Golf Handicap Index Calculator + Handicapping Guide

Welcome to our page of golf handicap calculators and our guide to handicaps.

From here, you can calculate your handicap index using scores from previous games. Or, if you know your score differentials, you can use these values directly to calculate your handicap index.

Once you know your handicap index, you can use the course handicap calculator below to determine your allowed handicap shots for a specific course.

Scroll past the calculators to get the low down on what exactly golf player handicap index is and what exactly course handicap is, as well as a guide to all of the other useful key terms.

This page adheres to handicapping as defined by the World Handicapping System (WHS).

Player Handicap Index Calculator

Use Calculator 1 if you do not know your score differentials.

Use Calculator 2 if you do know your score differentials.

Golf Handicap Index Calculator 1

Note: A minimum of 3 recorded rounds of golf are required to calculate handicap index. If you have over 20 game scores, only enter the lowest 20 games.

Adj Gross Score
Course Rating
Slope Rating
Your Handicap Index:

Golf Handicap Index Calculator 2

Note: A minimum of 3 rounds of golf are required to calculate handicap index. If you have over 20 game scores, only enter the lowest 20 games.

Your Handicap Index:

Course Handicap Calculator

Use the Course Handicap Index Calculator below to calculate your handicap for a specific course.

Golf Course Handicap Calculator

Golf Course Handicap Calculator

What Is Player Handicap Index?

A player’s handicap index is a number meant to represent their ability as a golfer.

It is calculated based on the player’s scores from previous games, relative to the difficulty of said games measured in terms of course rating (CR), slope rating (SR), and playing conditions calculation (PCC).

The closer the value is to 0, the better the golfer, with scratch golfers expected to have a handicap index of 0 or less.

What Is Course Handicap?

In a game of golf, a player’s individual handicap index (i.e. their ability as a golfer) is converted into a course-specific handicap to determine how many handicap shots the player receives for a specific set of tees, based on the difficulty of the course.

It is helpful to note that your target score is the course par plus your player handicap.

In non-recreational golf, a course handicap is further converted into a playing handicap, whereby the number of handicap shots a player receives may be further reduced depending on the type of golf being played.

image of a golf course next to the sea

What Is Adjusted Gross Score?

An adjusted gross score in golf is the score of a round, adjusted for handicap calculation purposes so that one or two bad holes do not disproportionally affect the handicap calculation.

Adjusted gross score is calculated in one of two ways, depending on whether the golfer has an existing handicap index or not.

For players with no existing handicap index, or for players with a course handicap greater than 54, their score is adjusted during calculation so that every hole is limited to par + 5. For example, if a player with no handicap index shoots a 10 on a 3-par hole, their score for the hole when calculating the adjusted gross score will be 8, as it cannot be more than par + 5.

Put simply, your adjusted gross score in this instance is the same as your score, except each hole is capped at 5 points greater than the par for that hole, meaning your adjusted gross score is likely to be a bit less than your actual score.

If a player has an existing handicap index and a course handicap of less than 54, then each hole is limited to the par + 2 strokes (known as a double bogey) + any handicap strokes received on that hole. This formula of par + 2 strokes + handicap strokes is known as a net double bogey.

another image of a golf course next to the sea

What Is Course Rating?

A golf course’s rating is a measure of the course’s difficulty.

Specifically, the course’s rating refers to the score that a scratch golfer should score on a particular course.

For a par 72 course, a course’s rating is generally between 67 and 77.

Both the course rating and slope rating for a particular course or set of tees are usually available on a golf course’s website or your scorecard.

What Is Course Slope Rating?

Contrary to what one might think, slope rating is not directly related to the slope, incline, or hillyness of a course.

Slope rating is a measure of the relative difficulty of a course for players who are not scratch golfers.

The exact definition of slope rating is the relative difficulty of a course for a Bogey Golfer (a golfer with a 20 to 24 Handicap).

Related: Slope Rating Explained

Slope rating is used because difficulties in a course such as trees, rough, and water hazards are more likely to pose an obstacle for non-scratch golfers, so this has to be accounted for when assessing the difficulty of a course.

A slope rating will be a number between 55 and 155. 

A slope rating of 113 is a neutral slope rating, whereby such a rating would signify a course of equal difficulty for scratch and bogey players. A high slope rating doesn’t necessarily mean a course is difficult, rather, it means that a course should be significantly easier for scratch golfers.

What Is A Score Differential?

A score differential is a measure of how much your score compares to that of a scratch golfer on a particular course.

Other Golf Calculators