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What Is A Good Golf Handicap?: Everything You Need to Know

Updated On August 28, 2023

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photo by Tord Sollie licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

If you’re a golf enthusiast, you’re probably familiar with the term “handicap.” In simple terms, it’s a measure of your golfing ability. A good golf handicap can give you an idea of how well you play the game and how much you’ve improved. But what exactly is considered a good golf handicap? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about golf handicaps and help you understand what a good golf handicap range is.

What Exactly Is a Golf Handicap?

A golf handicap is a measurement of a golfer’s potential ability. It’s based on the average of a player’s best scores, and it is used to level the playing field in competitions between players of different skill levels. The handicap system is designed to allow players to compete with each other on an equal footing despite different skill levels. Essentially, the lower the handicap, the better the golfer.

What Is A Good Golf Handicap?

A good golf handicap is subjective and can vary depending on different factors such as age, gender, golf course difficulty, and skill level. However, generally speaking, a handicap of 10 or below is considered to be a good handicap for men, and a handicap of 20 or below is considered to be good for women. This means that a golfer with a handicap of 10 is better than a golfer with a handicap of 20. Keep in mind that golf handicaps are relative to the golf course being played, and the difficulty of the course can have a significant impact on a golfer’s handicap.

Why Is There a Handicap System?

Without it, lower-skilled or amateur golfers would have little incentive to compete against higher-skilled golfers, as they would have little chance of winning. The handicap system gives all golfers an equal chance of winning by adjusting the number of strokes a player is given based on their skill level and the difficulty of the golf course being played. This system enables golfers of all abilities to play together in competition and is seen as an integral part of the sport.

How Do Men and Women Handicaps Differ?

Handicaps for men and women differ due to physiological differences that affect golf performance. Statistically speaking, women tend to have a slower swing speed and hit the ball shorter distances than men. Therefore, golf courses for women are set up with different tee boxes, with shorter distances between the tee and the hole. The slope and rating factors used to calculate a handicap also differ between men and women. This means that the average handicap for men is usually lower than the average handicap for women, and a good handicap for women would be higher than a good handicap for men.

How Do You Improve Your Handicap?

Improving your golf handicap takes time, dedication, and practice. Whether you’re looking to shave a few strokes off your game or get your handicap down to single digits, here are some tips that can help:

  • Determine which areas need the most improvement
  • Take lessons to improve your swing and technique
  • Practice regularly, both on the course and at the driving range
  • Focus on your short game, including putting and chipping
  • Learn course management techniques, such as club selection and shot placement
  • Play with better golfers to learn from them and challenge yourself
  • Stay in good physical shape to help with the physical demands of the game
  • Keep track of your scores and handicap regularly to monitor your progress

By implementing these tips consistently, you can expect the quality of your game to improve and your handicap to drop over time.


Average golf handicaps vary depending on various factors such as age, gender, and skill level. The average handicap for men is around 14.2, and the average handicap for women is around 26.5. Remember that these numbers vary depending on the course being played and geographic location. Don’t forget that your golf handicap reflects your golfing skill and is used to level the playing field in competition. If you want to improve your golf handicap, it takes time, dedication, and practice in different areas like technique, short game, course management, and physical fitness. With consistent effort, your golf handicap can definitely improve.

About the author 

Bobby Hurst

Bobby Hurst Is the founder of He has been an avid golfer and instructor for over 20 years. He has always been passionate about the sport for as long as he can remember and considers the site as a passion project where he gets to share his love of golf with other avid golfers. He considers golf to be a sport that exercises both the mind and body; which is why you will constantly find him out on the course at least once a week. On his games, he enjoys trying out new techniques, and equipment. You can find his golfing tips, and reviews on some of the best golfing equipment on the site.