how do you compare to the average golfers handicap article

How do you compare against the average golfer’s handicap?

The average golf handicap in the USA for men is 14.4, and for women it’s 26.4. In the UK the average golfer’s handicap is 15.8 for men, and 24.6 for ladies. Out of all the people playing golf in the world, only 6% have a golf handicap of 5 or better. The professional golfer makes up less than 1% of all people who play golf.

Table Of Contents

What’s the average golfer’s swing speed?

In a recent Arccos study, the average driver swing speed for amateur golfers in 2019, was 94mph. Swing speed isn’t everything though, particularly for average golfers. 

Data gathered through the Foresight Sports simulation software, identified that by swinging 2mph slower, you can gain 20 more yards, provided that you reduce ball spin, increase your launch angle and hit the ball more squarely in the center of the face.

This goes to show that it’s not just how hard you hit the ball, it’s how efficiently you do it. Getting that smash factor as close to 1.5 is crucial to better numbers.

What’s the average golfer’s ball speed?

With an average swing speed of 94mph and a smash factor of 1.5. The average ball speed with a driver is 141mph. (Swing Speed x 1.5 = Ball Speed)

Yet not all players have that golden smash factor. Most can only expect to be consistent at around 1.38. Which is why high handicap clubs have cavity backs and high MOI’s. Thus your ball speed is expected to be reduced to 130mph.

What’s the average golfer’s drive?

The average driving distance of a male golfer is 225 yards. With the average length of a women’s drive being 167 yards. 

The average driving distance by age comes out as the following;

The average golfer's driving distance by age

The average driving distance according to your handicap is below

the average golfers distance by handicap

What’s the average golf score for 18 holes?

The average score over 18 holes is 86 strokes. Not accounting for the players handicap. However you may not have to play every hole to its conclusion in the future to maintain your handicap.

With the new World Handicap System, the maximum score for each hole played is limited to a net double bogey – which is equal to Par of the hole + 2 strokes (double bogey) + any handicap strokes the player is entitled to receive on that hole based on their Playing Handicap.

For example, a player with a Playing Handicap of 12 is entitled to one additional stroke on holes allocated with stroke index 1 through 12 on the scorecard. On a par 4 hole, with a Stroke Index of 10, the player’s maximum score would be 4 (par) + 2 (double bogey) + 1 (stroke received) = 7.

In order to maintain a decent pace of play and when the format of play allows, players are encouraged to pick up at their maximum hole score. For competitions, the adjustment is applied after the round. This means that the score posted for the competition and the score submitted for handicap purposes could be different.

The Net Double Bogey adjustment is meant to prevent high individual hole scores from inflating a player’s Handicap Index. And promote fair play when golfers of various abilities enjoy a round of golf together.

How do you get a golf handicap?

This year golf handicaps are changing across the globe. On the 2nd November 2020, the existing 6 golf handicap systems are merging into 1 world handicap system, developed by the Royal and Ancient golf club (R&A), and the United States Golf Association or (USGA).

You can learn more about the World Handicap System further down in this article.

Despite the change in the handicap system, the actual process of obtaining a golf handicap remains much the same and is based on your average score over 54 holes of golf.

These 54 holes may be 3 individual rounds of 18 holes each, 6 rounds of a 9 hole course, or a mixture of both. Your specific golf club will be able to assist you with any local rules.

All handicaps are kept on the Central Database of Handicaps, or (CDH). Once you have a handicap you will be given a unique CDH number and a certificate that states your current handicap.

Each time you play and wish to submit your score. You can first calculate your playing handicap using your current handicap index, and the courses slope rating  and course difficulty rating.

To see how to do this, you can visit the Wikipedia Page ‘Here’

After the round, you can then see how well you did and submit your card. The next day your handicap index will have been amended, ready for the next time you play.

How many golfers are in the world?

Golf is universal, with National Federations on every continent. It is estimated that there are 60 million golfers (60,173,500) around the world. These players are spread over 30,000 (33,161) golf facilities, occupying a total land mass of some 2.5 million hectares; an area close to that of Belgium. 

In regional terms, 30 million golfers play in the Americas (30,029,500), 20 million in Asia and the Middle East (20,062,800), 8 million in Europe (7,961,200), 1.7m in Oceania (1,750,000) and 370,000 in Africa.

