What is a mid handicap golfer?

A mid handicapper is a golfer who shoots anywhere from the low 80s to the low 90s (on a par 72 course). There are obviously sub-categories within this category, but that’s the simplest way of answering the question.

But let’s dig deeper.

As you may already know, the mid handicap label describes the largest number of male golfers. In fact, the United States Golf Association handicap index shows that close to 45% of male golfers fall into this category.

Why does that matter, you ask?

If there’s any global golf group that manufacturers want to build equipment for, this is the group. Since the largest number of golfers fall into this category, there are mid handicap irons and other equipment tailored to the mid handicap player. I’ll give some recommendations of my own a bit later.

Best Irons for a Mid Handicapper
Callaway Apex Iron Set
$1,200.00
  • Includes 5 iron through pitching wedge
  • Designed with artificial intelligence
  • Creates high balls speeds
  • Tungsten energy core

If you need even more forgiveness, check out the Apex DCB Irons.

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01/25/2022 12:53 pm GMT

So what’s the point of handicaps?

The handicapping system pretty much evolved out of principles of fair play and ‘gentlemanly conduct.’

Since 1850, golf has used a ‘handicap’ system to equalize, for instance, people who would typically complete a hole in 5 strokes competing directly against people who would take 9 shots to achieve the same result.

In other words, mid handicaps would almost never defeat a scratch golfer without a bit of help. Likewise, a high handicapper wouldn’t stand much of a chance against a low handicapper unless the playing field was somewhat level.

This idea isn’t unique to golf.

Bowling offers handicap leagues, tournaments, etc.

I’ve won bowling games because of my handicap. I’ve also lost a few because a high handicapper decided they wanted to bowl a 210. It is what it is.

Other sports have leagues that group teams of similar ability together to ensure interesting match-ups. An NCAA Division I basketball team would, in most circumstances, defeat an NCAA Division III basketball team. That’s why they don’t play each other.

In one-on-one sports like boxing or wrestling, there are competitions divided by weight classes. You rarely see a fight between a heavyweight and a super lightweight (for obvious reasons).

Similarly, the golf handicap system evolved to achieve a kind of parity, allowing players of all skill levels to compete with a scratch golfer.

If you’re new to golf handicapping, t’s important to recognize that your handicap isn’t a fixed value. With practice, a mid handicapper has the chance to develop a low handicap and a lower handicapper’s performance can devolve over time, pushing them back into the mid handicap range.

When you start playing golf, you don’t immediately have a handicap, because there’s insufficient data to calculate one. Once you’ve submitted 3 scores for 18 holes on a course, you can begin calculating a real handicap.

For instance, pretend you averaged 6 shots over par on an 18 hole course. Then, let’s pretend you played three rounds on the same course with the same result. You’d have a handicap of 6 for that course.

If you played three more rounds and averaged 4 shots over par, you would begin to lower your handicap. Make sense?

Using a system of handicaps allows players of vastly different skill levels to compete against each other.

A Mid Handicapper Example

Imagine you and a friend are playing 18 holes on a course with an overall par of 72. You have a handicap of 12, your friend has a handicap of 10. That makes both of you mid handicappers.

With these values in mind, here’s what you need to know:

  • You are expected to finish the course with an 84.
  • Your friend is expected to shoot an 82.
  • There is a two stroke difference in your handicaps.

If you both shot an 84, you’d be the winner. With your handicap factored in, you shot par. Your loser friend on the other hand, he or she was 2 over par (again, if you were utilizing handicap scores).

If you continue to beat this friend, their handicap would eventually be adjusted to better match the scores they are shooting on the course.

World Golf Handicap Changes

In 2018, there were 6 different handicapping systems in use for golfers around the world. The World Handicap System (WHS) sought to change that with a revamped system in 2020.

The goal of this system is to become the universal system that allows players for every part of the world to compete with accurate handicaps.

This isn’t the most exciting stuff in the world, but standardizing the system is a necessity.

The Golf Channel has a good write-up on the WHS. Check it out.

So what is a mid handicapper?

If you’re not sure, it’s safe to say that you’re a mid or high handicapper. Generally speaking, a mid handicapper is a golfer with a handicap that ranges from from 11 to 20. In other words, on a par 72 course, scores typically fall between an 80 (good day) to a 94 (bad day).

Equipment Recommendations for a Mid Handicap Golfer

When it comes to golf, it’s OK to be in the middle of the performance pack. There’s tons of gear designed specifically for you and there’s still room for you to grow your game.

As you continue to play and move toward that ever-elusive low handicap goal, here are a few equipment recommendations, starting with golf balls (hint: you don’t need to play with a Pro V1).

Best Golf Ball Options

Titleist Tour Soft Golf Balls
$34.97
Buy Now
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01/25/2022 02:13 pm GMT
Srixon Soft Feel
$22.99
Buy Now
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01/25/2022 12:48 pm GMT

Best Mid Handicap Irons

Believe it or not, finding the right game improvement iron can make a huge difference. Improved ball flight and distance with your long irons can lower that handicap in no time.

My recommendation is to visit a club fitter who will hook you up to a golf simulator and gather some real metrics (swing speed, ball speed, etc.). However, if you don’t have the time or energy to do that, here’s my pick for the best golf irons currently on the market (for non-pros).

Best Irons for a Mid Handicapper
Callaway Apex Iron Set
$1,200.00
  • Includes 5 iron through pitching wedge
  • Designed with artificial intelligence
  • Creates high balls speeds
  • Tungsten energy core

If you need even more forgiveness, check out the Apex DCB Irons.

See on Amazon See at Callaway
We may earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase.
01/25/2022 12:53 pm GMT

If you fall closer to the high handicapper category (or you move in and out of that range), you should focus on finding the most forgiving irons.

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