, 74 

Here, that would mean that the average score that you shoot in 10 rounds was 70. That would be your handicap index and you could plug it into the next part of the formula. 

Slope Rating 

The next part of the formula that you need to determine is the slope rating. How do you figure slope rating out? 

Well, all over the world, golf courses can have a slope rating anywhere from 55 to 155. The number 113 is used as an average slope rating globally. 

However, some argue that should not be the average now, because it was implemented decades ago. Now, that average may be closer to 120. 

Nevertheless, 113 is used in this formula, and for this, you need to know the slope rating of the golf course that you are playing on. Slope ratings are used to measure the true difficulty of a golf course for a new golfer. 

Here, you may see a rating of around 120 for most golf courses. 

Course Rating

The course rating is used to determine how a scratch golfer would do on a less challenging course and a more challenging course. It is rounded down to one decimal. 

For example, on an easier course, the average scratch golfer could shoot a 68.5 on the course. On a more difficult course, this golfer could shoot at 74.5. 

You need to take this into account for each course you are playing on because it will be different depending on what course you are playing on. Get in touch with your golf course for more information on this. 

Calculating the Handicap 

Once you have all of the factors of the formula above determined, it is time to calculate your course handicap. To do this, remember the numbers for each step of the formula. 

In the above examples, let's use 70 as the handicap index, 120 as the slope rating, 74.5 as the course rating, and 72 as the par. Here is what that would look like: 

Course Handicap = [70 * (120/113)] + (74.5-72) 

Here, you will get a result of 76.8. For handicapping purposes, you would round down to the nearest whole number. With that in mind, the new result is 76. 

If 76 is the result after that, then that means that you have a handicap of about four strokes on that golf course. This is determined because the par on that course is 72. So, to match a scratch golfer, you would have to be given four strokes. 

Ocala Golf Lessons 

So, if you are not currently a scratch golfer but you want to get there, one way to do that is to practice golf. It is even better to practice with an experienced player in golf. 

This is why you should take golf lessons. An experienced person in this field can help you figure out what your issues are and help you improve. 

They can teach you things such as relax before you swing your golf club, adjust where you are looking before your shoot, change how you grip your golf club, change where you position your feet, and more. 

Improve Your Golf Handicap 

This has been a brief overview of how to come up with a golf handicap calculation. Now, you know every step of the formula and you can figure out your handicap for every golf course that you play on. 

As stated above, you may be a rookie that is still looking to get better at the game. Well, one way to do that is to take the advice above and get Ocala golf lessons. 

Are you ready to commit to that? Check out our rates for private golf lessons.