In golf, handicaps are used to measure a player’s skill level. A higher golf handicap indicates an amateur who is still learning the game, while a lower golf handicap indicates that they have more experience and might be on their way up in the world of competitive golf.
In short, if you’re shooting around 85, then your golf handicap is average for amateurs.
Average Golf Handicap With an 85 Score
You may be considered a 13 golf handicap if you play on a par 72 course and score 85. However, some variables can affect that number, including the difficulty of your course.
For example, if you’ve played par three courses in the past but are now playing on a long 18-hole course, you may adjust your score to say 15 handicaps. This is because it takes time to recalibrate yourself after moving up or down in the length of play.
The USGA defines a 13 golf handicap as someone who will shoot between 80 and 89 over 18 holes with an average score of 90 at the intermediate level (a standard 9-hole golf course). However, other variations exist for other formats.
Someone who shoots 85 might be considered a 12 average golf handicap if they’re competing on two different nine-hole courses because their scores would be smaller than average score. And someone who shoots 80 on a regulation 18-hole course might be considered a ten handicap.
What Is A Handicap?
A golf handicap is a numerical measure of the player’s ability to play golf. The player chooses the number they believe most accurately represents their playing skill, which becomes their handicap index.
This number can then be used as any other index, such as for sorting players in competitions. For example, an amateur with a handicap of 5 would beat an amateur with a 10-handicap every time because five strokes fewer means one less bad hole per round on average (assuming both players were equally skilled).
The golf handicap is a subjective measure of your golfing abilities. You are a scratch golfer if your golf handicap is zero, and you would shoot par most of the time you went out to play. If you have a twenty golf handicap, it means that when you go out to play, you will typically score around 92.
How To Calculate Your Golf Handicap For 18-Hole Courses
(Score – Course Rating) x 113 / Slope Rating
The golf handicap is calculated by recording the score of 5-20 of a golfer’s most recent rounds. Then, they can accurately compute it with the collected scores and data. To calculate the golf handicap, you’ll need the course rating and slope rating for the golf courses you played.
You then subtract the course rating your score and multiply by 113. Then, divide the number by the slope given on a scorecard—this is how to find a golfer’s handicap.
There are several handicapping apps or process like a golf handicap system that you may join up for, but if you’d rather not use one of them, here is a thorough explanation of how to compute your course handicap the old-fashioned way.
Why Do I Need to Know My Handicap?
You don’t have to know your golf handicap if you want to play golf. Your friends might not even ask for it because they’ll just assume you’re an average player! But it can be helpful if you want to know what you need to shoot to win a prize or if you are trying to improve your game and see how close you are to shooting par each round.
What Handicap Do I Need to Win a Tourney?
You can play in a tournament with a golf handicap index of 13 if you’re a recreational golfer. But the professionals in the field will have smaller indexes, so you’ll need to have something similar if you want to win! For PGA Tour events, your handicap should be around 2.4 or below. In competitions for amateurs, it’s typically 9-16.
How Do I Make Sure My Handicap Index is Accurate?
You can use a handicapping app to record your scores and compute your index automatically. You don’t have to do it yourself, but you should ensure that the app or program you’re using is accurate if you want to trust what your index says.
Make sure it’s getting data from courses with consistent playing conditions; this will ensure that the number represents how well you play instead of other factors like weather.
Is a Handicap an Accurate Way to Determine How Good You Are?
Golf handicaps are good for recreational players because they provide an easy method to measure how much better or worse one player is than another. It’s great for getting a general idea about your skill level and whether you’re improving compared to other golfers. But it doesn’t consider things like wind direction and topographical issues that can also affect scores.
How Can I Use a Handicap to Get Better at Golf?
At the core, golf is an individual sport. But if you’d like to use a golf handicap as motivation to get better, try signing up for a team or joining a golf league. You can also create your competition with friends and use the handicap index of another player as part of the record-keeping.
What Course Handicap Do I Need to Get on the Golf Team?
You don’t have to know your golf handicap when you’re in high school or college. But if you’d like to join a collegiate golf team, it’s better for them if you can hit par around 70% of the time. You won’t need a particular golf handicap unless you want to get into competition with other schools.
Calculate Your Golf Handicap and Improve Your Game
If you are interested in learning more about calculating your golf handicap, what courses or programs will best suit your needs, and want a detailed explanation of the process from start to finish, please review this article as needed.
To assist you, we have provided all the information you need to find out for yourself whether it is worth investing time into calculating your course handicap index.