How to Handicap a Golf Score

By Aleks Volkov

The golf handicap system was created in the 20th century to help level the playing field between advanced and beginner golfers. A handicap measures how you would match up against a scratch golfer in order to have a fair competition. For example, if your handicap is 5 and play against a scratch golfer, you have a 5 stroke lead at the start of the round.

How to Handicap a Golf Score

Play at least five full rounds of golf and record the score for each round.

Locate the rating and slope for each of the golf courses you played at. Most golf courses have the rating and slope written on the score card.

Subtract each score you earned by the rating of the specific course. For example, if you shot an 82 and the course rating is 69.3, then you would get a score of 12.7

Multiply the number you got in Step 3 by 113. For example, 12.7 multiplied by 113 gets you 1435.1.

Divide the number you got in step 4 by the slope of the course. For example, if the slope of the course is 116, then you would divide 1435.1 by 116 to get a differential score of 12.37.

Determine which of your five differential scores is the lowest. Multiply that number by .96. For example, if 12.37 was the lowest of your differential scores, you would multiple 12.37 by .96 to get a handicap of 11.87. As a result, your handicap would be 12.

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