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# How Do You Figure Out Your Golfing Handicap?

By: Monica Dorsey

Break Studios Contributing Writer

Would you like to learn how to figure out your golfing handicap on the way to being a scratch golfer? You can just use a golfing handicap calculator to quickly find your number and hit the green. Or, you can become one with your handicap and wrestle with the nuts and bolts of the calculation. Here are the four simple steps to figure out your golfing handicap.

1. Find out your differential. The final 18-hole score including conceded strokes, unfinished holes, holes not played and penalties is your adjusted gross score. The course rating represents the difficulty of a course in normal conditions and is shown in decimal form. Find the course rating on your scorecard, using the rating number that corresponds to the tees played. Your adjusted gross score minus the course score is the differential.
2. Calculate the adjusted differential. The USGA uses a slope rating to tell how difficult a certain hole or course is compared to the average course or hole at an average golf course. Take the differential and divide it by the slope of the tees you played, then multiply the number by 113.
3. Figure your golfing handicap index. In order to qualify for a handicap, you must have a minimum of 12 adjusted differentials. Of your last 20 adjusted differentials, take the lowest 10. Add them up and multiply the number by 96 percent. Divide the answer by 10 and round to the nearest whole number to find your handicap index.
4. Understand what it means. The handicap index is used to determine the course handicap, or how many strokes they are allowed to take on a particular course. To be a competitive golfer, you need to get your golfing handicap down as close to zero as possible.
5. For an official tournament golfing handicap you must submit, a minimum of 12 full 18 round scores to a club for peer review. The golf club sends those scores to the United States Golf Association to calculate the actual handicap.

Source: USGA Handicap Manual

Posted on: Apr. 16, 2010