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What is the Average Golf Handicap?

The average golf handicap for men is 14.2 and the average handicap for women is 27.5. But I suspect the gap will decrease fast!

Golf is a sport that has been around for centuries, and its popularity has only continued to grow over the years. During the covid-19 pandemic, golf started to bring new players and even returning ones, and since then, the golf scene has exploded! One of the most common ways to measure a golfer’s ability is through their handicap. The handicap system allows golfers of different skill levels to compete on a level playing field, making the sport more accessible to all. In this article, we will be discussing the average golf handicap for men, which is currently 14.2.

What is a Golf Handicap?

A golf handicap is a quantitative measure of a golfer’s ability to play the game. It’s a system that is used to level the playing field by allowing golfers of different skill levels to compete against each other on a fair basis. The handicap system takes into account a golfer’s past scores, the difficulty of the courses they have played, and the relative difficulty of the courses they will be playing in the future.

How is a Golf Handicap Calculated?

A golf handicap is calculated using a formula that takes into account a player’s scores over their most recent rounds of golf. The formula is complex and takes into account a variety of factors, including the difficulty of the courses played, the player’s performance relative to the course’s difficulty, and the number of rounds played. The formula is designed to produce a number that represents the player’s potential to shoot a good score on any given course.

What is the Average Golf Handicap for Men?

The average golf handicap for men is currently 14.2. This means that most men who play golf will shoot on average a score of 86 on a Par 72 course. That’s slightly better than the player using the common term ‘bogey golfer’, which is akin to an 18 handicap golfer who would typically shoot a 90 on a Par 72 course.

What is the Average Golf Handicap for Women?

Currently, the average golf handicap for women is 27.5. This number is significantly higher than the average handicap for men, which is due to a variety of factors such as differences in physical strength, experience and playing time. But women are fast catching up. Women now make up 25% of golfers (per a 2021 report from the National Golf Foundation), up from 19% a decade before. Women also make up roughly 40% of all beginner golfers and this number is surging, so watch out men!

Why is Knowing the Average Golf Handicap Important?

Knowing the average golf handicap can be helpful in a number of ways. For one, it’s an industry-wide gauge to give golfers an idea of where they stand in relation to other golfers. It can also help golfers set realistic goals for their game and track their progress over time. Additionally, knowing the average golf handicap can be helpful for tournament organizers who have to fairly handicap the field for tournaments like match play where some players are given strokes on certain holes.

How Can Golfers Improve Their Handicap?

Improving your golf handicap takes time and practice. One of the best ways to improve is to work on your golf swing and technique with a Class A PGA instructor. Practicing regularly and playing on a variety of courses can help golfers improve their skills on a variety of situations, grass types and course layouts. 

Ever heard of the saying ‘drive for show, putt for dough’? Don’t forget about putting and your short game. One of the best feelings in golf is coming back from a bad drive or approach shot with a spectacular chip or putt. These are the moments that keep us coming back to the course, so don’t forget to leave time before each round to practice on the putting greens.

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V Tongwarin

V Tongwarin

Visanu Tongwarin or “Coach V” is a Class A PGA Teaching Professional at Legacy Ridge Golf Course and Walnut Creek Golf Preserve in Westminster, Colorado. V's brings his passion for teaching the game of golf to all levels of golfers from running children clinics to training state champions and seasoned professionals.