Golf Tips Newsletter
Issue 718 - June 29, 2022
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USGTF Class "A" Teaching Professional
WGTF "Top 100" Teacher
IGPA Certified Golf Psychology Coach


"It is not the will to win that matters, everyone has that.
It is the will to prepare to win that matters." - Paul "Bear" Bryant

Tom's Featured Tip: STUDY: How Your Handicap Affects Your Score

Lesson Comments: What Students Have To Say
Sponsors & Affiliates:
Batavia Country Club
The Divot Board
The Impact Snap
The Rypstick
Club Champion

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STUDY: How Your Handicap Affects Your Score

For simplicity, all advice on actual swings or drills is provided from a right handed perspective.

Two Great Training Aids For Indoor or Outdoor Practice

The Divot Board

This is the most useful ball striking development training aid that I own.
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STUDY: How Your Handicap Affects Your Score

I ran across some great info on how your handicap affects your score that I thought was very interesting.

The data for the charts was gathered from TheGrint, an app-based handicap tracker who's platform interfaces directly with the USGA handicap system.

What is a handicap?

Youíll often hear the erroneous explanation that a handicap is a playerís average score. In reality, a handicap is a numerical measure of a golferís potential ability that allows players of various skill levels to compete against one another.

More specifically, the current index formula uses the average differential (adjusted gross score minus the USGA Course Rating) of the golferís best eight differentials from the most recent 20 rounds played. Once you start digging into the math a bit, itís easy to see why golfers might prefer to think of a handicap as an average score. However, the latter will typically be several shots higher.


Data from TheGrint

  • Golfers will often refer to a handicap as equivalent to the average number of strokes (over par) a golfer typically shoots. This is false.
  • A golferís handicap index is better thought of as their potential scoring ability.
  • The current index formula (revised in 2020) is calculated using the best eight scores from your most recent 20 rounds. However, a handicap can be established with fewer than 20 rounds.
  • Low-handicap golfers will average a score four to five strokes per round higher than their index.
  • Higher-handicap golfers will average a score six to eight strokes per round higher than their index.

  • The best golfers tend to be the best ball strikers.
  • The statistic which best mirrors this reality is GIR% (percentage of greens hit in regulation).
  • A scratch golfer will hit 11 to 12 greens in regulation per round.
  • This is roughly three times the number of greens hit by a typical bogey golfer.
  • The average GIR% for all golfers in TheGrint database is 25 percent.

  • Hitting the fairway is important if you want to shoot lower scores but not all "misses" are created equal.
  • Scratch golfers hit nearly the same percentage of fairways as they do greens in regulation. They also had the highest percentage of fairways hit per round (64).
  • The database average for all TheGrint golfers is 57.8 percent. This figure is significantly higher than expected. One possible explanation offered by TheGrint is that higher-handicap golfers often play tees that are closer in proximity to the fairway and/or do not hit the ball as far as lower-handicap players.

  • According to the USGA, the average male handicap is 14.2. For women, that number is 27.5.
  • The handicap of an average TheGrint golfer is slightly lower at 13.8.
  • A handicap of four or less ranks you in the top eight percent of all golfers.
  • Scratch (or better) golfers represent less than two percent of all players.
  • Itís estimated that 90 percent of golfers do not carry an official handicap. Itís not reasonable to surmise that every golfer who doesnít carry one is less skilled than those who do. But it is reasonable to conclude that the database averages for golfers with a handicap are lower than those without an official index.

There would be one more statistic that I would like to have seen measured - driving distance. I would be interested in the correlation of handicap and distance off the tee.


Love your practice, own your swing, own your health,


Golf Lessons

I am now conducting lessons at The Batavia Country Club

Lessons are available for all ages and skill levels, please contact
me - Tom Tucker - at (716) 474 3005 or email me at
for more information.

Outdoor Lessons Details and Rates:


Sponsors and Affiliates

Buying a sponsored product through any of my affiliate links helps support this free newsletter, and I only affiliate with excellent products that I use myself.  Thanks, Tom

Batavia Country Club   (585) 343-7600
Great rates, the best greens in WNY.
Golf Digest Four Star rating for public courses to play in New York State.
Tee times online or by phone in season.
FISH FRYS AT BCC and other delicious dinner specials with soup and salad bar - Fridays, 4pm - 9pm

Train with a Rypstick to improve your swing speed and gain more distance off the tee. If the versatility of three different swing weights in one club appeals to you, this is your swing speed training aid of choice.

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Use your club or hand to re-set the board after your strike
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BONUS: when you buy through the newsletter link above, you'll also receive free access to my Putting Lesson Videos ($50 value) which cover: The Elevated Aimline Drill, The Squareness Awareness Drill, The Aimline Accuracy Drill, The Stock Putting Stroke Drill, The Barrier Drill, The Short Putt Channel Drill, and more.

Train with the Impact Snap training aid to improve your hand and wrist coordination for a powerful strike. A Golf Digest 2021 Editors Choice Training Aid

Click here to buy now and start using a great training aid that can be used indoors or outdoors.

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Club Champion Don't waste another dollar on clubs until you've gone through a fitting at Club Champion, 1669 Pittsford Victor Rd., Suite 400, Victor NY 14564. Call Master Fitter & Builder Jeff St. John. PGA work: (585) 978-8513, cell: (585) 831-2292 to schedule your fitting today1 Mention my name and you'll get special attention.

All the best,

Tom Tucker
Teaching Pro, Plum Creek Driving Range & Practice Facility
WGTF ' "Top 100 Golf Teacher"
USGTF Class "A" Teaching Professional
IGPA Certified Golf Psychology Coach
Cell: (716) 474-3005

"There are no substitutes in the quest for perfection1"
~ Ben Hogan