What Is A Mid Handicapper In Golf?

Are you good at your favorite hobby or sport? Do you consistently beat your buddies, or do you need more practice?

Just like other activities, golfers wonder about this all of the time. What is a mid handicapper in golf? In other words, are you above or below average?

We are going to help you answer these questions.

We will explore the concept of the golf handicap system and define what an average golfer shoots.

In this article, we will cover:

  • What Is A Golf Handicap?
  • By The Numbers: What Is a Mid Handicapper In Golf?
  • 4 Ways To Lower Your Golf Handicap

Let’s get started!

A man hits a golf ball out of a sand pit with the words what is a mid handicapper in the foreground.

What Is A Golf Handicap?

The golf handicap system is a way to measure the skill of every player and allow them to compete in a fair match.

We can’t answer the question “What is a mid handicap golfer” until we understand a bit more about the golf handicap system.

There are different options available, but the USGA (United States Golf Association) recommends you leverage the GHIN system to establish your golf handicap.

To create your golf handicap, you have to start “posting scores.” This simply means that every time you play, you enter what you shot.

The GHIN system has an excellent phone application, and posting a score will only take you a couple of minutes while you enjoy your favorite beverage in the 19th hole.

The calculation of your golf handicap is complex, but here is our attempt at a simple explanation.

It looks at your last 20 scores and estimates what you would typically shoot. This is presented in a number.

You might hear a golfer say they are an “18 handicap” or a “12 handicap”.

An 18 handicapper will typically shoot around 18 over par or a 90 on a par 72 golf course. A 12 handicapper will shoot around 84 (12 over par).

What Is A Mid Handicapper In Golf? 1

There are a bunch of golf terms to learn. An elite golfer who has a zero handicap is referred to as a “scratch golfer.”

If you typically shoot under par, you can have a “plus” handicap. Players on the PGA Tour will typically have a +5 handicap or better!

The golf handicap system attempts to estimate what you will shoot and tells you how to make any match fair.

If a 12-handicap golfer is playing an 18-handicap golfer, the 12-handicap must give the 18-handicap 6 strokes.

If you are playing match play, this means that the 18-handicapper gets a stroke on the 6 hardest holes on the course.

The scorecard for your golf course ranks the 18 holes from easiest to hardest. Hopefully, this provides you with enough context on the golf handicap system.

By The Numbers: What Is a Mid Handicapper In Golf?

What is a mid handicap golfer is simply a different way of asking what does the average golfer shoot?

This does vary based on age and sex, so let’s take a look at some of the numbers.

An example of a golf handicap by numbers on paper cards.

It is important to call out that only a little more than 10% of people that say they play golf have an official golf handicap.

The average golf handicap for men is 14 and for women, it is 27. This means that the average male golfer will shoot around 86, and the average female player will shoot 99.

This would be our official definition when you ask, “What is a considered mid handicapper in golf?”.

Where do you fall in the spectrum of golfers? Are you good, bad, or mid? Regardless, we suspect you would like to improve.

Comparatively, for high handicappers, you’ll typically be operating off of a 19-29 handicap, where your overall course score ranges between the high 90s and mid 100s

Keep reading – below; we provide 4 tips that we believe can help any player lower their golf handicap.

4 Ways To Lower Your Golf Handicap

#1: Use The 50/50 Rule When You Practice

What is a mid handicapper in golf? It is someone who practices but probably doesn’t practice the “right way.”

There is no doubt that if you want to start shooting lower scores, you will need to invest time in your practice routine, but it is important you practice your entire game.

Don’t just go to the driving range and rip a bunch of drivers. It is fun to “let the big dog eat,” but you need to work on your short game.

Spend half of your practice time working on your golf swing and the half focused on chipping and putting.

The easiest way to improve your scores and lower your golf handicap is to save strokes around the green.

Man wearing white socks and blue shoes using a putting wedge near a yellow flag.

#2: Seek Professional Help

What is a mid handicapper in golf? Someone who doesn’t think golf lessons are worth the money.

We understand the DIY (Do It Yourself) mentality, but sometimes you need a professional opinion.

Getting an individual lesson with a certified teaching professional can save you hours of frustration on the golf course.

They can check your fundamentals (grip, posture, setup) and give you swing thoughts to help you better execute under pressure.

You will leave the lesson with more confidence and they will give you different drills to use when you practice.

The path to serious golf improvement often starts with a golf lesson.

#3: Focus On Your Course Management

What is considered a mid handicapper in golf? A player who makes mental mistakes on the course.

We love this quote from Arnold Palmer: “Golf is a game of inches. The most important is the six inches between your ears.”

It is easy to get so focused on the physical parts of the game that you forget about the mental side.

The decisions you make before you even address the golf ball often have more impact on your scorecard than your execution of the shot.

The term course management covers every decision your make when you play, from club selection to where you aim.

Woman and man stand on golfing green whilst woman tries to make a putt.

You want to play with confidence but not too aggressively. You want to take a risk when there is a reward. Here are a few examples.

You don’t have to hit the driver on every par 4 and par 5. If the hole is tight or short, it might be smarter to hit 3-wood or a long iron.

If the pin is tucked next to a hazard, aiming at the middle of the green is the right choice.

If you have a long putt on the green, the goal should be to lag it close – you don’t have to try to make it.

We recommend that you assess your course management at the end of every round. Take a few minutes to consider the following questions:

  • How many times did you 3-putt? Were you too aggressive on your first putt?
  • How many greens did you hit in regulation? Did you “short side” yourself?

If you can identify where you lost strokes, it is easier to fix. You must identify the problem before you can solve it.

Silhouette of a man kneeling on the golfing green next to a flag.

#4: Enjoy The Ride!

What is a mid handicapper in golf? It is a player that gets frustrated when they play or grow impatient with their speed of improvement.

Golf is a game that you can play for decades. You can play it from age 5 to age 105. It is a marathon, not a sprint.

If you want to improve, you must practice and you must stay patient. Your handicap won’t drop overnight.

Find ways to enjoy your practice time. Learn to laugh about your bad shots and move on. Don’t take your golf game too seriously.

Just when you think you have your swing figured out, you will hit a shank. You will never play a perfect 18-hole round, but you will occasionally hit a perfect shot.


The journey is the fun part. It is being outside with friends on a sunny afternoon and sharing stories about your round in the 19th hole.

Enjoy the ride and over time, your game will improve. If you don’t have one, sign up for a golf handicap today!

Up Next: What % Of Golfers Can Break 80?

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Ray has been playing golf for 35+ years, including being part of his High School and College golf teams. While he still enjoys playing in amateur tournaments, Ray now focuses on growing the game of golf through teaching and coaching. He has two sons that both play golf competitively and loves spending time watching them compete. Ray continues to play in local amateur golf events and currently has a +2 handicap.

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