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How To Calculate Your Golf Handicap

Golf. It is one of the most popular sports in the United States and it is seeing increased participation. 

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

Some of them probably looked like they did not belong on a golf course, while others looked like the closest thing to professionals. 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 golf lessons at a St. Cloud, MN golf course. In the meantime, you would need to use a golf handicap. 

What is a golf handicap? How do you determine it?  This is your guide. 

What Is a Golf Handicap? 

A golf handicap is the number of strokes that you would have to subtract from your average score to keep up with a scratch golfer., who has a handicap of zero.

Pars are designed to estimate 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 an intimidating formula, 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 recent golf scores. 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 above 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:

75, 80, 76, 74, 72, 78, 82, 86, 85, 84 

Here, that would mean that the average score that you shoot in 10 rounds was 80. 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 equation that you need to determine is the slope rating. How do you figure this out? 

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

However, some argue that should not be the average today, 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 novice 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 an easier course and a more difficult course. It is rounded down to one decimal. 

For example, on an easier course, the average scratch golfer could shoot a 68.1 on the course. On a more difficult course, this golfer could shoot at 74.1. 

You need to take this into account for each course you play on because it will be different depending on what course you are playing on. Contact that golf course for more information on this. 

Calculating the Handicap 

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

In the above examples, let's use 80 as the handicap index, 120 as the slope rating, 74.1 as the course rating, and 72 as the par. Here is what that would look like: 

Course Handicap = [80 * (120/113)] + (74.1-72) 

Here, you will get a result of 86.9. For handicapping purposes, you would round down to the nearest whole number. With that in mind, the new result is 86. 

If 86 is the result after that, then that means that you have a handicap of about 14 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 14 strokes. 

Golf Lessons at St. Cloud, MN 

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

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

They can teach you how to relax before you swing your golf club, adjust where you are looking before your shoot, change where you put your hands on your golf club, change where you position your feet, and more. 

Improve Your Golf Handicap 

This has been a brief review 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 each golf course. 

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

Are you ready to commit to that? See our rates for golf lessons.