Golf 101: What Is a Golf Handicap?

Golf handicaps have been around for a long, long time. Although they have evolved and changed as the sport has changed, the basics of what it is and how it works have practically remained the same.

But, what is a golf handicap, and why does this matter for scoring? If you’re a beginner, golf handicaps may not make much sense.

If you’re new to golf, you likely have heard this term, and it can be important to learn as your prowess as a golfer increases.

Keep reading to learn what you need to know about the basics of golf handicaps.

What Is a Golf Handicap?

A golf handicap is a measure of how many additional shots over par are expected from a specific golfer on a course. Handicaps can be used to measure how talented a player is as well.

Once you’ve developed a handicap in golf, you can play golf against anyone else, regardless of skill level. You’ll also be more prepared to play on a variety of more challenging golf courses, even as a relatively new golfer.

What’s the Point of This System?

The main reason that this system was designed was to level the odds between two players.

If you’re playing against someone that is constantly beating you because they are a better golfer in general, it’s not very fair. Golf handicaps can make the game a little more balanced, providing more opportunities for any golfer to win.

Types of Golf Handicaps

There are only two general types of golf handicaps: high and low.

High golf handicaps are for players that haven’t played for very long yet or don’t have a lot of skill. Low golf handicaps are for players that are pretty good at the sport and have experience with a variety of strokes, courses, and clubs.

Someone that has a high handicap can develop a low handicap, but it takes a lot of practice and experience. To improve your game, you may want to buy golf equipment from a store like as you work toward this goal.

How to Get a Golf Handicap

If you’re looking into golf for beginners because you want to start playing or have just begun, you likely don’t need to worry about getting your own golf handicap yet. You need to work on improving your technique and just enjoying the general experience so that you don’t have too much pressure on yourself!

However, if you have been golfing for a little while and want to start competing against others, you’ll need a handicap before you can get started.

The first thing to do is get registered at your local golf course or on the United States Golf Association website. You’ll get a GHIN number, which is unique to you alone.

Enjoy Friendly Golf Competition With a Handicap

After reading this post, you should have your answer to “what is a golf handicap?” and should understand that it is simply a way to measure your golfing performance. If you want to play against other golfers, you’ll need to get a handicap of your own, but if you’re just starting out, take time to develop those skills first.

Did you like this article? If you did, be sure to take a look at other sport-related topics on the rest of our blog!

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