If you are a golf club member then you most likely have a handicap which is calculated for you by the World Handicap System (WHS).
The actual calculations aren’t particularly difficult, just a little repetitive.
Scroll down for a simple golf handicap calculator to work out your handicap using the WHS rules in case you aren’t a club member or want to double-check!
In order to work out a handicap you will need to enter at least 3 18-hole or 6 9-hole scores or a combination of that add up to 54-holes.
The course rating and slope should be printed on the scorecard of the course you played. If you are entering 9-hole scores then make sure to use the correct course rating and slope for the front or back nine as applicable.
You should enter either an 18 or a 9-hole score on each line.
The playing condition adjustment may have been calculated if you played in an organized competition. If so it will be a whole number between -1 and 3. This is to allow for days when the weather is bad or the course has been set up particularly hard.
The net double bogey adjustment can also be used if you had any particularly high scores on individual holes. If you don’t currently have a handicap then the highest score you can have on any hole is 5-over par. If you do have a handicap then the highest score you can have will depend on the number of shots you receive and the stroke index of the hole.
For example, if you receive 12 shots then you can’t score more than 3 over on holes with stroke indexes 1 to 12. The other six holes you would only be allowed to make a double bogey.
If you scored a 10 on a par-3 and didn’t have a handicap then you would need to put 2 in the net double bogey column. Adjustment = Score – Par – 5. You would add up all the shots on holes where you were more than 5-over.
If you scored 10 on a par-3 and did have a handicap then use this formula: Adjustment = Score – Par – 2 – Handicap Shots for the hole. So someone who receives a shot would have to put 4 in that column.
Once you have finished entering your scores you can click calculate to see what your handicap index is.
If the result is 0 then congratulations that means you are a scratch golfer!
A negative result means you have a plus handicap – you have to add strokes onto your score rather than taking them off!
Here are my thoughts on what constitutes a good handicap.
Golf Handicap Calculator
|18 Hole Score
|9 Hole Score
|Playing Condition Adjustment
|Net Double Bogey Adjustment
More Information On Golf Handicapping
Having a handicap is very useful as it allows you to play in competitions anywhere in the world on a level footing with other golfers of all standards.
Knowing how a handicap is calculated can be useful for all golfers although most just let the software do it for them these days.
If you want to see how far you should be hitting your clubs then check out my golf club distance calculator.