Golf facilities, sites where golf can be played on one or more courses, are also found on every continent. In the Americas (18,406), Asia and the Middle East (4,570), Europe (7,233), Oceania (2,067) and Africa (885).

In Europe the UK accounts for a fifth of all european golfers. England also has the most golf courses in Europe (2270), whilst Armenia and Malta are tied in last place with just 1. However the Republic of North Macedonia has 0.

How many golfers have a handicap?

Recent studies published by the R&A and USGA, state that on average, 1 in 4 golfers maintain an active handicap. , equating to 15,043,375 around the world.

Its hoped with the introduction of the new WHS, and the ‘Ready Golf’ rules, more golfers will become active handicap holders.

How often do golfers play to their handicap?

HowDidiDo ran a study covering 7.7m rounds of golf and came to the conclusion that how well you play to your handicap is determined by how good you are. The average golfer will play to his or her handicap 1 in every 4 rounds of golf. Yet a better golfer will play to their handicap 1 in every 3 rounds.

Another way to think of this is that golfers in the lower categories, will maintain their handicaps by default through playing more regularly. 

Golf handicaps are split into Categories number 1 through 5.

golf handicap categories 1 to 6

What will the new World Handicap System mean for you, the player?

What will the world handicap system mean for you, the player? It all starts with a measure of your golfing ability. Calculated the same way for every player around the world. A handicap index that you can take with you anywhere and use at whatever course you’re playing

Before your round. Decide which teams you’re going to play from, which can be different for each member of your group. Every set of teams will have a course and slope rating based on cause difficulty.

These will normally be available on a Look-Up chart near the first tee or through an app. Next, decide the format of play. This will determine the handicap allowance you will be given.

Together the course rating, slope rating and handicap allowance, convert your handicap index into a playing handicap. Representing the number of strokes you will see for the round. Providing you the best opportunity of doing well, whoever you’re playing. Some formats of play aren’t suitable for submitting a score for handicap 

If you’re playing a round and would like to submit your score. You may need to check the procedures before you play. If you’re ever in doubt about the rules and procedures relating to handicapping, check with a club where you playing.

During the round itself simply play and enjoy the game as you normally would, knowing how many strokes you receive for the round. And Also the maximum number of strokes that you receive on each hole.

While one bad hole might mean you don’t win the competition. You can still submit an acceptable score for handicap purposes if the format of play allows.

You should pick up when you reach your maximum allowable score on each hole. Thus keeping your game and the game of everyone else on the course moving along at a reasonable pace of play.

At the end of your round. Add up your score, including any penalty strokes and any applicable adjustments for roles not played or where you didn’t hole out.

When your score is ready, make sure it’s verified as required. Then simply submit your score in accordance with club policy.

By submitting your score as soon as possible, you ensure all necessary calculations, adjustments and safeguards can be applied. Giving you an accurate up to date handicap index ready for the next day or soon after.

The more scores you submit, the more accurately your handicap index will reflect your ability.

Up to date, easy to understand and adaptable. The world handicap system lets you play the way you always have. As well as giving you a handicap index that will travel anywhere you decide to play.

Whats the average golf handicap? – Conclusion

Golf is about you versus the golf course. Golf is not a team sport, it’s an individual one. The average golf handicap should mean nothing to you.

Each golf course designer tries to encourage you to make mistakes through the placement of hazards or opportunities. It is down to you do this in as little strokes as possible. Any score under par, means you beat the designer.

Golf is played using two desciplines.

  1. Ball Striking
    • Your ability to hit the ball a consistent distance with each club.
    • Your ability to play the 9 basic ball flights. If you want to learn more specifically about this, then my article ‘here’ will certainly help.
    • Your willingness to play within your ability. Not trying to make the shot that has a 10% chance of success, but the one with a 10% chance of failure.
  2. Course Management
    • Your ability to see how the hole should be played. When to lay up and when to carry hazards.
    • To play away from obvious risk/reward opportunities which are there to entice you.

So in the end it doesn’t really matter how you compare to another stranger. Who wants the average golf handicap? It is how you grow and develop your ability to PLAY the game of golf.

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