How to Determine Handicap Strokes In Golf?

There is a popular question that you would be often asked in the golf community.

The question, “What are your handicap stokes?” is an inquiry that often incites boasting, showing off and at times, embarrassed answers. So when you finally find a new guy to play a match with you at the local golf course, don’t be so surprised when he or she wants to gauge their handicap. And on occasions where you forget how to calculate handicap stokes, we have you covered in this article.

Learning how to determine your handicap stokes could seem more complicated than knowing the rules to calculate your handicap golf. Let us talk about handicap score first, to make things easier.

Handicap Score

The handicap differential is calculated as (Score – Course Rating) x 113 / Slope Rating

The first step towards finding your handicap is generally collecting a range of 5-20 rounds of data from some of your most recent performances. Then, find the golf course rating and the slope of the course you are playing on. The reason to involve slope and course rating is to gauge the difficulty factor while you play. For example, Leslie played 195 strokes over 15 holes, but he played a more difficult course than Zack.

There has to be a way to make the handicap score accurate after taking into consideration the difficulty of the game. A handicap score gives you an accurate idea of how skilled the player is because they all are differently trained and conditioned. What may put one player to an advantage could be the downfall for another. The only way to know your game well is to read about it. For example, if you are a high handed player, read about the best wedges for high handicap golfers available out there.

Stroke Play

Stroke play is a round of golf where the stokes made over several rounds of golf at the golf course are added together to get a cumulative score. At the end of the round, the player’s handicap is subtracted from the cumulative stroke play score to result in a nett score.

For example:

Strokes Taken 95
Handicap 15
Nett Score 95-16 = 80

Stroke play is most commonly used in tournaments and professional games, where all players are given a default handicap of 0 to be regarded as equals. For tournament players, the lowest score takes the prize, which is determined over usually the cumulative score of more than four rounds. In case there is a tie, there is a play-off with a predetermined number of holes, or till one player beats the others score on any particular hole.

Inside golf clubs, stroke play is used for medal competitions. The only difference is that the players get to include their handicap to calculate their nett score.


What are the Benefits of Stroke Play?

Stroke play is the most popular method used to score golfers. Almost all the players calculate their total scores during each round. It also helps that the handicap score is taken into consideration. This helps even out the game for players with different abilities to play against each other without worrying about the fairness of the scoring system. This trait is a very unique advantage found only in golf.

But it has a drawback too. If you play one bad hole, your scores could be ruined. If there is a play off with an 18 handicap, which would give you a stroke per hole, and you take 10 strokes on a par four (six over par), then you will have to play the rest of the 17 holes with just 12 strokes in your handicap.

Handicaps stokes are not only a way of equalizing the field, they also help when international players play on new terrain. We hope that you can now understand the concept of handicap stokes and stroke play scoring easier with the help of this article.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *