Golf is an incredibly competitive sport, even at an amateur level, and players are constantly striving to improve what is known as their handicap.
For those who don’t know, the handicap is the rating system in golf that indicates the skill level of a certain player, and the handicap system is also used to help this player determine their score during a round of golf, as these players will play to their handicap, instead of to the regulation par for a particular hole or course.
There are several different levels of handicap, which start at 20 and go down to 0, which is sometimes referred to as scratch.
Golfers with a handicap of 20 are usually beginners and are generally weaker players, and the lower the score, the better players tend to be, as the handicap is a measure of a golfer’s potential to score well during a round.
The handicap system can be confusing, however, and many golfers and beginners struggle to understand the nuances of the system and how it works, as well as how to find their place within it.
In this guide, we’re going to look at mid-handicappers and what it means to be a mid-handicap player, as well as some of the other important information surrounding handicaps and what to expect as a mid-handicap player.
But let’s take a look at what a mid-handicap golfer actually is.
What Is A Mid-Handicap Golfer?
A mid-handicap golfer is an amateur golfer who has a handicap in the range of 10 to 18. The majority of amateur golfers fall into this category, with the average handicap of all-male golfers in the US being 14.2, and some 45% of players being in the mid-handicap range. But what does this actually mean in practice?
Well, a player with a mid handicap will typically be fairly confident at some aspects of the game, but still struggle to hit the course par for various reasons, meaning that they play to a handicap in order to make the competition fairer between other players and to indicate their playing level as well as to track improvements more accurately.
This means that a mid-handicap golfer playing on a par 72 course will tend to score in the low 80s per round to the low 90s, putting them some 10 to 20 shots over par for most rounds, indicating why their handicap range is in the 10 to 18 range.
This means that their handicap is essentially added to the course par to give a better approximation of their own performance according to their own experience and skill level.
What Are The Mid Handicap Categories?
Mid handicap is actually quite a large category, however, and there are several subcategories within his range that help further distinguish the different playing levels of players in this range, and add nuance to things such as coaching and playing tips to help players develop more quickly.
Lower Mid Handicap
Lower mid-handicap players tend to play off a handicap of 10 to 12, and will typically score in the low 80s on a full par 72 course, sometimes breaking into the 70s on a particularly good day.
This marks out the golfers who are improving well and are on the cusp of entering the single-digit, or low handicap range which puts players among the better players and marks a significant improvement in skill and consistency over most other golfers.
Mid Mid Handicap
Players in this category often score in the mid to high 80s and will play off a 13 to 16 handicap. Players in this range will typically be moderately experienced players who still have a few key aspects of the game to tighten up before moving toward the low mid-handicap range.
Higher Mid Handicap
Golfers in the higher mid-handicap range are typically not total beginners and are beginning to develop a stronger understanding of the game, as well as becoming more consistent.
However, there are still a lot of skills for these players to develop. Typically they play off a 16 to 18 handicap and will score in the high 80’s to mid 90’s on a full-size par 72 course.
What Equipment Do Mid-Handicap Golfers Use?
As players become more confident and comfortable with the techniques of golf, more nuance will be added to the game and the equipment they are able to use effectively.
As a mid-handicapper, there is specific golf gear you want to have to help develop more quickly and give yourself the best chance of success.
For drivers it mostly comes down to personal choice, however, a driver with a 10.5-degree loft angle will be forgiving enough and consistent enough to start you off on the right foot at the beginning of each hole.
Mid-handicap players should avoid blades and stick to using clubs that give consistency, comfort, and ease of use. Game improvement irons and cavity back irons are the best choices for this.
Wedges again come down to personal preference, but many in this range will prefer wedges that have an optimal center of gravity to help make approach play more accurate and consistent.
For putters, a peripheral weighted putter is probably the best option to help you sink more putts, and it’s probably best to avoid bladed putters which are for more experienced players.
How Do Mid Handicappers Perform?
Mid-handicap players are beginning to find form and consistency, but will often drop shots and make errors that cause them to end up over par and rely on their handicap.
Generally, these players will drop shots at various points, when chipping, driving, and on the fairway, however, their understanding of the game, the clubs to use and their actual technique put them a few steps ahead of high handicap players, and are on the right track to continue developing and moving into the lower handicap range with continued practice and play.
Mid-handicap players are among the majority of all golfers and are an integral part of the golfing system.
Players at this level have already committed to the game and started to improve, and will often continue improving, using the handicap system as a springboard to better confidence and performances down the line.