Golf Tips

Golf Tips

Beginner’s Guide to Golf’s Handicap System


When you’re playing golf with people you’ve never played with before, the question about a handicap is a common one. And because only 20 percent of all golfers have legitimate handicaps, the answers, whether the golfer is trying to be truthful or not, are often without merit.

Most golfers who don’t have a handicap just guess their average score and subtract 72 from it. That’s not a handicap.

And even those who have a real USGA or R&A handicap index, because of the way handicaps are reported nowadays, can fudge their way to being a sandbagger (but that’s a different discussion).

Fortunately, in many tournament settings there are certain safeguards to look out for with handicaps. For example, if you play in the Golf Channel Am Tour, your handicap will land you in a certain flight, but your tournament scores on the Am Tour carry far more weight. Shoot a few low scores or win a couple of times, and you’re likely to get bumped up to more skilled flight. In fact, the national champion in each flight, except at the championship level, automatically moves up to the next flight the following season.

In an ideal world, of course, everybody reports their actual scores and makes the proper adjustments and there’s little need to intercede.


How to Use the Golf Handicap System

The United States Golf Association constructed the handicap system to level the playing field for everyone. Golf handicap calculations use an esoteric system of “course rating” and something called “slope” to compute exactly how many strokes everyone should get. Few people understand or can explain how the course rating and slope are computed, so be like everyone else — accept both and go with the flow.


Getting a Handicap In Golf

If you’ve never played golf before, you won’t have a handicap yet. Don’t worry — you have plenty of time. When you’re ready, you want to test yourself on a real golf course and give your progress a number. Make that two numbers: your score and your handicap.

The first thing you need to do is keep score. Get a golfer friend to accompany you in a round of 18 holes. This person must keep score and sign your card at the end of the round. To be valid, a card needs two signatures — your own and that of the person you’re playing with. That way, all scores are clearly valid, and corruption is kept to a minimum.

At first, your handicap will probably drop quite quickly. Most new golfers improve by leaps and bounds at first. After that, improvement may continue, but at a much slower pace.

What You’ll Need for the Handicap Formula

What numbers do you have to have in order to perform the handicap index calculation? The formula requires the following:

  • Your scores (duh!) – a minimum of five and up to 20. And these are your adjusted gross scores (meaning they follow the equitable stroke control per-hole maximums).
  • The USGA course ratings of the golf courses you’ve played.
  • The USGA slope ratings of the courses you’ve played.

Have all that? OK, we’re ready to get into the math of the handicap formula.



Using your adjusted gross scores, the course ratings and slope ratings, Step 1 is calculating the handicap differential for each round entered using this formula:

(Score – Course Rating) x 113 / Slope Rating

For example, let’s say your score is 85, the course rating 72.2, the slope 131. The formula would be:

(85 – 72.2) x 113 / 131 = 11.04

The sum of that calculation is called your “handicap differential.” This differential is calculated for each round entered (minimum of five, maximum of 20).

(Note: The number 113 is a constant and represents the slope rating of a golf course of average difficulty.)


Step 2: Determine How Many Differentials to Use

Not every differential that results from Step 1 will be used in the next step.

If only five rounds are entered, only the lowest of your five differentials will be used in the following step. If 20 rounds are entered, only the 10 lowest differentials are used. Use this chart to determine how many differentials to use in your handicap calculation.


Step 3: Average Your Differentials

Get an average of the differentials used by adding them together and dividing by the number used (i.e., if five differentials are used, add them up and divide by five).


Step 4: Arriving At Your Handicap Index

And the final step is to take the number that results from Step 3 and multiply the result by 0.96 (96-percent). Drop all the digits after the tenths (do not round off) and the result is handicap index.


Or, to combine Steps 3 and 4 into a single formula:

(Sum of differentials / number of differentials) x 0.96

Let’s give an example using five differentials. Our differentials worked out to (just making up some numbers for this example) 11.04, 12.33, 9.87, 14.66 and 10.59. So we add those up, which produces the number 58.49. Since we used five differentials, we divide that number by five, which produces 11.698. And we multiple that number by 0.96, which equals 11.23, and 11.2 is our handicap index.


What Your Handicap Means

In golf, the lower your handicap is, the better you are. Thus, if your handicap is 6 and your friend’s is 10, you’re a better player than she is. On average, four strokes better, to be exact.

