Golf Handicap Calculators: Get Your Handicap in Seconds

Your golf handicap is based on your previous scores and how challenging the course is. Handicaps enable those with beginners and expert golfers to compete fairly against one another.

You can use this number as a marker to see you progress on the course. But it can be difficult to calculate by hand.

Use this golf handicap calculator to figure out your handicap in a few seconds:

Golf Handicap Calculator


Tips for using this golf handicap calculator:

  • Compile 20 of your golf scores from your favorite course.
  • Add the course rating. You can find it on the course scorecard. It’s usually around 70.
  • Add the slope rating.  You can find it on the course scorecard. It’s usually between 55 and 155. Courses with slope ratings higher than 113 are more challenging than average.
  • Click Calculate and find out your handicap.

Any serious golf fan will want to understand the golf handicap calculations and concepts more fully. When I’m playing with my buddies it can be a revelation for them to more completely understand how their golf handicap works. So, be sure to read on to round out your knowledge and learn about:

  • What is a golf handicap exactly?
  • What is a score differential, and how can you quickly calculate it?
  • What is a handicap index, and how can you quickly calculate it?
  • How knowing your handicap can help you improve
  • Tips for lowering your handicap

Without using a handicap calculator, the process is very complex, so save yourself some time. I highly recommend using the calculator we have made for you.

For details about the process, read on!

Golf Handicap Explained

golf handicap calculator

What is a handicap in golf? In golf, a handicap is a number that displays a player’s ability. The lower the score, the better you play. It gives golfers a specific allowance of shots for each round based on their ability, which is determined based on their previous scores.

For example, a pro golfer may have a handicap of 0 as they consistently finish around par. You, on the other hand, may have a handicap of 20 because it takes you a lot longer to complete each hole.

Previously, the maximum handicap was 36. However, this changed in 2020 when the World Handicap System came into effect. The maximum handicap score is now 54.

Using your handicap, it’s easy to ascertain your performance relative to your base skill level. Simply subtract your handicap from your gross score, giving you your net score. According to the USGA, you should aim to hit your handicap about one in every four or five rounds.

How to Calculate Golf Handicap Using a Golf Handicap Calculator

Learning how to figure out your handicap involves quite a few steps. However, the process is fairly straightforward when you break it down and learn what all of the values mean.

There are three main calculations to obtaining your handicap.

  1. The first relates to your score differential. You’ll calculate your score differential for your last 20 golf scores.
  2. The next is your handicap index.
  3. Finally, you apply your index to a course to determine your golf handicap for that course.

How To Calculate Your Score Differential

Your score differential shows how your golfing performance compares to the difficulty level of the course. You can find your score differential with your score, the course rating, and the slope rating. You can find the course rating and slope rating on the scorecard.

Quick Tip: You’ll use this calculator with your 20 most recent scores to get 20 accurate score differentials that you can add to the golf handicap calculator above.

Score Differential Calculator

The first stage of calculating your handicap involves collating your 20 most recent scores. When you have these figures, you can apply them to our score differential calculator below. You can now plug them into the calculator and note them down.

For those who are curious, this is the formula we use:

(113 / slope rating) – (adjusted gross score – course rating – play conditions calculation)

Slope Rating

This is a measure of course difficulty. The easiest slope difficulty is 55, whereas the highest slope difficulty is 155. You can easily identify the difficulty of each course using the USGA’s Course Rating and Slope Database.

Adjusted Gross Score

Remember those 20 figures I said you would need? This is the part where they come in.

You’ll need to plug your 20 most recent scores into the equation to give you 20 score differential figures. However, you need to adjust them first.

The process is very simple. If you score more than a net double bogey on any hole, you must adjust it down to a net double bogey. This prevents a few bad scores from ruining your handicap.

Course Rating

This is a measure of course difficulty. The higher the value, the more difficult the course. You can also calculate this using the USGA’s Course Rating and Slope Database.

Play Conditions Calculation

This is a score that staff calculates for you if weather conditions affect golf scores for the day. It normalizes your score to predict what your performance would have been with no interference from the weather.

If used, the value ranges from -1 to +3. A negative score signifies easier conditions, and a positive score signifies harder conditions.

How To Calculate Handicap Index

golf handicap calculator

Your handicap index is slightly different than your handicap. So, what are the differences between golf handicap and handicap index? A golf handicap is your unofficial average score when you play. A handicap index is your official score found through the USGA Handicap System. Most of the time, when golfers talk about their handicap, they generally talk about how they’ve played on their favorite courses. A handicap index is just more precise.

