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evinkc05

whats a good handicap?

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Interesting reading the posts in this thread, goes back a few years. IMO good golf and a good handicap are different things. Personal experience is on my best days, when I play to my handicap or better and when I don't look and feel very different. The dispersion between my best and worst scores in my last 20 is 12 strokes. If I shoot a 77 I play like a sub 5 handicap that day, not a lot of severe misses, get up and down with ease, don't need luck to score well. But struggling to an 85 or whatever feels bad and looks bad. It would be evident I struggled and everything would be off. So with that in mind a good handicap to me is when the quality of your golf doesn't have significant variances day to day. You have to get pretty low to tighten that up.

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I was a 26 at some point but I've been playing a ton the past 3-4 years. This season I now have myself down to 13.4 handicap and I'm very proud of myself. I play public courses almost all the time and after a few holes most guys start demanding I play from their tees so that's quite a compliment.

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I was a 26 at some point but I've been playing a ton the past 3-4 years. This season I now have myself down to 13.4 handicap and I'm very proud of myself. I play public courses almost all the time and after a few holes most guys start demanding I play from their tees so that's quite a compliment.

Really cool. :-)

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Thanks its a great feeling when you improve at something you love so much. I'm definitely addicted to this game. I find myself checking the weather often to see if I can find a sneaky beautiful october day.

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If by accident you are in KC, I will try to make time for a round......Come ready for a challenge because it won't be a picnic.  My home course humbles every golfer...including me.

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Terrifically confusing here when Avatar is not corresponding to reality.  Is that really U, BuckeyeNut?

LOL.  I could say the same thing about you @joekelly .  Come to think of it, same for me.  I would guess that the answer would all be a resounding "NO".

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Hadn't spotted this very old thread before. Interesting read. Obviously "good" is relative. But it surprises me that so many people seem to think that a 15 - 18 handicapper is a good player. Playing off 16 I know without any shadow of a doubt that I am not a good player. I may be better than those who play rarely and don't maintain a proper handicap when playing strict rules, but that's not saying much - I'm better than a one-legged man in an arse-kicking contest, too, but that doesn't make me "good". Good golfers play with the sort of consistency that allows them to make par figures much more often than not. If you can do that, your handicap will be well into single figures.

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Yeah same here when I was playing bogey golf I didn't think it was good. I don't think what I do now is good. Seems like the "better" I get the more critical I am about my game. I don't even golf for fun anymore just chasing a number and trying to play to a certain level.

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A "good" handicap is an honest one. Just play golf and have fun. Try to get better in the process and you will always have a "good" handicap.

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I'm a decent golfer (10.4). My opinion is that a good golfer is someone who plays fast, plays respectful, and honors the rules of the game. I would much rather play with a guy who tries hard, plays fast, and accepts his bad shots than an a guy who acts like a child on his bad shots and doesn't honor the inherent difficulty of the game.

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When I played off 28 I felt I was a duffer and wanted to play off 20; that would have made me a good player.
When I played off 20 I felt I was a duffer and wanted to play off 16; that would have made me a good player.
When I played off 16 I felt I was a duffer and wanted to play off 13; that would have made me a good player.
Now I play off 13 I feel I'm a duffer and I want to play off 10; that will make me... oh wait...

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When I played off 28 I felt I was a duffer and wanted to play off 20; that would have made me a good player.

When I played off 20 I felt I was a duffer and wanted to play off 16; that would have made me a good player.

When I played off 16 I felt I was a duffer and wanted to play off 13; that would have made me a good player.

Now I play off 13 I feel I'm a duffer and I want to play off 10; that will make me... oh wait...


Sounds about right. ;-)

I would say that a good handicap is an accurate handicap. I would also say that a good handicap is one that is trending down instead of up.

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I remember an interview with Jack Nicklaus years ago where he was ask "why do so many professional athletes from other sports are attracted to golf after their professional careers are over?".  Jack's answer was pretty insightful I believe.  Jack said it was because no matter how well you play you can always see a couple of three shots you could have saved on the course and so golf is always a challenge.    In other words you probably never do as well as you think you could have or in the words of Bagger Vance "golf is a game you can't win, you can only play".   So that is the explanation of my answer of "there is no such thing as a good handicap, I should be better and my handicap should be lower". :smartass:

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Sounds about right.