Assume that par for the 18-hole course we’re going to play is 72. You, as someone with a handicap of 6, would be expected to play 18 holes in a total of 78 strokes, 6 more than par. Your friend, on the other hand, being a 10-handicapper, would hit the ball 82 times on a normal day, 10 more than par. Thus, your handicap is the number of strokes over par you should take to play an 18-hole course.

read more
GolfGolf Tips

Compilation of the Best Golf Tips from Expert


Top-level golf can be watched and bet on almost every week of the year.

The PGA Tour, for example, has only a two-week off-season. But there are a few factors you need to grasp before shouting about your golf bets at the local boozer.

New to the game of golf? We have plenty of golf tips for beginners that will help you learn how to swing, correct shanks or slices, and improve your overall understanding of the difficulties one can have on the course.


Keep Your Hands Low

Limiting the height of the follow-through will effectively reduce the height of your shots. The lower the hands, the lower the ball flight. Moving the ball back in your stance or choosing a stronger club and trying to swing easy are other ways to accomplish the same thing, but they’re less reliable and more difficult to execute. Instead, keep your hands low in the finish (compare the two photos at right), and the trajectory of your shots will be lower.


Use Your Body For Power

Every good golfer knows that power comes from the body, not the arms. To learn to power the club with your body instead of your arms and hands, put the club behind the ball at address, with your body in a dead-stop position. Without taking a backswing, try to drag the ball into the air. If you’re a player who uses his or her hands to control the club, you’ll probably struggle at first. However, you’ll quickly find that once you start moving the club with your body, you’ll begin to get the ball in the air more consistently. This helps you turn fully through the ball on the downswing.


Give Your Slice The Elbow

Some players like John Daly swing with their elbow flying out, while others like Sergio Garcia keep it in, proving that it’s possible to hit great shots with either method. However, my biomechanical studies indicate that the flying right elbow position favors a fade ballflight while a tucked right elbow promotes a draw. If you struggle with slicing or have always wanted to develop a power-rich draw, then the right elbow may hold the answer. Plus, when you let the right elbow fly, it has the tendency to raise the right shoulder skyward, which almost always causes an over-the-top move during the downswing and an array of bad results.

The key for long-term success is to eliminate the faulty shoulder tilt and right elbow position at the top. The most efficient right elbow position for keeping slices at bay and promoting a draw is on or just inside the seam running down the right side of your shirt. When you place your right elbow in this general area, it allows the shoulders to turn level to the spine, making it much easier to drop the club inside on the downswing for maximum power and improved control.


Course Type

Golf courses come in all different shapes and sizes that lend themselves to different facets of a player’s game. Courses can be long or short. Fairways can be wide or narrow. Rough can be thick or thin. Nailing down the attributes of a course can really help when backing a player.

One particular type of course to pay attention to is links (courses situated on the coast). The Open is always played on a links track and requires a completely different skillset. You will often find PGA Tour regulars coming over to play the Scottish Open prior to the Open so they are accustomed to the conditions.


How to Practice More Effectively

1) Try to do something golf related every day

In this article we talked about a player who took a 30-day challenge with a great training aid called the Orange Whip. Sometimes it’s better to do something for 5-10 minutes each day, rather than one long session per week. It will keep your game fresh, and prevent more rust from building up.


2) Play games

It’s been proven that the brain can’t learn unless you are challenging it with random tasks. Showing up to the range and hitting your driver for 20 minutes won’t do much to improve your golf game. This is exactly why practice games are so effective. They simulate real pressure that you will feel on the course, and encourage you to practice like you play. We have a library of more than 20 drills available for our members.


3) Establish your feel first

Jack Nicklaus was a huge proponent of making sure he dialed in his feel on shorter shots before he moved into his full swings, and this is one of the greatest golf tips that has been making its way around for years. Establishing your feel on shots from 15-45 yards is a great way to warm up and get your swing in sync before you move on to your longer clubs. Try this in your next practice session, or before a round.


4) Figure out your impact location

One of our coaches, Adam Young, specializes in helping golfers figure out how to maximize their impact. When your club makes contact with the ball this is “the moment of truth,” and the ball gets its marching orders. Almost every golfer has no understanding of where they are making impact on their irons and woods, and it’s extremely important information. The next time you are on the range use a dry erase marker to figure out where you are making contact with your irons, or get a can of Dr. Scholls Odor X to see where your tendencies are with your driver and fairway woods.


