Essential Golf Handicaps

A few years ago we made the decision to change the hole handicaps. After 10 years and tons of historical data entered by our players, we can actually see where the strokes are needed. As a Pro and Golf Course Owner, it’s my job to help you with your golf handicaps.

This might be the most informative thing you read all year:

Golf Course Owner Guy Prophecy

Handicap holes are NOT a list of holes from hardest to easiest!!!! Allocating handicap strokes is a method to Equalize… not to give an advantage to one player over the other. A stroke should be given on a hole where higher handicap players would need “help” to halve the hole with a better player.

Deriving Golf Handicaps

In order to figure out where the strokes should fall, we need to calculate the holes with the greatest differential between good players and average players, not the holes that are the most difficult. So that’s what we did. We took the hole-by-hole scores of Group A (players of handicap 8 or lower). We averaged all of them. Then we took Group B (players of handicap 14-24), we took there hole-by-hole score and averaged them. When you compare the two lists, the hole with the greatest differential in score averages, becomes your number one handicap hole. This is the hole where the average player needs more help.

golf handicaps
She Gets a Stroke Here

That hole is #3. Good players (average 5.23) can knock it on in two, average players (average 6.28) can hit in the water 2 or 3 times. They need help. Is it the “hardest hole?” No, but it is the hole of greatest differential. Let’s take #15 the par 3. It used to have a handicap of 4, now it’s 16. You say, “but that hole is hard”. Yes, it’s hard for everyone. Good players average 3.69, average players average 4.04, there is hardly a differential, so no one should get a stroke. 

We think this change will be really good for future competitions out here, and the changes will definitely make future matches more strategic. Riley and I would be very happy to explain more of this process if you are interested.  We ask going forward, that all players who play here enter hole-by-hole information when posting your handicaps. This provides the data to make future adjustments to ensure equity.


  1. Mark J Adriansen July 28, 2020
    • Nick Stephens, PGA July 28, 2020

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