First Time Fridays – What You Need To Know About Handicaps

First Time Fridays is a new summer video series for beginners to get the inside scoop about how to look and feel like a golfer.

First Time Fridays has reached its final video tip for the summer… thank you for reading and watching along! This summer series has been brought to you by Kathryn Newton, Golf Digest and Morton Golf. Golf is an intimidating sport so we wanted to make it easier for you to feel comfortable from the get-go, we hope that’s how you feel! In our final summer tip, you will learn about What You Need To Know About Handicaps.

Have you ever been asked, “What’s your handicap?” and have no idea what the person is talking about? Don’t fret, as a beginner or someone who play irregularly, you don’t have one. But you can get one, if you want. A handicap depends on the players’ ability and is essentially the amount of “free strokes” you are given when playing golf. This is a way to compete fairly against all levels of players. You are given a handicap when you have recorded enough rounds of golf and a mathematical formula creates your handicap number. This number is typically the average number of strokes you are above par. If you have a low handicap, you are probably a pretty good player.

In tournaments, say you have a handicap of 25 and are playing against a person who has a 10 handicap. You would be given 15 “free strokes” during your round together (the difference between your handicaps). These strokes are awarded on different holes, so to ease confusion, talk to your golf professional about how to know which hole you’ll get a stroke on.

Again, a handicap is not necessary if you are just starting out. But if you are interested in someday playing in a tournament or playing as a guest with your friend at their club championship, start tracking your rounds.

And Kathryn’s final tip for beginners? If you are just out there and having fun playing and it’s taking you 8 or 9 strokes to hole out, just pick up after 7 strokes. It will help the pace of play and the golfers behind you will be happy. It will also keep you from getting discouraged and hitting more and more shots.

Thank you for following the First Time Fridays blog this summer, check back for more tips next summer!

Leave a Reply