5) Work on your tempo

The timing of your swing is massively important, and it’s why I wrote this feature article last year. Great golf is all about repetition, and the tempo of your golf swing is at the heart of it. Working with beats can be an extremely effective way for all golfers to find a rhythm that works for them, and allow them to repeat it from swing to swing. I consider this to be one of the most ignored golf tips in the whole industry.


6) Practice your putting…the right way

Strokes are waiting to come off your scores if you can spend more time on the practice green and become a more effective putter. Most golfers ignore this part of the game to their own detriment. The stats show that most golfers can improve by making more putts inside 10 feet, and eliminating three putts (read this article to find out why). There are two ways you can do this. The first is by working on your speed control, and the second is learning to square the putter face at impact.


7) Experiment with your swing

A round of golf will throw so many different scenarios at you. Your ball might be stuck behind a tree, on a steep sidehill lie, or catch an awkward lie in the rough. This is exactly why you need to make experimentation a part of every practice session. Try hitting low hooks with your 6-iron. Throw some balls in the deepest part of the rough around the practice green. Figuring out how to alter your technique in this process will prove invaluable during your rounds! Most golf tips don’t discuss what happens when things go wrong on the course, and all great golfers know how to deal with all kinds of adversity.

read more
Golf Tips

3 Best Golf Putting Drills


A gold tour event is in fact a putting contest. The winners are the best putters. To be a good a putter you must learn the right technique. Here are 3 best golf putting drills that are designed to improve your ability to hole the ball on the green.

1. Clock Drill

The first golf putting drill is called clock drill. This golf drill is good to make short putts. The clock drill is used to name this drill because it looks like the position of 3, 6, 9, and 12 of a clock. You just need to put three balls with a distance of 3, 6, and 9 meters from the hole. Consider this number 12 of a clock. Repeat this on the other numbers: 3, 6, 9. The goal in this practice is to make all twelve in a row. If you miss even just one last ball, you have to go back to the beginning and start all over again.

2. Ladder drill

The second golf practice drill is called ladder drill. It is to practice to make short putts inside 5 feet from the hole. This drill is designed to improve putting from longer distances. Place a tee on the ground in one line with the distance of 10 feet, 20 feet, 30 feet, and 40 feet away from the hole. The goal is to make the ball stop as close as possible to the tee. From the first tee, hit a 30-foot putt, followed by 20-foot putt followed by a 10-foot putt to the final tee. After this is done, start it all again with the other direction. It the first is uphill, the second must be downhill putts. This ladder drill will certainly improve your feel on the greens.

3. Path drill

The last drill for golf is path drill which is useful to improve the consistent path. Put two clubs on a flat area, wide enough to to place the putter head behind the ball. Swing the putter between the two clubs before hitting the ball. If your ball hits the clubs, it means your swing is not consistent. Practice until you can hit the balls without making it touch the club.


If you also want to know about golf driving tips, click here.



read more
Golf Tips

Left Handed Golf Tips for Every Left Handed Golfer


Are you left handed? Sometimes, when it comes to golf, left handed person might find some difficulties if compared to their daily activities. For left handed golfer, strength is usually the most difficult problem along the technique on how to control the ball. The left handed golf lesson below will help you to be a good left handed golfer.


What Is Needed by Left Handed Golfers?

The principles are actually the same for right and left handed golf. The side of your hand does not matter much as long as you know the basics of golf. After mastering the fundamental techniques, you can start learning the advanced ones.


Are You A New Beginner in Left Handed Golf?

If you are a new left handed golfer, you must know that the vital tip you must follow is to always keep the head down during the full swing, which actually also applies for right handed persons too. Most new players want to know the movement of the ball by lifting the head while hitting which is actually a very big mistake because this will cause you to focus more on the ball rather than on the swing.

Most new players also do not evolve their hips and body completely while hitting the ball, while in fact it is also another big mistake. To make a more powerful swing, the left handed golfers must twist to the right as far as possible. Another thing you need to do to make a powerful hitting is just making your right hip lead and after that your hands must follow it.


How to Make A Stronger Swing

The strength of the shot depends on your swing. Left handed golf players will use the right hand to make the swing and use the left hand to complete the swing. This will give you strength because you combine the power of your dominant sides and dominant hand.

