The golf handicap is a very broad topic and before explaining the steps to obtain it, it is convenient to carefully explain what it is and how it works:
What is golf handicap?
The handicap in golf is the assessment of the level of play of an amateur golf player. It refers to the number of hits, usually above, that an amateur player performs on a tour, with respect to the “pair of the field” or number of blows stipulated.
In Spain, like the rest of Europe, the Royal Spanish Golf Federation applies the handicap EGA (European Golf Association) system. This handicap system is based on the premise that every player tries to play the field in the smallest possible number of hits. This handicap system is related to the USGA (United State Golf Association) field valuation system and the slope rating, which refers to the difficulty level of the fields.
Who does the rating of the players handicap? The National Association of Golf of each country has the competence to make this valuation and its constant process of updating.
What is the golf handicap for? Mainly so that golfers of different levels can compete in the same tournament or game. Given the difficulty of golf, without the handicap system, a novice player could in no way compete with a mid-level player, advanced or professional. The handicap golf license will also allow you to play tours on any golf course, being the handicap’s possession an indispensable requirement.
How does the golf handicap intervene? The handicap system gives each amateur player a number of hits to deduct from the total number of blows made. This handicap or number of blows to deduct is based on the results in previous official competitions. In the event that an amateur player plays his first competition, he would do so with the maximum handicap of his category, unless it is lowered by appreciation, to adjust to his real level of play. Competitions can be local tournaments in the player’s regular golf club or competitions in other fields. In each tournament there is a “competition committee” that regulates the development of the game.
Thus, a player who habitually performs in tournaments around 76 blows and has a handicap 5, can play with a beginner of handicap 36, who habitually plays the field in about 110 blows. If these two players played a game or a championship in the Stroke play mode, they would act as follows: At the end of the tour they would be deducted from the total (gross) result, their corresponding handicap.
In this case the player with Handicap 36 would deduct 36 blows and the player with Handicap 5 would deduct 5 blows. Once the beat discount is applied (net result), the winner is the one who has obtained a lower score. This procedure is reflected in the card and is verified by the competition committee responsible for the tournament. In the event that a game of golf is played in the mode of Match play (game by holes), the player with the highest handicap receives as compensation the difference between his handicap and the handicap of the opponent.
How is the golf handicap updated? At the end of a tournament, the competition committee of the club responsible for the tournament, transmits the results of all the players participating to the corresponding national Golf Agency. In this way the handicap of each amateur player is updated in each tournament. In the case of Spain, there are territorial golf federations in each autonomous region, which are centralized in the Royal Spanish Golf Federation, located in Madrid.
How do you get the golf handicap? In the last 25 years golf has developed notably in Spain. Despite the current crisis, that the golf sector is noticing appreciably, there are numerous facilities of both golf courses of 18 holes large, and pitch & putt fields and schools. However, there is still a lack of interest on the part of the administrations in order to facilitate a greater approach of golf to all the public, as in other countries, such as France.
To talk about obtaining the golf handicap, we must comment on a few previous steps: First we must go to a golf facility, such as a practice court, a large golf course or a pitch & putt. There we can hire private or group classes, to have a first contact with the golf. If we have friends who play, it is a good idea to accompany them in the field to enter a little in the world of golf.
Given the complexity of this sport, a qualified instructor is essential when it comes to learning the technique and practice of golf swing. A few months of classes or courses will save us time and bad habits when it comes to making a good golf swing. Once you have started the classes and if you are clear that you like golf, your instructor or the school can proceed to arrange the Federal golf license. This will allow you to access any golf practice area and have accident insurance provided by the Royal Spanish Golf Federation.
Later, when your progress allows you to go to the field with certain guarantees of hitting with good direction and distance, in addition to making the tour in a number of blows, you can apply for the handicap golf, which will allow you to play in any field of Golf. To do so, your teacher will have to certify that your level is adequate to go out to the playing field. A theoretical examination of the rules of golf, whether in your golf club or school, or on the premises of the Territorial Golf Federation of your Autonomous community, is also to be carried out under a previous appointment. Your instructor will provide you with information about this exam, and instruct you on the rules of Golf and courtesy. Once you have passed the exam of the rules of the Golf and with the certification of your level of play of your instructor, you will have your license with the handicap Incorporated.