How To Calculate A Golf Handicap
The Golfer's Dilemma
A Golfer’s ability is a hard thing to measure. Some Golfers drive the ball well but cannot putt. Others do not drive the ball very well but have great short games and putt well. Besides the score of a single round, it is hard to tell how golfers match up against each other. That is where a golf handicap comes in.
A Golf handicap is a numerical measure of a golfer’s playing ability. The handicap is used to calculate a net score from the number of strokes actually played. This allows players of different abilities to play each other of equal terms.
A Golf Handicap is easy to read. The higher the handicap for a player, the poorer golfer that player is. The Golf Handicap is meant to measure how well a player would stand up against a “scratch” golfer; someone who shoots par for the course.
The Formula - Five Rounds
A player’s golf handicap is calculated with a mathematical formula. The formula calculates the approximate amount of strokes over par a player should be able to play. A Golf handicap is determined by subtracting the player’s handicap from the number of strokes actually taken. In short, after a golfer plays at least five rounds of golf, the golfer can calculate a golf handicap.
To determine a golf handicap under the USGA standards after playing five rounds of golf. :
1). Take the scores for the last five rounds of golf played;
2). Look up the rating and slope of the courses where the last five rounds of golf were played;
3). Subtract the course rating from the score earned on each respective course;
4). Multiply that number by 113;
5). Divide that number by the slope of the course to determine what is known as the course differential; and
6). Take the lowest of the five course differentials and multiply that number by 0.96.
That number is the golf handicap.
The Formula - Twenty Rounds
To determine a golf handicap under the USGA standards after playing twenty rounds of golf:
1). Take the scores for the last twenty rounds of golf played;
2). Look up the rating and slope of the courses where the last twenty rounds of golf were played;
3). Determine the course differential. Using the score, rating and slope of each course and round, input the numbers in the following mathematical formula:
differential = (score – rating) X 113/slope.
For example, if a golfer scored a 100 at a course with a 72.7 rating and slope of 129 the equation would read as follows:
Differential = (100 - 72.7) * 113 /129 = 23.91395
4). List the 10 lowest differentials and the compute their average; and
5). Multiply the average by 0.96 percent and the result is the handicap.
What A Golf Handicap Means
A player’s handicap score is intended to show a player’s potential and not his or her average score. At the end of a golf round, the handicap is deducted from the number of actual strokes to determine the “actual” score. This way, players with a great difference in skill can compete against each other fairly.
Of course, the best way to determine the success of a round of golf is how much fun was had and that one great shot that only gets better over time.
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