How to play golf: scoring using handicaps

When your golf skills vary from other golfers you may able to use a handicap. In golf, a handicap permits golfers from playing others with varied skills and abilities. It is part of a structured system known as the USGA (United States Golf Association) Handicap System. Players with a handicap may obtain them through approved by associations of local golf affiliations or clubs that are USGA members. Once you have your handicap you can use it during scoring based on the handicap index you have obtained. The following points give a general idea how handicaps are used in scoring.

  • Make sure you are using an approved handicap index when tracking scores. Even if you use a computer program or website it should be approved by the golf organization or club that has USGA credentials.
  • The tees you decide to play should have a slope rating. This will vary from one course to another. Higher ratings may indicate level of difficulty. The score card or local association of golf will also have this information listed.
  • You divide the set of tees rating by 113. Then, you take the result and multiple it by the index according to your handicap. When you get your total it is rounded to the next whole number.
  • The scorecard for the golf course should be compared to the handicap number (the number you got after dividing and multiplying you results in the previous point). You can take away one stroke from each hole with holes labeled 1 through 12. Strokes are subtracted in match play based on an individual’s handicap. Usually, the subtraction occurs on holes that are considered the hardest.
  • Your score is determined from the handicap of the course. In some cases the net score method may not be used but tournaments and events may notify players beforehand if this method is used.

Upon understanding the method the process will be easier to follow. It is important to use an approved index to ensure your scoring comes out accurate. There are sample cards you can view with step by step instruction to help you get an idea of how to play golf using handicaps during scoring. It is common to get certain aspects confused when tallying scores but you can review elements of the scoring system with your USGA-approved golf club or local golf association.