What is a High Handicap in Golf? (And How To Improve!)

By Chris Moore •  Updated on 02/25/22

Golf is one of the most popular sports in the world, with an estimated 6.4 million players in America alone.

Whether you’re a casual golfer or someone who has never picked up a club before, what do you know about handicaps?

They’re not just for keeping track of scores – they can also be used to measure your skill level and even help improve your game! In this blog post, we will discuss what high handicap means when it comes to golf so that you can play at your best!

What is a Handicap in Golf?

golf handicap is a measure of a golfer’s skill that is used to allow players of varying abilities to compete against one another on an even playing field.

It involves a few different factors, such as course rating, slope rating, and your scores.

The best golfers have the lowest handicaps; while the worst golfers have the highest handicaps.

While there were six handicap systems across the world, they combined to form the World Handicap System in 2020.

Before the WHS was formed, the following limitations were set for golfers:

Since the WHS was formed, the handicap limit is now 54 for both men and women.

What’s Considered a High Handicap in Golf?

While high handicap is subjective, a golfer with a handicap over 20 would typically fall into that category.

This would mean you’re typically shooting in the 90s or over 100, so there’s a lot of room to improve as we’re about to cover.

How to Improve as a High Handicap Golfer

Fairways in Regulation (FIR)

Hitting fairways in regulation is one of the best ways to improve your scores, giving yourself a much better approach shot than if you were to miss the fairway.

If you hit your tee shot onto the fairway, you hit the fairway in regulation.

Greens in Regulation (GIR)

After hitting the fairway in regulation, hitting greens in regulation are crucial.

It will help you improve your score since you can two-putt, and still score a par.

Putts per round

Decreasing the number of putts you take per round will help you drastically improve your score.

I’m sure you’ve heard the quote “drive for show, putt for dough” – it’s the truth, a good short game is often the difference between high and low handicappers.

Up and downs & Sand saves

If you find yourself in a bad situation where you didn’t hit the fairway or green in regulation, you’ll need to hit an up and down or sand save.

To do this, you hit your approach close and one putt it, “saving” your score on the hole.

Final thoughts

Having a high handicap in golf isn’t the end of the world, and you should take it as a challenge to improve your game!

There are several ways you can help lower your score; what’s important is that you’re having fun while doing so.

Take these tips, get on the course, and work on your golf game – it’s the only way to improve!

Chris Moore

Hi, I'm Chris Moore and I'm the guy behind As an avid golfer since 2010, I decided to create this blog to share everything I've learned over the years. Whether it's golf equipment, swing tips, or anything in-between, I want to make sure you have everything you need to become a better golfer.