Let’s show you how to figure out your handicap index now. 

As mentioned earlier, you should have completed the score differential formula 20 times to give you 20 figures. To calculate your handicap index:

  1. You take the 8 highest scores figures from the score differential set
  2. Calculate the average (Total Scores/8 = Handicap Index)
  3. Then, round to one decimal place

Here is an example with 8 highest scores from the score differential set: 

13 + 13 + 15 + 12 + 17 + 12 + 13 + 16 = 124

124 / 8 = 15.5

The golf handicap index is 15.5

How to Calculate a Golf Course Handicap Using the Handicap Index

Here’s another way to find your handicap using your handicap index. You use your handicap index and the slope rating.

Golf Course Handicap Calculator

The final stage of calculating your handicap is applying your handicap index to the course you are playing. For this, we use the following equation.

Handicap index x (slope rating / 113) + (course rating – par)

Read More: Can You Have a Negative Handicap in Golf? Is It Possible?

How a Golf Handicap Calculator Can Improve Your Game

A handicap calculator provides a simplified method of calculating your handicap, and knowing the value of your handicap is very useful if you want to improve.

First and foremost, it assesses your current skill level, so it’s easy to monitor whether you are improving, stagnating, or, dare we say it… declining!

Knowing your current level is crucial. Otherwise, you’re playing with no tangible goal in mind. However, with a handicap, you have a clear goal of aiming to gradually lower your handicap.

By tracking your individual scores, you are paying close attention to your performance across the board, much like how a weightlifter tracks and compares their weight and reps. This can help you identify outliers. Perhaps you perform better on certain holes than others.

Or it could even be particular courses you excel or struggle in. All of this data can help you draw conclusions, and you can adjust accordingly to improve.

Tips to Lower Your Handicap

golf handicap calculator

Practice More

Knowing the steps to execute a stellar swing is one thing, but putting it into practice is another thing entirely. Unfortunately, there’s no substitute for investing your time and energy in improvement.

Try to hit the course at least once a week. And keep your session fairly regular. If you leave too large gaps, you may find the next few rounds are poor and unenjoyable.

Work on Producing Powerful Drives

One of the simplest ways of getting your handicap down is to extend the distance of your drives. Of course, this is easier said than done. The faster you swing, the more likely your form will break down.

Improve Your Putting

Another area in which players add unnecessary strokes to their game is putting. So try to scrutinize your performance objectively here and highlight areas where you can improve. Always undershooting? Add more power. Reading the greens incorrectly? Improve your green reading skills and take the time to study each green before executing your putt.

Read More: What Is Tiger Woods’ Handicap? Best, Worst, Average?

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Your Handicap in Golf?

A handicap is a numerical representation of one’s golfing ability. It estimates the number of strokes players are expected to be above or below par. This equalizes skill differences between players, allowing them to compete more fairly.

How Is a Golf Handicap Calculated?

A golf handicap is calculated using equations. The first gives your score differential:
(113 / slope rating) - (adjusted gross score - course rating - play conditions calculation)
You then average this figure from 20 rounds to get your index.
Handicap index x (slope rating / 113) + (course rating - par)

How to Calculate Your Golf Handicap Quickly?

Handicap = (Course Rating - Adjusted Gross Score) x 113 / Course Slope Rating
* Course Rating: This is the average score of a scratch golfer on a particular course.
* Adjusted Gross Score: This is your total score, minus any strokes you receive for playing from a forward tee.
* Course Slope Rating: This is a measure of how difficult a course is compared to a standard course.

What Is My Golf Handicap Gross Score and Net Score?

The gross score is the total number of strokes you took to complete a course. The net score is your overall score when you subtract your handicap from your gross score.

Closing Thoughts

Calculating your handicap can be a little challenging, but with our golf handicap calculator, obtaining yours is a cinch!

We highly recommend you keep track of your scores and calculate your handicap. Otherwise, you’ll never know if you’re improving. And nobody wants to stay average forever!

Not only can calculating your handicap help identify areas where you are excelling or underperforming, but it also gives you a goal to work towards which can help motivate you and bring you more enjoyment.

Alex’s routes in sports began with football and now mostly focuses on ping pong and golf. Alex loves the strategy and is always looking for a competitive edge. This is what drove him to write strategy guides and product reviews. He takes great pride in spreading his knowledge and loves to coach fellow players. You can connect with him on LinkedInIG, FB, or

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