How to Calculate a Golf Handicap

You can easily calculate your handicap with some simple math.

Calculating a golf handicap is essentially a means of determining how the score of a more experienced golfer compares to a new golfer. This calculation is done so that a group of golfers with different abilities can compete equally when playing a round of golf. Not only does it help a new player’s confidence, it also makes the round more interesting for everyone.

Items you will need:

  • Previous scores and scorecards
  • Calculator (optional)

Step 1
Collect scorecards from five previous rounds of golf. Make sure they include slope and rating information.

Step 2
Work with one scorecard at a time. Subtract the course rating from the score.

Step 3
Multiply the total from the previous step by 113.

Step 4
Divide the result from the previous step by the slope number of the course. The result is known as the differential.

Step 5
Repeat Steps 2–4 for the other four scorecards. When finished, select the lowest differential and multiply it by .96. The resulting number is your handicap.

Warning: Different golf governing bodies might have other rules regarding how to calculate a handicap.

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One thought on “How to Calculate a Golf Handicap”

  1. How do you maintain a handicap? I can see how your handicap could go down, but not how it could ever go up if you pick up after your maximum shots on each hole.