What is a High Handicap in Golf

By Bob Williams

August 4, 2023

Do you ever wonder what makes someone a high-handicap golfer? Well, worry no further because, in this blog post, we are going to dive deep into the world of golf and explore everything there is to know about being a high-handicap golfer.

We will evaluate different techniques and strategies that could help lower your score and explain how the USGA Handicapping System works and its importance for tracking your progress on the course. So if you want to learn more about being a successful high handicapper, then read on!

Defining a High Handicap in Golf

In golf, a handicap measures a player’s ability to score relative to par. A high handicap means a player typically scores worse than par on most holes. But what exactly defines a “high” handicap? The answer depends on various factors such as course difficulty and level of competition.

Generally, a handicap of 20 or above is considered high for men, while a handicap of 30 or above is considered high for women. However, it’s important to keep in mind that a handicap is a tool for establishing fair play, not a measure of skill.

So, whether your handicap is high or low, what really matters is enjoying the game and constantly improving your skills.

Factors That Contribute to a High Handicap

Golf can be an extremely frustrating sport, especially when you find yourself struggling with a high handicap. While many factors can contribute to a high handicap, one of the most common is a lack of practice.

In order to improve your skills and lower your score, it’s important to spend time on the course working on your technique and getting to know your clubs. Another factor that can impact your handicap is playing on courses that are too difficult for your skill level.

While it can be tempting to play on the most challenging courses, it’s important for golfers to find enjoyable and appropriate courses for their skill level. Finally, mental barriers such as anxiety and self-doubt can also contribute to a high handicap. By learning to manage your emotions and stay focused on the game, you can improve your confidence and start seeing better results on the course.

How to Improve Your Handicap

Improving your golf handicap can take time, practice, and patience. One way to do this is to focus on your short game. Practice your putting and chipping skills to improve your accuracy and consistency. You can also work on your swing by taking lessons from a golf pro or practicing drills that target specific areas of your swing.

Another helpful tip is to play with golfers with lower handicaps than you, as this can challenge you to improve your skills. Lastly, consider getting properly fitted for your clubs, as having the right equipment can make a big difference in your game. Dedication and hard work can improve your handicap and become a better golfer.

Tips for Lowering Your Handicap

Golf can be a challenging sport for even the most experienced players. Improving your handicap takes time and dedication, but it’s not insurmountable. You can follow several tips to lower your handicap and play your best game yet.

First, focus on your swing and mechanics – improving your form can make a big difference. Next, practice your short game and putting; these skills are essential to lowering your score. Don’t forget to stay confident and positive, and take breaks when you need to. With these tips and a positive mindset, you’ll lower your handicap and enjoy the game even more.

Effective Ways to Practice Your Golf Game

If you’re serious about improving your golf game, simply hitting the golf course once a week isn’t enough. To truly hone your skills, you need to practice consistently. But just practicing blindly isn’t effective, either. The key is to have a focused practice routine that targets specific areas of your game that need improvement.

Start with the basics, such as grip, stance, and alignment. Then move on to varying your shots, practicing tricky chips and putts, and even role-playing game scenarios. Don’t forget to mix up your practice locations, using a driving range, the golf course, or even your own backyard. Most importantly, make sure to practice with purpose and maintain a positive attitude; this will keep you motivated and on track to becoming a better golfer.

Getting Professional Help for Lowering Your Handicap

If you’re a golfer looking to lower your handicap, seeking professional help can make a huge difference. While it may seem daunting to enlist the aid of a golf pro, remember that they’re there to support you in your improvement journey. With their years of experience and knowledge, they can offer personalized instruction and guidance to help you fine-tune your swing, sharpen your short game, and improve your overall approach to the sport. Don’t let pride or fear hold you back from reaching your full potential on the course. Invest in yourself and your game by seeking out a qualified golf professional, and watch as your skills begin to skyrocket.


In conclusion, a high handicap when playing golf is a frustrating but common occurrence. When thinking of lowering your score and improving your handicap, some things to keep in mind are the various factors that contribute to one’s score, such as shot accuracy, strength, and technique.

Practicing is key to getting familiar with the game and forming more consistent habits to improve scores. Additionally, seeking professional help from experienced golfers can be extremely helpful in improving one’s form and skill. With dedication and commitment, it is possible to lower your handicap and become better at golf. It may take hard work or taking on challenges outside your comfort zone, but it will be worth it when you can boast about an impressive score!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a good handicap for a beginner golfer?

A: Generally, beginners should aim to have an 18-20 handicap. This will vary depending on the course difficulty and individual skill level.

Q: How can I lower my golf handicap?

A: To lower your golf handicap, focus on improving your technique (e.g., grip and stance) and sharpening your short game (e.g., chipping and putting). Additionally, practice regularly with experienced golfers who can give you tips and guidance, get fitted for clubs, stay positive, and be patient with yourself. With dedication and hard work, you can reach your goal of lowering your handicap!

Q: What is the USGA Handicapping System?

A: The USGA Handicapping System is based on the average score of a golfer over several rounds of golf. It’s used to establish fair play and is an important tool for tracking progress on the course. The handicap number represents the number of strokes above or below par that a golfer can expect to achieve in an 18-hole round. A higher handicap means a player typically scores worse than par on most holes, while a lower handicap indicates better performance relative to par.

You might also like