Having joined Pleasington Golf course recently I have had the chance to get my very first golf handicap. And, today it came through and I am playing off 17!
For those not aware golf uses a system of handicapping to allows more capable players to play against less able players on a level playing field.
A golfer counts up the number of shots they take for each hole and then adds the total together to give their gross score. Then they would deduct any handicap they play off from this score to give their net score. It is this net score that counts as the score for a competition for example.
Therefore if a golfer (golfer A) with a handicap of 10 goes round in a gross score of 80, their net score would be 70. If they are competing against a golfer (golfer B) with a handicap of 20 and they go round in 85, their net score would be 65. Therefore in this case golfer B would win the match.
If I am playing in match play, where golfers compete for each hole rather than the total shots on each hole, my handicap gives me 1 shot on each hole except for the easiest hole (the hole with a stroke index of 18). At Pleasington this is the 16th hole, a shortish par 3.
Why do you need a handicap?
To play in any competition a golfer needs a handicap as well as some courses only allowing golfers with certain handicaps to play the course. This is because the handicap is a kind of ability measure for golfers. Those with lower handicaps will be better golfers than those with a higher handicap.