Establishing A Handicap Index

I am a strong believer that every golfer should establish a handicap index. It is the benchmark that players can use as a starting point to improve their game. I definitely use it as such, but it is more than that. I helps manage expectations, level the playing field, and establish how many strokes I want to negotiate with players for a side game. I see no downside to having an accurate handicap index and recommend every golfer take the time to establish one.

Establishing a handicap index is not difficult. As a member of Golf Canada, my handicap index is created through their easy to use program. Unfortunately, my home course of Mattawa Golf and Ski Resort are not affiliated with Golf Canada, therefore I cannot enter my scores. This is a limitation of the program, however I understand why this is the case.

The handicap index does provide very important information because it helps manage my expectations when playing a new track. I always want to enjoy any golf outing and understanding the correct tees to play is very important. Having an index helps guide my tee choice. There is nothing worse than playing a new track and having a disappointing round because it was a complete grind or easy peasy. Having an index helps reduce the chances of wasting 4.5 hours on a golf course.

An index helps level the playing field. For some reason net golf events have gone to the wayside for more scrambles. This is a bit disappointing because it higher handicap players are at a disadvantage during scrambles. There are no limitations as to team compositions and as such, four single digit handicappers will clean up in most events. If everyone on your team or in the low teens for a handicap, you are giving up many strokes aside. Hence the playing field is unfair. An established handicap by all players will balance the inequity and give every player a fighting chance to win.

Lastly, setting the stakes for a side game is always fun. There is nothing more frustrating than a player not really telling the truth about their game and then saying that this is the best I have played all year as you hand them your hard earn cash. True handicaps take all that guess work out of the mix. You can still negotiate the stakes, but it will be from a fair assessment of each players abilities.

I outlined just three benefits of establishing a official handicap index. To find out more about the World Handicap System, you can read in detail at Golf Ontario. This year I plan to play more courses that subscribe to Golf Canada and will establish a more realistic handicap index through 2023. I am a member of Golf Canada. I joined through my local golf course at a discount, however you can also join by visiting Golf Canada. There are many benefits other than creating a handicap index, you should check it out.

Having an official handicap index is important and urge you to start today by contacting your local golf course.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!


6 thoughts on “Establishing A Handicap Index

  1. Hi, I’m new to blogging about golf. Just stubbled on your article about golf handicaps. I agree it is important but with the new world handicap system implemented in the UK, there are a lot of fake handicaps running around e.g A player at my club last year was off 6, and not a good 6. He is now plus 1 after submitting general play cards with his friends. He recently played in a competition and he shot 17 over. So, the quest for scratch is not the same anymore. So, its not so much as the handicap for me, its what you shoot if that makes sense. Cheers Rhys

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have one, but except to report it to a couple best ball charity tournaments I’ve never needed it. And I didn’t really need it then. They would just have assigned me one. Likely higher. lol

    My current handicap isn’t official. I use a google docs spreadsheet I copied that was free online. I found it with a google search. It’s accurate. I checked. And I’ve made adjustments that make some things easier like autofilling fields with course names and slopes.

    I know the details behind how a handicap is calculated. And I know that it’s not hard to manipulate without stooping to cheating. Unconsciously that is. Take mine for example. My home course where I play 80-90% of my rounds doesn’t have a slope or rating. And I can’t post my scores here for handicapping purposes without the slope.

    So you don’t want to play me with handicaps. Especially at a course I know fairly well. You’ll be handing me 6-8 strokes easy. Mine simply doesn’t reflect my abilities like it used to when I could post my scores from the home course. It’s all in the details.

    So if you want to play tournament golf I can’t argue, it’s essential, but if tournament golf isn’t your bag like me, it’s not really all that important.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin,

      I agree that a handicap is something that is losing its appeal to many golfers. Because NET events have gone to the wayside, a handicap index is for personal use only. The effort and sometimes cost is not worth it to many amateurs. Personally, I like the handicap system as a way to track my progress throughout the year. This season I am trying an app I found on line in conjunction with my Golf Canada official handicap, we shall see if it helps.

      Cheers Jim


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s