Your golf handicap is a measure of your skill level. It is used to level the playing field in tournaments so that golfers of all skill levels can compete against each other.
To calculate your handicap, you must take the average of your best eight scores from your last 20 rounds. You can use a golf handicap calculator to do this, or you can do it yourself by following these steps:
- Collect your scores from your last 20 rounds.
- Sort your scores in ascending order.
- Remove your lowest score and your highest score.
- Take the average of the remaining six scores.
- This is your handicap index.
Your handicap index is then multiplied by 0.96 to get your handicap. For example, if your handicap index is 10.0, your handicap would be 9.6. With that in mind, when you go to a golf course, you will see two indicators named respectively:
Slope index and Score rating.
They both are necessary to calculate how much you should score compared to your handicap. What do we mean by that? Simply put, every golf course has a different level of difficulty. So if you’re a scratch golfer (0 handicap), you’d generally be expected to shoot Par. But if the golf course is challenging, you might be expected to shoot 2, 3, 4, etc. over instead of Par.
The slope index of a golf course measures how challenging the course is for bogey golfers compared to scratch golfers. It is used to level the playing field in handicap tournaments.
The slope index is calculated using a formula that considers the course length, the holes’ difficulty, and the number of hazards. The slope index is between 55 and 155, with 55 being the easiest and 155 being the most difficult.
The course rating of a golf course measures how challenging the course is for scratch golfers. It is used to determine the difficulty of the course for handicap purposes.
The course rating is calculated using a formula that considers the course length, the difficulty of the holes, and the number of hazards. The course rating is between 68.0 and 78.0, with 68.0 being the easiest and 78.0 being the most difficult.
For example, a course rated 72.0 would be expected to play Par for a scratch golfer. This means that a scratch golfer must shoot Par on each hole to break Par.
Formula to calculate how much you’re expected to shoot on any given golf course:
Handicap Index X (Slope rating/113) + (Course Rating-Par)
Click here to calculate your Official course handicap. This will give you the number of strokes you’re expected to play over Par compared to the difficulty of your golf course.