What is a Mid to High Handicap in Golf: Understanding and Improving Your Game

Mark Crossfield
12 Min Read

Ever wondered what is a mid to high handicap in golf? If you’re a golf enthusiast aiming to improve your game or simply understand the handicap system better, you’ve likely grappled with terms like “mid-handicap” and “high-handicap.” The jargon can be confusing, and you might be unsure where you fit in the spectrum.

So, what is a mid to high handicap in golf? A mid to high handicap in golf typically refers to a handicap index between 11 and 20. Golfers in this range usually shoot scores in the low 90s to mid 80s.

Curious to dig deeper? Stick around. As an expert in golf terminology and handicaps, I’ll guide you through everything you need to know about mid to high handicaps, from the average scores to the best irons suited for your game. Whether you’re a mid-handicap golfer looking to break into the high 70s or someone who’s just trying to understand what a respectable golf handicap is, this blog post has got you covered.

Key Facts:

  1. A mid to high handicap in golf is generally a handicap index between 11 and 20.
  2. Golfers in this category usually shoot scores in the low 90s to mid 80s.
  3. The biggest challenges faced by these golfers include consistency, ball striking, and course management.
  4. Mid to high handicap golfers can improve their game by focusing on specific drills and equipment.
  5. Understanding your handicap is crucial for fair and competitive play.

What is a Mid to High Handicap in Golf?

A mid to high handicap in golf is typically considered to be a handicap index between 19 and 36. Golfers in this range typically shoot scores in the 90s and 100s, with some exceptions.

Here is a breakdown of the different handicap ranges:

  • Low handicap: Handicap index below 9
  • Mid handicap: Handicap index between 9 and 18
  • Mid to high handicap: Handicap index between 19 and 36
  • High handicap: Handicap index above 36

Mid to high handicappers are a diverse group of golfers, with a variety of strengths and weaknesses. Some mid to high handicappers may have a strong short game but struggle with their driving or iron play. Others may be good ball strikers but struggle with putting.

The best way to improve as a mid to high handicapper is to identify your weaknesses and work on improving them. It is also important to get regular instruction from a qualified golf instructor.

Understanding Handicap in Golf

What is a golf handicap? A golf handicap is a numerical measure of a golfer’s potential ability based on past performances. It’s a way to level the playing field, allowing golfers of different skill levels to compete against each other. The handicap index is crucial because it helps in creating fair and competitive matches.

The Range for Mid to High Handicap

What constitutes a mid to high handicap in golf? A mid to high handicap in golf is typically defined as a handicap index between 11 and 20. Golfers in this range usually shoot scores in the low 90s to mid 80s. The handicap index is calculated based on your best scores, and it can fluctuate as you submit new scorecards.

Tip: Always keep track of your scores and submit them regularly to get an accurate handicap index.

Challenges Faced by Mid to High Handicap Golfers

What are the common challenges faced by mid to high handicap golfers? The most common challenges include inconsistency, poor ball striking, and ineffective course management. These challenges can make it difficult to break into the lower handicap levels, but they also offer opportunities for improvement.

Who are Mid to High Handicap Golfers?

What Is A Mid To High Handicap In Golf
What is a Mid to High Handicap in Golf


Who usually falls into the mid to high handicap category? Golfers of various age groups, genders, and experience levels can be found in this category. While it’s common to see older players in this range, younger players who are still refining their skills can also have a mid to high handicap.

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Types of Mid to High Handicap Golfers

How can we classify mid to high handicap golfers? They can be categorized based on playing frequency, goals, and equipment used. Some are weekend warriors, while others are more serious and invest in game improvement clubs and other advanced equipment.

Key Takeaway: Knowing your playing style and goals can help you choose the right equipment and strategies to improve your game.

Common Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Consistency is Key

Why is consistency important in golf? Consistency is crucial because it leads to lower scores and a more enjoyable experience on the golf course. One way to improve your consistency is through targeted practice. Drills that focus on your swing mechanics can be particularly helpful.

Mastering Ball Striking

What is ball striking in golf? Ball striking refers to your ability to make clean contact with the ball, affecting both distance and direction. Poor ball striking can result in lost distance and accuracy, making it a critical skill to master for lowering your scores.

Course Management Strategies

Why is course management important? Effective course management helps you make smart decisions during play, reducing the number of strokes needed to complete the course. Knowing when to take risks and when to play it safe can significantly impact your scores.

Tip: Use your handicap index to guide your course management strategies. Higher handicaps might benefit from more conservative play.

Putting: The Game Changer

How does putting affect my golf game? Putting is often the difference between a good round and a great one. Focusing on speed control and accuracy can help you reduce the number of putts per round, lowering your overall score.

Tips for Game Improvement

Best Irons for Mid to High Handicap Golfers

What are the best irons for mid to high handicap golfers? Irons that offer a good balance of forgiveness and control are generally the best choice for these players. Brands like Ping, TaylorMade, and Callaway often produce irons that fit these criteria.

Key Takeaway: Investing in the right set of irons can be a game-changer. Make sure to consider your playing style and specific needs when choosing.

Mental Game: The Unseen Aspect

How important is the mental aspect of golf? The mental game is often overlooked but is crucial for success on the golf course. Techniques like visualization and positive self-talk can help improve your mental strength, leading to better performance.

Additional Questions and Answers

What’s the Difference Between a Mid and High Handicap?

Is there a clear distinction between a mid and high handicap? Yes, a mid-handicap is generally considered to be between 11 and 20, while a high handicap is 21 or above.

What is a Respectable Golf Handicap?

What’s considered a respectable golf handicap? A handicap index of 18 or lower is generally considered respectable. However, the most important thing is to continually strive for improvement, regardless of your current level.

How Can I Lower My Handicap?

How can you lower your handicap? By focusing on consistency, improving your ball striking, and employing effective course management strategies, you can lower your handicap.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

What are common mistakes made by mid to high handicap golfers? Some common mistakes include poor club selection, ignoring the mental game, and lack of practice.

FAQs About What is a Mid to High Handicap in Golf

What is considered a mid handicap in golf?

A mid-handicap in golf is generally considered to be a handicap index between 11 and 20.

What is a low handicap golfer?

A low handicap golfer is someone with a handicap index of 10 or lower.

What is a +4 handicap?

A +4 handicap indicates a highly skilled golfer who typically shoots four strokes better than the course rating.

Best irons for mid-to-high handicap?

Brands like Ping, TaylorMade, and Callaway offer irons that are well-suited for mid-to-high handicap players.


In summary, understanding what is a mid to high handicap in golf is crucial for anyone looking to improve their game or simply enjoy more competitive rounds. A mid to high handicap typically ranges from an index of 11 to 20, with players facing challenges like inconsistency and poor ball striking. By focusing on these areas and choosing the right equipment, you can lower your scores and enjoy the game even more. So, are you ready to take your golf game to the next level?

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Mark Crossfield is a UK-based golf coach, author, and YouTuber. He simplifies complex concepts, emphasizes understanding fundamentals, and has authored several golf books. Mark has helped golfers worldwide improve their game through his coaching, online content, and contributions to magazines and TV programs.
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