# What is a handicap in golf?

I have looked this up in Wikipedia and it doesn't make sense to me.

My friend says he is trying to get down to a single digit handicap and I heard Trump claim that his is a 4.

Can someone explain this concept in layman's terms to a total idiot like me?

### 5 Answers

- Coffee DrinkerLv 75 months agoFavorite Answer
Its a way of rating a player's skill, where a lower handicap indicated a better player.

The simple (probably over-simplified) way to understand this is that a player will typically be over par by their handicap rating. So for example a player with a handicap of 10 would expect to score about 82 when they play a full 18 hole round on an average difficulty par 72 course.

A single digit handicap is very good, many recreational players would love to be that good.

To properly calculate a handicap you have to adjust your scores based on the slope rating of the course - which is basically the difficulty rating for that course. This way you don't skew your handicap by playing really easy or really hard courses.

You can also use the slope rating of a course to adjust your target score for that course.

- 5 months ago
Basically it's the difference between your average score and par. The difficulty of the course you normally pay could affect it.

- 5 months ago
Technically, it's called a handicap index and in theory, it allows two players of uneven ability to play a match. The lower the index, the better the player. The index is taken based on your scores (your 18-hole score) but factors in the difficulty of the course when making a calculation (in other words, an 18 hole score of 85 on a muni course is different than an 85 at a course like Pebble Beach which is far more difficult). Courses have a rating (what a scratch golfer; i.e. one who has a 0 handicap index) would be expected to shoot and a slope (which is degree of difficulty- if you follow skateboarding or snowboarding, think how a 720 or a 1080 is harder to do than a 180 or a 360). It's calculated by taking the 10 best score of his most recent 20 rounds based on raw score and the course's rating/slope.

Your friend is trying to get his index below 10.0 (indices always have a decimal point) to a 9.9 or lower.

- Anonymous5 months ago
Suppose that a golf course is meant to be played in 72 strokes, by very good players.

But you are not a professional player, and in such a course, you are expecting to complete using 80 strokes. The difference between 72 and 80 is the handicap, in that case, that would be 8.

With the handicap, the player with a 8 handicap could play against a better player with, say, a handicap of 4. This means that the player with a 8 handicap who plays the round in 79 strokes would win against a player with a 4 handicap who plays the same course in 76.

As for Trump claimed 4 handicap, that is one more lie from Trump. Trump is a known cheater.

Hey, John F the ignorant:

From wikipedii:

A USGA handicap is calculated with a specific arithmetic formula that approximates how many strokes above or below par a player might be able to play, based on the ten best scores of their last twenty rounds.

Notice the presence of the word "par"?

How do you sound, talking through your hat?

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- MarkLv 75 months ago
Golf has kind of a weird scoring system. The LOWER you score, the better game you played.

Handicap has nothing to do with par.