For me or not for me … that is the question!
Establish a handicap?That’s a point to ponder as we start the season.Many recreational golfers never do; others find it an elemental part of the game.
What is a golf handicap index?
The USGA Handicap System enables golfers of all skill levels to compete on an equitable basis.Read more from the experts – USGA Handicap Manual and GAM’s Handicapping For Dummies – Back to Basics.
WHEN to consider establishing a handicap
If you are just learning golf and spend most of your time taking lessons or practicing, it’s probably too early for a handicap.If you’re playing 9 or 18-hole rounds, you’re ready.
WHY establish a handicap
- Competition – Handicaps are required to play in officially sanctioned tournaments.
- Leagues & Events – Handicaps accurately measure skill and enable players of all levels to compete against each other.That’s fun and fair for everyone, whether it’s league play, a special event such as an invitational, or a round with friends. Sometimes non-beginner leagues and special events require handicaps.
- Incentive to practice and improve – Is there any better reward than watching your handicap index drop?Set a target number and see if you can get to it.
Establishing a handicap index is not difficult
- Ask your club or public course if they provide handicapping services.Very likely, they are a Golf Association of Michigan member club, and you can join. There will be a small fee. Miles of Golfis a GAM member club.
- Submit a minimum of five 18-hole rounds to establish a handicap.
- Keep submitting your 9- and 18-hole scores.
- As a GAM member, you can enter your scores on the GAM web site.You’ll receive a monthly email with your current handicap index.
A GAM membership offers you other benefits too!
- Swing & Save at golf courses around the state
- Exclusive Tee Times at private clubs
- Michigan Links Course Directory
- GAM competitions
- 1 Year subscription to Golf Digest Magazine
- And more!
A handicap index does NOT describe your AVERAGE golf score!
It’s all about potential, and it’s based on your average number of strokes over par on a good day.Really, a golfer plays to her handicap in only one out of four rounds.
There’s lots to learn about the golf handicap index. Establishing one for yourself is a good way to start.