What Is A Golf Handicap For A Beginner?

Beginner golfers can find it difficult to understand what a golf handicap is and how it can influence the game. When it comes to a golf handicap, golfers must remember the US rules for golf handicaps. 

The USGA set the rule, i.e., the United States Golf Association. It is followed by WHS (World Handicap System) to assign a golf handicap to golf club players. 

We will help you understand what golf handicap is, how it is calculated, and other important information. 

What Is A Handicap System?

What Is A Golf Handicap For A Beginner

A player’s ability is displayed through a number called handicap. It helps to level the playing field for players with varying abilities. Most golfers can subtract their score from the handicap number to get a net score. 

That means if the handicap number is lower, the better a player’s ability is. In simple terms, a handicap number can be understood as a golfer’s potential ability instead of their current ability. 

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The United States Golf Association System

The USGA says that a golfer needs to have 12 established rounds of golf to get the most accurate handicap. This system dictates discarding the worst and best rounds to get the correct idea of a player’s skill level. 

You can get an official handicap from the USGA. 

Beginners must consistently play the 12 rounds in a set time. If you play on a golf course approved by USGA for indexing purposes, you can become a handicap index. 

This way, you will be able to calculate your year-to-year handicap. However, the round should not be more than 20. The term scratch golfer is for a player who plays off zero handicaps. 

What Is The Best Handicap For A Beginner?

Many golfers do not get assigned a golf handicap initially. Assigning handicaps starts after golfers have played a couple of rounds.

For this reason, new golfers are advised to focus on improving their skills rather than working out on handicaps. 

Once they have understood basic golf swing, what club to use, and the rules of the game, they can think about handicap. 

Speaking about the rules of the game, here are other related articles you may want to read:

How To Calculate The First Golf Handicap System?

The USGA says that a golfer needs to play golf a minimum of 54 holes, i.e., 3 full rounds on an 18 hole, to get their first golf handicap. 

If not, golfers can meet the legal requirement by playing golf on a nine-hole golf course. After hitting the requirement, within 24 hours, they are awarded a handicap index. 

It’s important that you must belong to an authorized group so that your golfer handicap index can be validated. 

Most US golf clubs meet the basic handicapping standards, including private and public golf courses. Handicap calculators average out of the 8 best scores out of 20 scores of a golfer. 

What Is The Maximum Golf Handicap On A Golf Course?

For both men and women, the maximum golf handicap is 54. This change has been brought to encourage all the players to play the game without getting discouraged by their gender. 

The maximum handicap ceiling can be lower than 54 in some instances. It’s called rule 5.3. This rule gives mid and low-standard handicappers the necessary space to compete against each other fairly. 

Is A 36 Handicap System Good?

Honestly, a rating of 36 is the best handicap for a beginner. Thus, it cannot be considered the best. Every new golfer is encouraged to reduce their handicaps by regularly practicing. This way, they can get better scores. 

It’s also important to remember that any golfer with a high handicap average golf score cannot be considered bad. It simply means that the golfer is new to the golfing world. With regular practice and skill, they can improve their game. 

What Is A Respectable Handicap On A Golf Course?

A good golf handicap is subjective, but a golf round of 20 is considered respectable by most golf clubs. In addition, a good golf handicap of 10 or below can be seen as the best.  

You must regularly practice if you do not have a good golf handicap. When you commit to playing in different competitions, your average score improves. 

You can also consider investing in some private golf lessons to improve your game. You can also learn how to get better at golf without lessons.

What Is A Bad Golf Handicap?

A handicap of 30 or above is considered bad handicap golf adjusted scores. When you start playing golf, you should focus on your game rather than trying to improve your handicap. 

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How Much Does It Cost To Get A Golf Handicap?

Any golfer who wants to get a golf handicap needs to spend around $30 to $45 per year. This fee must get a GHIN number (a unique number assigned to a golfer). 

The golf club uses this number to set golf handicaps for the golfers. Golf can be frustrating, but you need to keep your average handicap low. 

How To Maintain A Golf Handicap?

If you want to maintain a good handicap throughout the year, you must play consistently. Regular practicing is also the key to keeping you on track. 

In addition, try to follow the USGA rules to keep your handicap accurately recorded. Many clubs introduce different handicap requirements so their members can score fair. 

How To Use A Golf Handicaps Score On Golf Course

Here’s how you can use your golf handicap score: 

Handicap Use: Track Your Game

Your handicap score can help you track your progress over time. As the 20 most recent scores calculate the handicap score, it helps you understand how you are playing. 

Handicap Use: Side Wager with Your Friends 

You can compete against your friends and playing partners using your handicap score. 

Handicap Use: Compete in Net Tournaments 

A handicap score is determined to find the PGA tour and Net Tournament winner. Here, golfers subtract their handicap score from the final score to get a net score.  


We have tried to answer all the possible answers related to golf handicaps through this guide. So, whether you are a professional or a beginner golfer, you know the right handicap score for you. 

As you have reached the end of this post, we hope you might have understood different aspects of the handicap score. In addition, we have also discussed how you can keep the score low and consistent. 

Furthermore, as a beginner, it’s important to improve your game rather than trying to think about lowering the handicap score. With better performance, you can get a better net score. 

You can also become scratch golfers. Happy golfing!

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