For those who are new to golf and are unsure about what a handicap is, here is the newbie guide:
Every course has a "par", meaning the number of shots it "should" take you to complete 18 holes. For example, if you were playing a par-72 course gives and you happen to be an excellent player who scores 72 shots, your handicap would be 0.
If you are just starting out, you will need some help, so the course will "give" you some shots: 20 handicap, 36 handicap, etc.
Now that we have defined a golf handicap, here are some answers to some commonly asked questions about golf handicaps:
Many courses ask for this and it's easily arranged by your home golf course. If a golf course lets you play without a handicap certificate, it probably means the club is not of a good standard. The policy of requesting a handicap certificate is to gently discourage people who can't get the ball in air from digging up the fairways and holding up play.
How do you get to Carnegie Hall?
Everybody starts on 36 handicap. A handicap in the 30's is a real beginner player and you should probably focus on lessons and technique before you go out onto the course.
A handicap in the 20's is your average club golfer who plays golf as a hobby. The vast majority of players around the world fall in this category.
A player with a handicap between 10-19 is an upper-intermediate player and is starting to take the game seriously. At this level you can start playing club tournaments and playing different courses.
Players who are between 5-9 are advanced players and probably play at least 2-3 times per week. A handicap of 5 and below is termed a "Category 1" player and falls in the expert category.
If you have been assigned an inaccurate handicap, your score will either be very low or high. our handicap will be adjusted quickly so that you don't keep on winning tournaments by 10 shots and taking money off everybody at the club.
No. A golfer who has a 10 handicap at a championship course is going to be a better player than a golfer who plays at an easier course. That's why you should play a variety of courses to get an idea of what your real level/handicap is.