What’s Your Handicap?
3 Reasons why you should establish your golf handicap in 2020
Learn how USGA Handicapping works and the benefits it can provide you this season and beyond!
If you play golf you should know your handicap. Straight up…no guessing! When you say “I shoot between 42 to 45” on 9 holes that is a 3 shot difference on 9 holes which is a 6 shot difference on 18 holes. If you take part in a friendly match, even if it’s just for a hot dog at the turn, then you should be giving or receiving the proper amount of strokes. If you decide to just throw a number out there and have a general idea then you are not doing yourself or your playing partners any justice.
A USGA handicap takes into account the course you are playing, the tees you are playing, and the history of your past scores to determine what your average score should be for that day. Course rating and slope are two terms you will hear often while talking about handicaps. To put it simply, course rating takes the “scratch golfer” and says if you are a scratch golfer and you come out and play Mallard Creek then you will shoot this number.
Let’s call a scratch golfer someone who shoots par every time they play….boring, right? With that being said, the course rating at Mallard Creek’s – Woods Course is 68.6 from the white tees. This means that a scratch golfer should shoot around 68 or 69 when they come out to Mallard Creek. Which means Mallard Creek is pretty easy for a scratch golfer. A scratch golfer has a handicap of 0, by the way. Now, let’s say you travel over to New York and sleep in a parking lot for 6 hours to get on at Bethpage Black, site of the 2019 PGA Championship. If you are a scratch golfer then you will shoot around 77.5 playing from the Championship tees. That’s basically a 10 shot swing from Mallard to Bethpage. This creates a big difference in how we measure our abilities in relation to the course and relation to our opponents. It is important to know how course difficultly will change your handicap index. Knowing your handicap can make sure that you are playing the appropriate tees and measuring yourself properly against the courses handicap index.
Now, let’s talk about slope rating. Slope rating isn’t how steep your hills are at the course. If that were the case, we would score very low on that scale as some of the largest elevation changes you might find at Mallard are walking up to the tee boxes. Slope rating is basically the measurement of how a bogey golfer stacks up against the course and how likely their score is to rise based on course rating. The calculation of slope rating is more difficult to understand, just like golf. Feel free to deep dive here to learn more here. Our bogey rating at Mallard is 89.0 from the white tees and our slope rating is 110. This means that bogey golfers will come out here and shoot a little bit better than your average. That’s exactly what we want. You leaving this place and feeling good about your round! Now if a bogey golfer goes out to Bethpage Black then they will be expected to shoot around a 106…woof. The slope rating is 152 at Bethpage so that just shows you how difficult the course can be there for less skilled golfers.
Acquiring a handicap is super simple. All you have to do is sign up online here, call in over the phone to (440)748-8231, or stop out to Mallard Creek. After that, all you have to do is play golf and enter your scores; it’s as simple as that. You can enter scores into the GHIN App on your phone, go to GHIN.com on your home computer, or you can enter your scores on our pro shop computer that we supply to our GHIN customers. The cost of the GHIN program for Fairways Members is just $40 and the cost for non-members is $50 (no tax).
The USGA has thrown in a ton of extra benefits that come along with your handicap and they include: