Determining The Golf Handicap
The handicap is the measure of score that all golfers concern themselves with. It’s the talk over a beer after the eighteenth hole and the buzz in the locker room. Indeed, having the right kind of handicap seems to be the reason some players golf at all. Then there’s those of us who know nothing about the handicap. We’re a group of what the others call ‘hackers’, golfers who only go out occasionally to have a little fun. Still, the handicap is such a time honored tradition all of us who play the game seriously or just for fun should know a little about what goes into one. You might be surprised to find it’s not as formidable as you might think.
First off, there’s at least one myth about the handicap that needs to be debunked. Many golfers think a player’s handicap shows their average score and this isn’t the case.
The golfer’s handicap is intended to show their potential. It is arrived at through a series of mathematical formulas. While there are many variations possible between the United States, Britain, and other countries, generally the handicap is taken partially from a player’s recent history in their last several rounds. Of course this means that a handicap is not a constant number but one that fluctuates with a certain player’s score.
The method of handicap scoring is the reason for two of the most common terms we’ve all heard that pertain to golf. These names range from one end of the ability spectrum to the other end—from a golfer who’s handicap is 0 to one who’s handicap is 20. As you might have guessed, the 0 handicap golfer is called a “scratch golfer” and someone who has a handicap of 20 is called a “bogey golfer.”