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whats a good handicap?

post #1 of 207
Thread Starter 
I am curious as to what handicap is considered a good handicap, as I have heard 10 handicappers call themselves duffers or hackers, so Im just interested in people's opinions as to where that line is that a golfer becomes "good" in your eyes. Thanks.
post #2 of 207

Re: whats a good handicap?

If you compare a player with hcp 10 and one with 20. The 10 is not twice as good as the 20 hcp'r, he's better.
And the lower handicap you get, you realize how hard it is to get a lower score.

So, the 20 hcp'r thinks that someone with 10 is a good golfer, and the golfer with 10 thinks that someone with 5 is a good golfer and so on. This automatically always puts yourself in the hacker/duffer slot.

My opinion on a good golfer is a scratch player.
post #3 of 207

Re: whats a good handicap?

I think anyone below 18 is good in general standard. I think from research there are more than 70% of golf population who can't break 100 in their life time if I remember correctly. Only a minor % of the population are single handicaps. (I think it was less than 10% of the world golf population)

Handicap 18 vs handicap 0 is usually one putt difference or one club shot difference in 18 hole round so basically you won't be delayed or annoyed with someone at handicap 18 even if you play single handicap.
post #4 of 207

Re: whats a good handicap?

I'd say a good golfer is anyone who can hit to an 18 hdcp. Bogey golf is good. A scratch golfer wouldn't be considered "good" in my opinion, they are at another level altogether.
post #5 of 207

Re: whats a good handicap?

I agree - if you can average out bogey golf you are a decent player.
post #6 of 207

Re: whats a good handicap?

My opinion would be that your index would need to be in the upper half of the average to be "good".
For men an index of 14 or below would put you in the upper half.
http://www.usga.org/playing/handicap..._handicap.html
For women an index of 27 or below is the upper half.
http://www.usga.org/playing/handicap..._handicap.html
post #7 of 207

Re: whats a good handicap?

I'll agree with the others and say if you're a bogey or better golfer, then that's at least a 'decent' handicap (usually around 18 or so). That usually means you're hitting a lot of good shots and can play at a decent pace on almost all courses. As for a 'good' handicap, I would think somewhere around 12/13 or lower because that means you're making several pars, occasional birdies and a few bogeys or blowup holes (we all have them).

But it's all relative. On most courses if someone can consistently shoot under 100 I don't think they are a bad player. If they consistently shoot in 90's I think they are 'decent'. In 80's I consider them good. 70's and under I consider to be 'very good/great'.
post #8 of 207

Re: whats a good handicap?

I dunno..I tend to think im a good player. But i watch tour guys, or the + handicaps i see at some of the ametuer tournments i play in and just think im a wannabe hack.. I guess its all reletive as others have said.

Forgetting about the handicap - if youre confident enough in your own game to play for money or challenge someone to a match then it means youre probaly a decent player. Thats the general barometer i use.
post #9 of 207

Re: whats a good handicap?

At the moment 27 would good for me personally,but my goal is to play bogey golf I certainly think that that's attainable,and I would consider that good golf,as you would need to be skilled in all areas of the game to shoot 90 as an average.
post #10 of 207

Re: whats a good handicap?

"Good" is relative.

A tour pro doesn't consider me to be a very good golfer. A 18 handicap does......and a 30 handicap likely considers a bogey golfer pretty darn good.

The neat thing about this game is that we can either play against ourselves, the course, or others of similar abilities........and that's all good!
post #11 of 207

Re: whats a good handicap?

Originally Posted by DavidFehertysBike View Post

I dunno..I tend to think im a good player. But i watch tour guys, or the + handicaps i see at some of the ametuer tournments i play in and just think im a wannabe hack
Boy howdy, isn't that the truth?! Until you've played with some guys that carry + handicaps, you just don't realize what that means! Very humbling.....and will make you re-evaluate what it really means to be "good"!
post #12 of 207

Re: whats a good handicap?

Originally Posted by RemyM View Post
My opinion would be that your index would need to be in the upper half of the average to be "good".
For men an index of 14 or below would put you in the upper half.
http://www.usga.org/playing/handicap..._handicap.html
For women an index of 27 or below is the upper half.
http://www.usga.org/playing/handicap..._handicap.html
The one misleading part about all those stats is that it only includes golfers that have an established handicap; it doesn't include people that play but don't submit scores or simply don't play enough ot establish a handicap.

As for the main subject, I think that a "good" golfer is between a 10-15 handicap. That being said, I think being "good" has just as much to do with consistancy; I'd consider a consistant 15 to be better than an erratic 10.

A "great" golfer is someone in the low-to-mid single digits (ie. 3-6).

Anyone below that needs to get back to work.
post #13 of 207

Re: whats a good handicap?

my opinion:
me= hacker
if you shoot in the low 90's=pretty good
mid-low 80's= good
70's= very good
scratch= great.
post #14 of 207

Re: whats a good handicap?

Originally Posted by evinkc05 View Post
I am curious as to what handicap is considered a good handicap, as I have heard 10 handicappers call themselves duffers or hackers, so Im just interested in people's opinions as to where that line is that a golfer becomes "good" in your eyes. Thanks.

Most people will say that "single digits" is very good, and between scratch and 4 is excellent. In many State tournaments, you must have a handicap of 2 or less just to enter.
post #15 of 207

Re: whats a good handicap?

Good to me is just better than I am, so it's relative. However, I think the golfing community as a whole feels like single digits is a really big milestone. If you do that, I would say you're considered good by the vast majority of players.
post #16 of 207

Re: whats a good handicap?

Reportedly 90% of golfers can't break 100 on a regular basis (playing by the rules), so if anyone reaches an honest single digit handicap they must be pretty darn good in the big picture. That probably takes into account millions of people play a few times a year and seldom, if ever, practice.

I have played with many golfers who lose balls, hit OB and drop another ball incorrectly, swing and miss, give themselves 4 ft. putts and so on, and then think they shot an 85 because their egos won't let them be honest about it. I played with a guy once who thought he "played pretty good". I kept track and he lost more than 15 balls. The first time I played with him he said he had shot a 50 on the front 9. I had counted every penalty he was due and every missed putt and he actually had something over a 70 on the front nine.

As for a "good handicap", the best measure is how good do you need to be to enjoy the game. To me that number is around 10-11. When I got down to a 10 or so, I had some control over my swing and occasionally shot in the low 80s, or maybe now and then a 78 or 79.


SubPar
post #17 of 207

Re: whats a good handicap?

I think anyone under a 6 or 7 handicap is good. Anyone can play golf on and off for a couple years and manage to become a 10. It takes alot of effort to get down to a 7, and anyone who has achieved that goal should be considered good.
post #18 of 207

Re: whats a good handicap?

Originally Posted by msd3075 View Post
A "great" golfer is someone in the low-to-mid single digits (ie. 3-6).

Anyone below that needs to get back to work.
Haha...

One of my favorite things to ask playing partners and competitors after a good shot is "don't you work anymore?"

As to the OP, I have to only slightly disagree with others that 18 is a "good" handicap. I see 18 as a reasonable golf for the serious, athletically inclined golfer. I would judge "good" to be better than that, a 15 and lower, say. That said, I'll be happy if I can reach and maintain an 18 in my lifetime.
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