What are Hole Handicaps?

Have you ever grabbed a scorecard and wondered what that handicap line with a number for each hole means? That's called a Hole Handicap. Sometimes called the Stroke Index, we'll go in-depth on what they mean and how they are used to create a golfers Net Score.

Hole Handicaps

If you are a 20 handicap, you would have a total of 20 strokes given to you for the round. This means that whatever your total score is (gross score), you would subtract 20 strokes from that score and that would be your handicap-adjusted score (net score).

If you look at a golf course scorecard, you will notice that each hole has a hole handicap rating of 1 through 18, from most difficult (1) to least difficult (18). This means that the hole with a hole handicap of 1 is the most difficult hole on the course and the hole with a hole handicap of 18 is the least difficult hole on the course. 

Get Your Handicap

A golfer with a handicap of 20 would get one stroke on each of the 18 holes (hole handicaps 1 - 18) and would also get one additional stroke on the holes with hole handicaps of 1 and 2. This would be reflected on the scorecard as two dots above the holes with 1 and 2 hole handicaps, and one dot above the holes with 3 - 18 hole handicaps. Your total score adjusted after getting strokes is referred to as your Net Score

So, if the #1 handicapped hole is a par 5 and you record a 6, you would subtract two strokes from that hole's score because of your handicap factoring in. 

Your Net Score would adjust to a 4.

Get Your Handicap

Now you know!

To learn golf terms and many more, check out our Golfers Glossary!

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