How to Obtain a Golf Handicap

By John Wagner
The handicap system allows players of all levels to play against each other in a fair match in golf.
The handicap system allows players of all levels to play against each other in a fair match in golf.

The golf handicap system allows players of all levels to play against each other in a fair match. The United States Golf Association (USGA) has developed a system that allows players to play against each other regardless of what tees a player plays from or their skill set. Many people mistakenly believe a handicap reflects a golfer's average score, when it actually serves as a reflection of the golfer's potential. This is because a golfer's handicap is calculated from the best ten scores of the golfer's last twenty rounds.

Establishing a Handicap

Find a golf club, or golf association, and become a member. You can sign up for handicap services at your country club or local public course. Public courses may require you to join a men's or women's golf association. The cost for one year of handicap services at most clubs in 2009 is $40.

Play a round of golf and record your score on a scorecard. Play each hole to the best of your ability and mark your score down fairly.

Turn your scorecard in at the pro shop after finishing your round. Some courses may also have a computer to enter your score in after finishing your round.

Complete five rounds of golf and turn in five scorecards. You will establish a handicap index after turning in five scores.

Keep playing. After playing twenty rounds of golf, your best ten rounds will be taken to calculate your handicap index. As you play, your twenty most recent rounds are always used in the handicap calculation.

References

About the Author

John Wagner is a certified golf instructor and professional golfer with more than 10 years of experience. As a certified GolfTEC, TPI Level 3 and Chuck Cook Golf Instructor, he has given more than 9,000 golf lessons.

Photo Credits

  • Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images
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