How do I get a handicap if I’m not a member

Golf is a sport played by millions of people all over the world. The game can be enjoyed on many levels, from the casual player to professional athletes. One thing that unites golfers of all skill levels is their desire for a better handicap score.

So what’s the best way to get a golf handicap without joining a club? You just need some basic knowledge about how you are playing and then make adjustments accordingly. In this blog post we will give you some tips on how to do that

Why you should get a golf handicap?

- You'll be able to compete in tournaments.

- It's a great way to make friends with other golfers.

- Get more respect from others.

- Get free golf lessons.

- More fun on your golf rounds.

- Enjoy the game more than ever before.

How to get a golf handicap without joining a club ?

First of all, anyone that is serious about improving their golf game should have a handicap.

But there are many people out there that simply can't afford to join a club because they don't live in an area with many courses or maybe they just like playing at the course near their home.

If you find yourself in this type of situation, you may be hesitant to join a club and get the handicap, because you think it's something only people that have plenty of money can do.

If this is your situation, don't be discouraged. There are other ways for you to get a golf handicap.

1. Get a golf handicap from your score alone.

This is one of the most popular (and easiest) ways for someone to get a golf handicap without having to join a club or pay money at all. If you have never played with anyone, there is no need for you to go and ask anyone else's opinion about your game. Just go out to the course alone or with a friend and get your handicap based on your score alone.

You can easily do this by getting a golfing partner who is not used to golfing, say someone from another country that you are visiting, and using them as an amateur caddie. Then go play with them and make sure that they carry your clubs. You don't want them to help you with the game at all, you just want their assistance in carrying your bag for you.

You should play a 9 or 18 hole round of golf and at the end of the day compare your score card with the amateur caddie's score card.

If they got even a single hole lower than you, then they should get a better handicap than you.

Just write down the 9 or 18-hole scores and the handicap your amateur caddie got while playing with you and use that as your own personal golf handicap. This way, you can compete in tournaments even though you don't join any clubs.

2. Join a local golf association or club for free.

This is something that people can do and it's easier nowadays than in years past, because most of the golf associations are connected via internet and they share their membership list with one another.

If you get on any of those websites and read through the local clubs' profiles, you will find out if they are only interested in people that have already got a handicap from another club or association. If they have no requirement, then you can go ahead and join the club by paying an annual fee of $25 to $100 (which is cheaper than all but the cheapest clubs).

The benefits of doing this are enormous because you get to play golf with other people that are usually in the same boat as you (people that don't have a handicap).

This way, you will be able to learn from each other and benefit from one another. You can also take lessons for free or at least much cheaper than at a private club.

Once again, make sure that the club you are applying to has no requirement for a handicap or any sorts of fees if you have not got one. If they ask for one, just tell them that you don't have one and wait until they make their decision based on your application alone.

Another benefit from joining an association is that in most cases (especially if it's a large association with many members) you will be able to get access to a driving range and maybe even other types of training facilities.

3. Get a handicap from an amateur golfer that is better than you are and pay him or her for the privilege

Some people may feel uncomfortable about this, but there is nothing ethical about it. It is simply a business transaction - you pay someone that excels in golf to give you a handicap and then enter tournaments.

As I said before, nowadays it's really easy to find people that have Internet access at home and are into social networks. So even if this person lives very far away from you, if you join one of those networks you will find people within a reasonable distance from your place and ask them if they wouldn't mind helping you out.

If you want to use this option, then make sure that the person that is going to give you the handicap has done it before so that he or she knows what he or she is doing. Also, get references, make sure that the person that is going to help you out with your handicap has played golf before, and make sure that he or she knows the rules of golf.

You will probably have to play one round of golf with him and just tell him or her to give you a score for 18 holes based on what they think.   Usually, they will check with you after 8 or 9 holes to see how well you are doing compared to them.

The other thing that you have to make sure of is that there is no way for the person giving you the handicap to cheat (if it's a computer programmer, then he would never be able to take advantage of your ignorance, but if it's a professional caddie that could theoretically give you anything between +2 and -12 depending on how he feels, then it should be double-checked with another person).

What is the USGA Handicap System and what are its benefits

The USGA Handicap System is simply a way for amateur golfers to play an even game when they play with people of different skill levels. It's made up by a standard formula or system that uses your score and the course rating (not slope this time) to calculate your handicap.

"It is used primarily by members at private and public courses to determine the relative skill levels of their competitors in stroke-play events. When players have handicaps, they are able to compete against one another on a more equitable basis."

The benefits of using the USGA Handicap System is that you will be able to measure your progress as a golfer (if you see that your handicap is going down, you know that you are improving), it will be easier for you to get into tournaments (the entry fee for most amateur tournaments is often based on your handicap) and it will also make the game more fun because instead of comparing numbers on a scorecard after each hole, which can become tedious very quickly, you will be comparing strokes and just see where the difference between you and your opponent is.

If you are a beginner golfer then I would strongly encourage you to start using the USGA Handicap System as soon as possible so that your game can improve faster.   It's not that hard to understand once you know what it is and how to do it.

The main thing that you have to make sure of is that you are entering the correct information on your scorecard - if you see a course rating of 72 and you enter 63 instead, then your handicap will be way too low because it's going to be based on a course with a rating of 63 instead.

It's not easy to get adjusted to a new system, but it will be worth it in the end.  The main reason you have a handicap is so that you can compete with other golfers on an even basis, but if your handicap is low then it means that you are probably playing with people with high handicaps because there is no way for them to compete against you.


As you can see, golf handicap is a simple arithmetic value to determine the level of your playing ability that is free from bias or favoritism. Golf handicap will remain as a key tool in ensuring fair play and an unbiased result after every game at the golf course. 

If you're still wondering how to get a golf handicap when you don't even know what it is, well, hopefully this article gave you enough information regarding the basics of golf handicaps and how they work.

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