What is a handicap?
A handicap is an indication of a player's ability. A specific formula is used to compute handicaps by factoring in a player's score and the difficulty of the course played.
Why would I want a handicap?
A handicap allows players of different ability levels to compete with each other. For example, if a player with a 20 handicap has a score of 100, her net score is 80 (100 - 20 = 80) while a player with a 27 handicap and a score of 107 also has a net score of 80 (107 - 27 = 80). Using handicaps helps to even the playing field, making the game more fun.
Handicaps also travel with you. If you play a course that is more difficult than your home course (determined by the course's slope rating for the tee boxes you are playing), your handicap will be higher. On an easier course, your handicap will be lower.
When should I get a handicap?
If you are just learning the game of golf and spend the majority of your time taking lessons or practicing, then it may be too early for you to get a handicap. Once you start playing 9 or 18-hole rounds, you should establish your handicap.
How do I get a handicap?
LPGA Amateur Golf Association provides a handicap service as a part of your membership. This service (GN21) is included with the LPGA Amateur Golf Association Handicap System that is offered to every member affiliated with an LPGA Amateur Golf Association Chapter. In order to use this service you must first activate your account. You must then enter a minimum of 5 scores to establish your handicap.
To get started, please see instructions on the National LPGA Amateur Golf Association website for posting on the GN21 system.
Some members maintain a handicap through another organization. In that case, it is not necessary to keep a duplicate handicap on the GN21 system.