I would say that a good handicap is an accurate handicap. I would also say that a good handicap is one that is trending down instead of up.

Most of the years I have played golf, my handicap has trended downward. I hit a wall a few years ago and my index has bounced around between 7 and 10 since and, when it goes up, I am disappointed. I have to learn to deal with the facts that I am getting older and I don't get to hit the range as much as I would like. I have to realize that I am what I am that particular day and make the best of it. I like it better when I am a "7" that day, but there are worse things I could be doing on the days that I am a "10".

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I'm a decent golfer (10.4). My opinion is that a good golfer is someone who plays fast, plays respectful, and honors the rules of the game. I would much rather play with a guy who tries hard, plays fast, and accepts his bad shots than an a guy who acts like a child on his bad shots and doesn't honor the inherent difficulty of the game.

This is a good way to put it. I'll add that playing casually to this level, 10HC, is my desired goal. Lower is a lot of work and anguish. After shooting a 79 (70 par), I expected to be able to do it again and was seriously disappointed when I couldn't. Now that my expectations are more realistic, I have more fun. Even if I duck hook my drives through an entire round, which I recently did in front of the other first tee dads. :-D

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The USGA says that the average golfer in its system carries about a 15.0 handicap. This translates into an average score of about 90, close to that of a bogey golfer. But "Golf Digest" notes that most golfers don't participate in the USGA system. And because most golfers without handicaps are occasional players who generally shoot higher than 100, the official USGA average score is artificially low.

The good news here is that, for most of us who shoot in the 80's regularly, we would be considered "good" players -as in better than average.  The bad news here is , you guessed it......the game is even more difficult than you may have thought!  LOL

USGA Chart:

The following chart shows how your Handicap Index stacks up against the rest of the country:

Handicap Index Percent of Total Cumulative
+1.0 or better +0.92% +0.92%
+0.9 to 0.0 0.68% 1.60%
0.1 to 1.0 0.95% 2.55%
1.1 to 1.9 1.26% 3.81%
2.0 to 2.9 1.62% 5.43%
3.0 to 3.9 2.07% 7.51%
4.0 to 4.9 2.60% 10.11%
5.0 to 5.9 3.20% 13.30%
6.0 to 6.9 3.77% 17.07%
7.0 to 7.9 4.35% 21.42%
8.0 to 8.9 4.76% 26.18%
9.0 to 9.9 5.13% 31.31%
10.0 to 10.9 5.43% 36.74%
11.0 to 11.9 5.66% 42.40%
12.0 to 12.9 5.72% 48.12%
13.0 to 13.9 5.69% 53.82%
14.0 to 14.9 5.47% 59.28%
15.0 to 15.9 5.10% 64.38%
16.0 to 16.9 4.69% 69.07%
17.0 to 17.9 4.33% 73.40%
18.0 to 18.9 3.78% 77.17%
19.0 to 19.9 3.34% 80.51%
20.0 to 20.9 2.96% 83.47%
21.0 to 21.9 2.62% 86.10%
22.0 to 22.9 2.30% 88.40%
23.0 to 23.9 1.98% 90.38%
24.0 to 24.9 1.68% 92.06%
25.0 to 25.9 1.43% 93.50%
26.0 to 26.9 1.19% 94.69%
27.0 to 27.9 1.00% 95.69%
28.0 to 28.9 0.82% 96.52%
29.0 to 29.9 0.68% 97.19%
30.0 to 30.9 0.54% 97.74%
31.0 to 31.9 0.45% 98.19%
32.0 to 32.9 0.36% 98.55%
33.0 to 33.9 0.29% 98.84%
34.0 to 34.9 0.24% 99.08%
35.0 to 36.4 0.92% 100.00%

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As an 18 I am in the lowest quartile of handicapped golfers and when asked if I am a good golfer my answer is always "no".  The USGA table is a good indicator of the handicaps for most serious golfers.  When you add in the other 80% of golfers compared to that group I am better than average.  But that includes golfer that play a handful of times/year and really are not concerned about golf. At the same time I can play well enough to keep  up with most golfers (from my proper tees) without looking like I do not belong on the course.

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Note: This thread is 1551 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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