Establishing a USGA Handicap is a necessity for all golfers trying to take one of the “next steps” in improving their game. By creating a handicap, you open yourself to more ways to better your game. Whether it’s through competitive amateur play like IGA and USGA tournaments, or through local events like our Men’s Club League, Outback League, or other club tournaments we have set up throughout the year. When playing in these events the chances are you will play alongside some better players and some worse players. The best way to create a fun and competitive environment in these cases are through the use of Handicaps. It evens all players regardless of experience and also makes the game more enjoyable by allowing you to now compete with everyone!
“The golf handicap system is a must if you are trying to improve your golf game. If you have a golf handicap, it gives you the ability to play in local tournaments against golfers with better abilities. Any golf course worth its salt will offer you the chance to get a golf handicap. Your golf handicap is a true barometer on your golfing abilities, as long as you accurately post your scores.
The golf handicap system is a complex formula of your average score, along with the difficulty of the course you are playing, along with a few other bells and whistles that only the USGA can figure out. Every golf course has a course handicap, which determines the number of strokes needed to play that course to the level of a scratch golfer.
What all this means to you, is that it helps give you a true indication of your golf ability. If you wanted to play a match against a scratch golfer, which is someone with a zero handicap, if you have a 7 handicap, you would receive 7 strokes, one for each of the first 7 most difficult holes on the course. It’s like he’s spotting you a 7 stroke lead, or a 7 hole lead in match play.
Considering that golf is supposed to be a gentlemen’s game, it is very important to post legitimate scores. There also are restrictions on how many strokes you can take on any given hole. As an example, if you have less than a 10 handicap, you cannot turn in a score card that has any score over double bogey. That is to try and keep sandbaggers from inflating their handicap so they can get more strokes when playing in golf tournaments.
Once you post enough scores and you have established your golf handicap, you will see how hard it is to get a low handicap. It takes more than one round of golf for your handicap to move in either direction. It takes at least 2 or 3 rounds to actually make your handicap move, so you don’t have to worry if you have a bad day on the course. If you go in to a slump and can’t seem to fix what’s wrong with your game, your golf handicap will suffer.
Sandbaggers aside, the golf handicap system is a great way to measure yourself against other golfers. Once you are in the system, you can log in on the internet, and see posted scores for anyone that has a handicap.”
-Dan Palmeyer, Golfpipeline.com
There is an annual fee by the IGA of $35 dollars a year for a valid Handicap.
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