Playing to Your Handicap - The What, How, and Why
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Playing to Your Handicap – The What, How, and Why

You finished your round and scored an 86.  You’re pissed.  You think you should be shooting in the high 70’s and do regularly at other courses so why in the world did you shoot outside of your normal range?  Well, it’s called getting real and learning to use your Handicap Index properly.

This my friends… is called a “Target Score” and here is the what, how, and why it matters.

Whether or not you are a serious golfer it’s important to learn what a target score is so that you can set realistic expectations of your round as well as have a target you want to try and beat.

STEP 1 – Convert your Handicap Index into a Course Handicap.  The simplest way to do that is to CLICK HERE and use the USGA’s calculator.  They have an easy system to look up your course and desired tees (don’t forget to grab the rating for your gender too).  Simple.  Done.

STEP 2 – Take your newly calculated Course Handicap and add it to USGA Course Rating for the course and tees you’re playing.  Where do you find this course rating?  Well, when you’re calculating your Course Handicap from the USGA link provided in step one and are looking for the Slope Rating from their easy course finder system just notate the Course Rating that’s shown in the first column.  Again… easy. Done.

STEP 3 – You’re not done yet.  Expectations need to be set.  So now you have your Target Score but keep in mind that the USGA states you’ll only hit that target 20% of the time.  Set your expectations that you’ll most likely shoot 2-4 strokes above it.

STEP 4 – Take it to the course and try and beat your Target Score!

The Target Score concept is super important because it will give you a realistic expectation of your round and what you should be shooting.  Some courses your Target Score will be much lower and some much higher.  That’s the nature of the different difficulty levels and tee options at each golf course.  So, the next time you play your favorite score find out your target ahead of time and you won’t be disappointed… especially if you beat it!

Playing to Your Handicap - The What, How, and Why

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