What is a good golf handicap in the UK?

A golf handicap is a numerical measure of a golfer’s ability, calculated by comparing their scores to the scores of other golfers of different abilities. Handicaps are used to equalise the competition, so that golfers of all abilities can have a fair chance of winning.

In the UK, golf handicaps are calculated using the World Handicap System (WHS), which was introduced in 2020. The WHS is a unified system that is used by golfers all over the world, making it easier to compare handicaps across different countries and regions.

How is a golf handicap calculated?

A golfer’s WHS handicap is calculated using a complex formula that takes into account their recent scores, the difficulty of the courses they have played, and their gender. The formula is designed to ensure that golfers are rewarded for their best performances, while also accounting for bad days on the course.

The average WHS handicap in the UK is 17.1 for male golfers and 27.2 for female golfers. However, there is a wide range of handicaps, from scratch golfers (who can play to a zero handicap) to golfers with handicaps as high as 50 or more.

What is a good golf handicap?

Whether or not a golf handicap is “good” depends on a number of factors, including the golfer’s age, experience, and goals. For example, a beginner golfer with a handicap of 30 might be considered to have a good handicap, while a professional golfer with a handicap of 5 might be considered to have a poor handicap.

How to improve your golf handicap

There are a number of things that golfers can do to improve their handicap, including:

  • Taking regular lessons from a qualified golf instructor
  • Practicing regularly on the driving range, putting green, and chipping area
  • Playing challenging courses regularly
  • Competing in tournaments and matches

Benefits of having a good golf handicap

There are a number of benefits to having a good golf handicap, including:

  • You will be more competitive when playing against other golfers with different handicaps
  • You will be able to enjoy more challenging courses
  • You will have a better chance of winning tournaments and matches
  • You will be more likely to be invited to play in exclusive golf clubs and events

Tips for maintaining a good golf handicap

Once you have achieved a good golf handicap, it is important to take steps to maintain it. Here are a few tips:

  • Continue to practice regularly
  • Play competitive golf regularly
  • Manage your expectations. Don’t expect to shoot your best score every time you play


A good golf handicap is a measure of a golfer’s ability and skill. It is also a valuable tool for equalising competition and making golf more enjoyable for everyone. If you are serious about improving your game, it is important to focus on reducing your handicap.

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