Who has the Highest Amateur Golf Handicap Ever?

Professional golfers are good, really good. Of course, there are a lot of scratch golfers out there that believe they can swing with the pros.

But the PGA Tour professionals are far better than any scratch golfer or amateur around.

amateur golf handicap

There are amateur golfers out there that are on the verge of going professional.

These men and women are serious players, and are close to making the pro ranks.

These amateurs have recorded a handicap that is extremely impressive, but it is easy to forget that a handicap can seriously handicap a golfer’s game.

Too often amateur golfers are shooting for a score that is unrealistic and can hamper their improvement in the sport.

But for others, recording a high handicap score is quite an impressive feat.

What is an amateur golf handicap?

An amateur golfer needs to be quite aware of their handicap.

It is more important for an amateur to know where their handicap is than a professional golfer.

A golf handicap allows players of differing skill levels to be paired together in competitions.

It is a way to get players with different abilities to play on an even playing field.

Therefore, with the level of skill in amateur golf being all over the map, a golf handicap can give players a level playing surface during competition.

“A handicap indicates the number of strokes a player receives from a specific set of tees at the course being played to adjust the player’s scoring ability to the level of scratch or zero-handicap golf,” according to the United States Golf Association.

So, if an amateur has a 7-handicap, this number will be subtracted from their final round score in an 18-hole tournament.

If an amateur golfer shot an 80 in a tournament round, they would then subtract the number by 7.

Therefore, the official score for the round would be 73.

What about scratch golfers?

A player who records a 0-handicap is referred to as a scratch golfer.

In tournaments, especially in scramble competitions, aren’t allowed to subtract any strokes off their final score.

A scratch golfer is predicted to shoot par during a round of golf. Often, scratch golfers are considered close to being professional in skill.

Plenty of scratch golfers enter amateur tournaments and do very well.

Highest golf handicap

The highest golf handicap allowed by the USGA is 36.4 for men.

Meanwhile, women have their own handicap set at 40.4.

These numbers reflect 18-hole courses, and 9-hole courses have their own handicaps.

Men have a maximum handicap of 18.2N for a 9-hole course while women are given a 20.2N.

A golf course’s rating and slope greatly affect the handicap a player records.

The rating informs scratch golfers of the difficulty of a particular golf course.

The slope is a difficulty level given to a course for a player who averages a bogey on each hole of an 18-hole course.

Lowest golf score shot by an amateur

In August 1962, Homero Blancas scored a stunning 55 on a 9-hole golf course outside Longview, Texas.

The 9-hole course was used for an 18-hole invitational with players playing each hole twice, but from different tees at the box.

At the time of shooting his record low score, Blancas was an amateur player.

The score was carried in the Guiness Book of World Records, but was later removed due to a change in rulings based on minimum course size.

Blancas turned professional in 1965, and recorded just four PGA Tour wins.

In recent years, he has played on the Senior PGA Tour circuit.

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Highest handicaps of hobby golfers

Not all amateur golfers play in tournaments around the world.

Some of the best amateur golf handicap scores have been recorded by athletes and politicians.

According to Golf Digest:

  • Bill Gates – 24
  • Kenny G – 3.5
  • Clint Eastwood – 22.5
  • Justin Timberlake – 0.2
  • Donald Trump – 6
  • Kevin Costner – 11.4
  • Jack Nicklaus – 3.4 (Yes, that’s right!)
  • Tom Brady – 9.2

Although an amateur golfer’s handicap may be high, it doesn’t mean they will be on the PGA Tour soon.

It is a great start to turning professional, but there is a lot more that goes in to being a consistent tour golfer than a great amateur handicap.

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