By keeping some basic guidelines in mind, you can learn how to handicap golf. Handicapping golf is a process by which the difficulty of a course is equalized for players of different skill level. Make sure to obtain the proper handicap in order to be an effective player.
- Obtain your USGA handicap index score for the course on which you are playing. This determines how many shots over par you typically take an a course rated as being of average difficulty. Be aware that each hole on the golf course will be rated between one and eighteen, with one being the most difficult hole and eighteen the easiest. Likewise, your handicap will indicate your skill level–if you are given a fifteen handicap and your opponent an twelve, he is expected to shoot three strokes better than you.
- Communicate with your opponent about your handicap level. In the example given, your opponent should allow you three extra strokes to be at the same point that he is. If it takes him three strokes to complete the hole and you six strokes, you are still even.
- Break the number of handicap strokes up appropriately according to the golf course. In the example given, you will receive only three strokes more than your opponent over the entire eighteen holes, so it is essential that you save the extra shots for the most difficult holes. Using the extra shots when they aren't needed will be of no use to you in the long run.