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Handicapping



Golf scorecard

One of the reasons golf is such a popular game is that a system of handicapping means players of all abilities can play against each other.

A handicap is a certain number of strokes which a player is allowed to remove from his total score for a round.

Think of a handicap like a headstart given by more skilful players to weaker.

The better the player, the lower the handicap.

It means that good players with a low handicap can play those with a higher handicap and the game can still remain competitive.

A player with an 18 handicap, for example, will subtract 18 shots from his or her score at the end of the round.

The handicap system can seem confusing, which is why it is so important to keep your scores on a scorecard so you can work it all out at the end of your round.

Only highly skilled players reach zero, also known as "scratch".

A select few even get so good they enter positive figures - which means they have to add strokes to their total.

In reality, most golfers who reach that standard are good enough to turn professional.

All professional tournaments are played off scratch i.e. without handicaps.

In foursomes, the team's handicap is usually calculated by adding the two players' handicaps together and dividing by two.

The normal maximum handicap is:

  • Men: 28
  • Women: 36
  • Juniors: 29-54



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