Golf Handicap 101: The Complete Guide

Many golfers are constantly on the lookout for the latest and greatest in golfing clubs and equipment and on the mission to find new and advanced ways of improving their game. High handicappers are looking for the best 2021 irons for sale, mid handicappers are trying to find best irons for their game, and so on. 

But they rarely stop to think about the basics of the game. While learning more about the rules and details of golf, including handicap, might not seem as important as some other aspects of the game, the truth is far from it. Don’t just look to purchase a quality golf iron set for sale from 2020 – start paying attention to the core of the game and see how your understanding deepens. 

What is a handicap in golf?

The simplest way to explain golf handicap is that it’s the approximate measurement of an individual golfer’s ability. That is why you will often hear golf clubs and equipment being separated into different categories based on handicap. For example, you can explore different irons for mid handicappers that were popular in 2020 or find the best irons for high handicappers in 2021 available for sale

The handicapping system was designed to allow golfers of varying skill levels to play together on a level playing field. Handicap allows players who are not as proficient to remove a stroke at more difficult holes. Once the round of golf is finished, players add up their score and take off those strokes they were allowed to remove. 

This provides a net score according to each individual handicap and the winner is decided by taking into account a golfer’s skill level in conjunction with their performance. This is how handicap levels the chances of both experienced and inexperienced golfers. 

However, the biggest benefit of the handicapping system is that it allows golfers to track their progress in great detail. The handicap of the golfer is usually based on their recent games, which means it is never outdated and it always provides an up-to-date insight into a golfer's current playing ability. 

What is the difference between a bogey and a scratch golfer?

Scratch and bogey golfer is a term used to describe the general handicap of a golfer. Scratch golfers are those players who have a handicap of zero, while bogey golfers are those players with the handicap of 20 or more. At the end of each round, golfers add or subtract their handicap to the final scores. 

What is the USGA handicap system?

This type of handicapping system is used in Australia, Mexico, and, most notably, across America. It’s more complex than the systems found in Ireland and the UK and it also allows for more detailed ability tracking. 

This handicapping system experienced a total overhaul during the 80s with the addition of course and slope ratings which added a new dimension of accuracy to the system. Let’s take a look at what these ratings entail. 

What is slope rating and course rating?

Course rating describes the number of strokes that a scratch golfer would take to complete a golf course. For example, if a golf course has the USGA rating of 73, it means that it would take a scratch golfer 73 strokes to fully complete the course. 

Slope rating refers to the overall difficulty of the course for bogey golfers. The slope rating for an individual course can range from 55 to 155, with the higher numbers describing higher difficulty. 

Finally, par plays no role in calculating handicaps using the USGA system. This boils down to the slope rating, course rating, and the adjusted gross score that represents the allowed number of shots on a certain course minus the number of allowed strokes on some holes. 

What is Equitable Stroke Control?

Equitable Stroke Control refers to the number golfers who play USGA courses receive. This number describes the maximum number of shots they are allowed to take off on individual holes. The number depends on the golfer’s handicap.  The ESC was introduced to limit disastrous holes during a round.

How do I get a handicap in golf?

You can get your golf handicap under the official player’s USGA system after only 5 rounds of golf. However, you should know that the most accurate handicap index can only be issued using results from the 10 best rounds the golfer has played during their past 20 rounds. 

The majority of golf clubs have charts that give players their handicap for that particular course based on their index, the course slope, and the course rating. However, you need to know that in order to receive your official handicap you have to be a member of a club that is qualified to issue handicaps. 

Where can I purchase the best irons for mid and high handicappers for 2020 & 2021?

Learning the details about golf handicap is an essential part of becoming familiar with the different rules in golf. It’s not enough to get yourself a good set of clubs, work on improving your driver and iron skills, and try to become more proficient at using golf spins. While becoming a better golfer is important, don’t get us wrong, it’s not the only thing you should know.

Knowing more about the handicap is one of those seemingly insignificant things that will actually deepen your understanding of the game itself. It’s similar to how cleaning and keeping your clubs in good condition will allow you to get a bit more out of them. And that is why you should try to learn as much about handicap in golf as possible.

But that doesn’t mean you should refrain from always looking to improve your arsenal with new equipment. BombTech is here to offer you a wide array of premium golf clubs and equipment. We want to bring high-quality items to every golfing enthusiast out there. We offer affordable pricing by cutting our overhead costs by using an online-only model. Browse our stock today!

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