Category Archives: golf tournaments

How does a golf handicap actually work – part three?

Sawgrass17

“The game of golf has a way of embarrassing you until you feel inadequate.” – Ben Crenshaw

By Ian Hardie

In the article How does a golf handicap actually work – part two? I took a look at two of the main components that go towards producing a golfer’s handicap index – which were the course rating and that mythical creature (at least in terms of generating a golf handicap) known as the ‘scratch golfer’.

Now, before you start to say “scratch golfers aren’t made up, I know one or I’ve been one”.

Let me explain that a little further because when it comes to golf handicapping the ‘scratch golfer’ isn’t the same one that you are thinking about – most commonly defined as ‘a golfer whose average score for a round of golf is par or better’ – giving them a handicap around zero (which is colloquially known as ‘scratch’ in golfing circles).

For golf handicapping a ‘scratch golfer’ is defined as the following:

‘A male scratch golfer can hit his tee shots an average of 250 yards and is able to reach a 470 yard hole in two shots whereas a female scratch golfer can hit her tee shots an average of 210 yards and is able to reach a 400-yard hole in two shots’

Not only that but they also hit every fairway, missing every hazard, then hit every green perfectly in regulation before going on to always two putt each green – which is how you get course ratings that are below the par of the course.

These scratch golfers sound a little far-fetched don’t they? Continue reading How does a golf handicap actually work – part three?