For any golfer, the first question anyone asks is, “What is your handicap?” Why is having a handicap so important? Overall, your handicap is a reflection of your challenges, the courses your played, who you played with, play results and your determination to keep improving. 


Wikipedia says, a golf handicap is a numerical measure of a golfer’s potential ability.

The United States Golf Teachers Federation (USGTF) defines handicap as “a measure of his current ability over an entire round of golf, signified by a number. The lower the number, the better the golfer is.” Handicaps are based on a pre-determined difficulty rating on the golf courses on which a golfer has played. The maximum handicap for a male golfer is 36. For female golfers, this number increases to 40.

The best part about how handicaps are scored is they are based on your top scores. Out with the low scores and in with better confidence and a willingness to keep improving. 

Fair Game

To make golf a fair game, it is important to adjust for each player’s ability. To do that, according to the USGA, you need to have a Handicap Index. A handicap signifies how many strokes above or below par a golfer should be able to play. For example, when you sign up to compete in tournaments, you are asked to provide proof of your Handicap Index. According to the USGTF, this allows golfers of varying abilities to compete against one another in a fair match, based upon the discrepancies in their respective handicaps.

Keep it Central 

For JC golfers, each course is different and there are unique variables that make it difficult for players to keep track of your progress. Course layouts, weather, course conditions, playing times, etc. are all factors that play into your progress. After all is said and done, your golf Handicap Index will show the truth if you are improving over time across all of your play.

Join the Discussion

Ready to join the discussion and start asking, “What is your handicap?”

The easiest way to get started is by joining the SCGA where you will be given a USGA/GHIN Handicap Index. The SCGA offers JC Players Cardholders and JC 20/30 Club members a special discounted rate of $49, $20 off the public rate. 

To join the SCGA, click here to our  JC Golf portal or click here for questions. 

We look forward to seeing you on the greens!