Date: March 21, 2017
Author: Junior Golf Queensland


Golf is a universal game played by many people with varying playing abilities. A handicapping system is therefore one of the key characteristic features of the game, as the handicap allows for players of all levels of golfing ability to compete against each other equally. Further, it is essential to the popularity and prosperity of the game.

What is a “Handicap”?
The “Handicap” refers to a numerical representation of a golfer’s playing ability. This means the handicap represents the number of strokes needed to be deducted from the player’s actual (gross) score, so that when they play to their average ability, their (nett) score equals the standard score (par) for the course.

Only amateur golfers have handicaps, and the better the player the lower the golfer’s handicap, for example; a golfer playing off a handicap of 5 is more advanced in their playing ability than someone playing off a handicap of 20. The more a player improves on their playing ability, the more their handicap will reduce. Some highly skilled players will reach a point where their handicap will become zero (known as scratch). Further, a select few will better this ‘scratch’ handicap by having a handicap where they have to add positive numbers to their total score.

Is there a Handicap limit?
Yes there are limits to the Men and Women’s handicaps in Australia. 

These are as follows:
Men: 36 is the maximum handicap
Women: 45 is the maximum handicap

For further information on Rules & Handicapping options for children, please click here.