How to Find Your Golf Handicap

Now that you are nearing retirement (or maybe already there), you might have some more time to think about things you might want to do. If hitting a golf course is on you list, you probably know all about your golf handicap. While you can still calculate your handicap via hand, the advent of smartphones and numerous golfing apps can make the process so much easier.


Read on to find out more about golf handicaps and how you can calculate your handicap using golfing apps.


What Is A Golf Handicap?

Ever wonder what a handicap is? Well, it's a system that evens out the advantages in a game of golf and allows players to compete regardless of skill level. Because of the golf handicap, a player with fewer skills can conceivably defeat a player who's more expert. Talk about a way to make a game more exciting!


The system has been around for over a century, so it's well known. Keep in mind, the lower the handicap, the better the golfer. Some people might wear their handicap score as a badge of pride, but it doesn't necessarily matter all that much in the end. It's a combination of factors that determine if you win or lose.


How to Calculate Your Golf Handicap by Hand

So how to you figure out your handicap? Well, the old-school way involves a little math.



1. Gather up your scores

You'll need to use scores from your most recent 5-20 rounds. You'll also need to factor in per-hole limits, so you'll use your adjusted gross scores for your calculations.



2. Get the course rating and the slope rating from the golf course

Each course has a rating based upon how difficult it is. There is also a difficulty rating for the slope with a standard slope being 113. Mark these scores down and label them so you can remember what they are.



3. Calculate Your Handicap

Subtract the course rating from your score and multiply that by 113. Next, divide that number by the slope rating. Then round that number to the nearest 10th. The resulting number is your golf handicap.


Unless you're a math genius, it's unlikely you'll want to do all that work. That's why golf handicap apps are the way to go. If you've got a smartphone, you're in business. You can grab one and get started.


Steps to Calculate Your Golf Handicap Using Golfing Apps

In a nutshell, you can calculate your golf handicap by:


1.  Downloading your golf handicap app onto your smartphone and installing it.

2.  As you play, mark your scores on your scorecard as usual.

3.  After the game, snap a photo of your scores with your phone and share it with your app.

4.  Get your handicap score from your app.


That's it; you're done! Calculating a golf handicap is very simple using golf technology.


Popular Golfing Apps

So, if calculating your golf handicap using golfing apps is so easy, why not find the perfect golf app for you? While you'll probably find more in your phone's app store, let's take a look at some of the more popular golfing apps. All of these are available for use on both IOS and Android phones.


  • Diablo Golf - In addition to calculating and tracking your golf handicap, this app is great for traveling and entering events. It helps you participate in tournaments that use USGA handicaps.
  • The Grint - Another free golf handicap tracker for use at USGA Registered Clubs. You can even use it at USGA sanctioned events. Track your handicap as you play.
  • - This site offers free IOS and Android apps for members. All your scores are officially USGA compliant. The app allows you to maintain your handicap with less work and expense.


Great Places for Active Adults to Golf

Now that you know about golf technology, you'll need some great places to golf. If you're lucky, you'll live in a golf community or in an area with lots of golf nearby. Many active retirement communities, particularly 55+ communities in South Carolina, Florida, Texas and Arizona center around golfing activities. Here are a few of our favorites:


  • Hidden Cypress: Located near Sun City Hilton Head, Hidden Cypress was designed by ten-time PGA tour winner Mark McCumber. This challenging course features protected, sloping greens and omnipresent bunkers.
  • Legacy Hills: Located near Sun City Texas, in Austin, this Billy Casper Signature Course sits on 120 rolling acres of tight, tree-lined fairways. Considered one of the best all-around golf courses in Central Texas, you are sure to enjoy a few rounds off its average five tees per hole.
  • Poston Butte: Located near Sun City Anthem at Merrill Ranch outside of Phoenix, this 18-hole golf course was designed by Gary Panks. While wide fairways make teeing off fun, high-faced bunkers keep even the low handicap players on their toes.
  • Copper Canyon: Another course outside of Phoenix, Copper Canyon is a Golf Advisor Top 50 US Course located near Sun City Festival. Designed by Lee Schmidt and Brian Curley this 18-hole course is perfect for year-round playing.
  • Stone Creek: Conveniently located in Del Webb Stone Creek, this Terry Doss designed course is filled with water obstacles on 11 of the 18 holes and features champions Bermuda greens for excellent putting.


Are you dreaming of retiring in an active 55+ community centered around golf? Explore Del Webb featured golf courses to find the perfect new home.



Contributed to The 55+ Society by Carol Youmans

Looking for more Society tips and learnings? Return Home here.

Published 8.23.19

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