# What Is My Golf Handicap? (If I Shoot 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 100, 105, 110, 120)

Want to know your golf handicap? Handicap numbers can be a bit confusing for the average golfer. This post will help you use your golf score to determine a very (un)official handicap.

As a free bonus, you’ll also learn why a handicap system exists in the first place.

No need to thank us, we’re just typing from the outflow of our hearts.

So let’s start with the handicap system itself.

## Why Does the Golf Handicap System Exist?

The simplest explanation goes something like this.

Let’s pretend Billy Bob is a local scratch golfer. He’s good, and he knows it. That means at his local country club (which is a par 72 golf course with an average USGA course rating), Billy Bob will shoot a 72. This is his average score so he essentially has a zero handicap.

Can he play professional golf? Will he qualify for the PGA Tour? No and no, but locally he’s a bit of a legend.

Alright, still with me? Let’s keep pretending.

Joe Schmo enters The Big Fun Golf Tournament at Billy Bob’s country club. Joe is one of many recreational golfers who want to participate in this event. A good golf score for Joe is an 84. He plays golf a few times per month, watches the PGA Tour and has a decent golf game, but there is virtually no chance that he can beat Billy Bob head to head in this tournament.

The handicap system was created for scenarios like this.

Assuming The Big Fun Golf Tournament isn’t a scratch tournament (which would be a tournament with straight scores and no handicap), Joe Schmo gets the benefit of his official handicap (let’s assume its a 12). If he shoots an 84 on tournament day (his typical score), that essentially counts as an 72 (His score of 84 – his handicap of 12=72).

If Billy Bob shoots a 74, he would actually lose the head to head matchup with Joe Schmo (His score of 74 – his handicap of 0=74).

A golfers handicap allows them to compete with players of a more advanced skill level. In these instances, someone with a high handicap stands a chance against a golfer with a single digit handicap. This levels the playing field for official matches and keeps more people engaged in the sport.

## So how do I calculate my handicap?

Thankfully, you don’t have to!

You can use the USGA’s online handicap calculator to get a quick accurate number for a round, but if you’re an American golfer and you want to track a long term handicap, you should register with the United States Golf Association (there will be a small fee).

Once you’re registered, you’ll receive a GHIN number. This will allow you to post scores online so you don’t have to do any math. Just let the computer wizardry do all the work for you!

My 7th grade math teacher is rolling around in his grave right now. This guy was the only teacher in the school who wouldn’t let us use calculators…but I digress.

Thanks to changes implemented in 2020, the World Handicap System takes all sorts of factors into account to determine the most accurate handicap possible. For example, a male golfer gets treated differently than a female golfer. The tees you play from are factored in. Abnormally high and low scores are mitigated, etc.

As of January 1, 2024, you can even get a handicap score when you play par 3 courses.

In other words, it’s a detailed and fair system.

Gemma Hunter, Head of Handicapping and Course Rating with England Golf, goes through and answers virtually every question you could possibly imagine on this topic. Dig in here.

**What Is My Handicap if I Shoot 75?**

**If you shoot a 75, you can say that your handicap is a 3.**

**Important disclaimer:** Golf handicaps are calculated using a fancy formula that takes into account a number of factors (difficultly of the course, what tees you play from, etc.), so calculating a simple number is easier said than done.

In positive news, you’re a single digit handicap and you are approaching scratch golfer territory.

**What Is My Handicap if I Shoot 80?**

**If you shoot a 80, you can say that your handicap is an 8.**

**Important disclaimer:** Golf handicaps are calculated using a fancy formula that takes into account a number of factors (difficultly of the course, what tees you play from, etc.), so calculating a simple number is easier said than done.

An 8 is good golf handicap. Any single digit number is a good handicap. Your rounds fall in the low handicapper territory or the mid handicapper territory, depending on the day.

## What Is My Handicap if I Shoot 85?

**If you shoot a 85, you can say that your handicap is a 13.**

**Important disclaimer:** Golf handicaps are calculated using a fancy formula that takes into account a number of factors (difficultly of the course, what tees you play from, etc.), so calculating a simple number is easier said than done.

A 13 puts you in the category of a mid handicap golfer, which is an average handicap (more golfers fall into this group than any other). The good news: You’re a competent amateur golfer. There’s lots of great golf club and golf ball options designed just for you!

## What Is My Handicap if I Shoot 90?

**If you shoot a 90, you can say that your handicap is an 18.**

**Important disclaimer: **Golf handicaps are calculated using a fancy formula that takes into account a number of factors (difficultly of the course, what tees you play from, etc.), so calculating a simple number is easier said than done.

An 18 is an average golf handicap. There’s some room to improve, but you have some good moments on the course.

## What Is My Handicap if I Shoot 95?

**If you shoot a 95, you can say that your handicap is a 23.**

**Important disclaimer:** Golf handicaps are calculated using a fancy formula that takes into account a number of factors (difficultly of the course, what tees you play from, etc.), so calculating a simple number is easier said than done.

## What Is My Golf Handicap if I Shoot 100?

**If you shoot a 100, you can say that your handicap is a 28.**

**Important disclaimer:** Golf handicaps are calculated using a fancy formula that takes into account a number of factors (difficultly of the course, what tees you play from, etc.), so calculating a simple number is easier said than done.

## What Is My Handicap if I Shoot 105? 110? 115?

Not very good, so don’t worry about terms like handicap index or adjusted gross score.

You can watch the Golf Channel and all that other fun stuff, but it would be wise to invest in some lessons so you can move from beginner golfer to a weekend warrior. Once you know you’re making progress, then you can start to learn the ins and outs of the USGA handicap system.

If you want a more detailed explanation on how to calculate your golf handicap, be sure to watch our video below.

**What is a Course Rating?**

A course rating is the easier of the two ratings to understand since the number is expressed in how many strokes a **scratch golfer** can expect to shoot. A par 72 course with a course rating of 68.5 is easier than a course rating of 74.9.

**What is Course Slope or Slope Rating?**

A course’s slope rating is a bit more complicated. Slope rating (which is a United States Golf Association trademark) measures the difficulty of a course for the bogey golfer (relative to the course rating). A slope rating will range from 55 (very easy) to 155 (very difficult).

**The average slope rating is 113.**

**How Often Should I Adjust My Handicap?**

Your golf handicap is technically being adjusted every time you complete a round. It isn’t a fixed number, so be sure to enter your score every time you play.

**What is the Formula for Calculating a Golf Handicap?**

As I try to emphasize through this post, my subtraction method is a simple and very imperfect way of calculating your golf handicap. The better way looks something like this:

**Pre-2020 Formula**

Handicap Index **Ã—** Slope rating / 113 = Your Course Handicap

**Post-2020 Formula**

Handicap Index **Ã—** (Slope rating/113) + (Course Rating-Par) = Your Course Handicap

This is completely false information. A person who normally shoots 80 is more like a 5 or even a 4. An 8 would shoot more like 82-84 most of the time and sometimes as low as 79 or as high as 86-88…depending upon course, tees, and playing conditions.

It’s not a subtraction formula given that there is slope and course rating (which varies by tees). So, a 15 handicap normally shoots about 90, not 87 (par 72) or 85 (par 70). They can balloon to 95 or go as low as 84-85.

Hey xander,

I appreciate you weighing in, and we don’t really disagree on this. As I emphasize with the subtraction, this is “a simple imperfect method.” I also include the important disclaimer: “Golf handicaps are calculated using a fancy formula that takes into account a number of factors (difficultly of the course, what tees you play from, etc.), so calculating a simple number is easier said than done.”

I’ve included the actual formula at the end of the article for folks who want a truly accurate number.