An entire follow through is required to end the swing. Instead of ending it on your heels, you need to end it on the feet balls. To have maximum power, it is highly recommended that you make full rotation with your hips.


How to Manage Your Course Play

When talking about course management, it means you have to play as many courses as possible. From these courses, you will know the difficulties of the right and left playing.

Another thing to anticipate is the dog holes. To play perfectly, a draw shot is needed because it will let you curve the ball from right to left. Remember that practice makes perfect. But you also need to rest. After have some rests, you can get your courses and practice more to improve your skill and golfing technique as a left handed golfer.


If you want to know more golf tips, click here.

read more
Golf Tips

5 Golf Tips for Women Beginner

Are you a woman and new in golf? The biggest problem seems to be the strength. Also, there are some mistakes done by women beginner. Here are golf tips for women right from the expert that you can practice to improve your golf.


1. Find the right fit

The best way to learn golf is by buying the right equipment. If you are committed in playing golf, you have to make this equipment as an investment. Find the clubs that fit you well, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. You can go to a qualified club fitter to get the right measurement for your clubs. In this case, borrowed clubs are quite counterproductive.


2. Take a series of lesson

You have to learn the fundamental techniques, including club choice, swing, grip, and a short game from a professional instructor. This will give you the basis to play golf and in the game, most people miss this. Sometimes beginner also cuts this process by having suggestion from fellow golfers. However, learning a series of basis lesson is an important investment.


3. Have a practice schedule

At least twice a week regularly, go to your local driving range to incorporate the lessons that you learn from instructor. Here you can practice all the basis of golf techniques you have on the previous lessons. If you play consistently, you will a consistent play. If you play random, the play will also be random. Remember that!


4. Do not push yourself

The focus of your practice during the first two years is to develop your game rather than your score. You can try different clubs, different shots, anything that will improve your game. You are still new so don’t push yourself too hard.


5. Join a beginner’s league

There are leagues for beginners in all over the places. Join them to practice your technique in a competitive environment. And in the beginner’s league, you will feel comfortable to play with players at your own level skill. You can have your public course to inquire about beginner’s leagues.




read more
Golf Tips

Golf Downswing Tips: How to Start Downswing?


This is the trick and tips on how to start downswing.


The Right Start (Left Picture)

When you move from bottom to top, move your weight to your front foot. The little forward bump will cause the hands and arms to drop inside, which will give you a strong move through the ball. Rotating body as hard as you want is permitted. You must make sure that your weight goes toward the target before you start.


right and wrong start of downswing

The Wrong Start (Right Picture)

It’s wrong if you just turn from the top. Many golfers think that it is enough to turn more so they will whip their hips around when starting the downswing. This is not good because the arms and club will be thrown away from the body due to the open left side spins.




read more
Golf Tips

Golf Driving Tips: How to Drive A Golf Ball Well


There are some swings you can do in order to drive the golf ball properly and well. Here are the swing for the best driving.


Turn Your Left Shoulder over the Ball when You Are Under Pressure

Any golfer can feel tense and nervous, especially on their on the first tee or a tough driving hole. This condition can lead the golfer to make short and fast backswing. You must focus to make a full, rhythmic motion to the top. Even when you don’t have the flexibility to do it, you can try to move your lead shoulder behind the ball. Since your body will be loaded to the right side, you can shift forward coming down.

When under pressure, golfers tend not to grip the club properly. To solve this problem, keep some motions in your feet and fingers by waggling the club back and forth.


Keep Your Back to The Target Starting Down when You Fight A Slice

Forcing the right shoulder out toward the ball when starting the downswing can make the swing path steep. As a result, the ball will across from out to in. If you stay back your right shoulder, the club will drop inside when you start down. Therefore, you need to keep your back facing the target longer in the downswing. You can make a full turn behind the ball with your shoulder at passive position.

With the club dropping to the inside, you will be able to swing out to the ball, letting your arms to release and square the clubface.


Your Body Must Not Stop Turning when You Fight A Hook

Most big hooks happen when the body slows down through the hitting area, which leads to the swing momentum to flip the club over and snap the face closed. You must keep turning your whole body toward the target to avoid that. When starting down, shift to your left side, and then turn hard to the left. This way, you will not make the club flip, which means that you can fix the hooks.




read more
There's A Newsletter For Everyone!
Enter your name & email address, and start getting the best of in your inbox!