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KrisF

How Do Handicaps Work and How Do I Get an Official One?

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Well in the UK , I guess its the same in the US you first have to join a club to get an official handicap . You then put in some scorecards ,normally 3 , and the club 'estimates ' your playing handicap .

It then goes up or down depending on your scores in competitions . 

Its quite easy to give yourself a handicap if you don't want to join a club and play in official competitions . Just lower it or raise it a shot  if you shoot outside  -2 and +4 . That should give you a fair handicap when playing casual golf . 

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4 hours ago, KrisF said:

I dont understand how they work.

Do you need one?

If you want to be taken seriously on the golfcourse, yes.

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9 hours ago, KrisF said:

I dont understand how they work.

Do you need one?

I posted a message to you in another thread on how you do it in Texas. Best, -Marv

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Applying a slope and rating to each round to get it's index will tell you if you are improving. Here is an example from my own 9 hole scores to show you how handicaps work. Community Dales course is much easier than Kittyhawk since it is much shorter. Note that the slope and rating are much lower. Shooting a 38 on that course is equivalent to a 43 on the Kittyhawk Eagle course. At the same time, a 43 on the Hawk course back nine was better since it is more difficult (higher slope and rating). Without this, I would feel really good about my 38, but really, the 43 that I shot on the Back of the Hawk on 7/8 was my best 9 hole round.

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10 hours ago, KrisF said:

Do you need one?

Not everyone needs a handicap.
People who are just beginning, social golfers in leagues, occasional golfers are a few categories of those when it would not be necessary.

Players who do need a handicap would be those who play in competitions.
Some players may not have an official handicap, but track their scores on their own when playing with friends.

10 hours ago, KrisF said:

I dont understand how they work.

When players with handicaps compete in events or simply a game with friends, they use handicaps to determine the specific group / flight of players. When just playing with friends, each player obtains their strokes for casual games when $$ or :beer: are a wager.
It's a means to determine a level of fair competitions. 

If asking "How does the Handicap System works" - it's a system the USGA uses to determine a Players Potential.
Players enter their scores into the handicap system / service and the scores / records of rounds are calculated / updated on the first and 15th day of every month.

There are other details / specifics which determine the calculations, a golf course slope/rating. 
The calculations use the latest 10 best scores of a player latest 20 rounds played.

Some players may play only a few rounds per month, while other play often each month.
Therefore those who play less their handicap usually does not change very much until their scores reflect a better or worse score history. 
 

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