The handicap system in golf effectively measures how good you are. Your handicap is calculated based on the number of strokes you shoot per game over a long stretch of games. You might have heard about a player with a 2 handicap and wonder how good this is.
A 2 handicap in golf is an excellent handicap. The closer to 0 (scratch) a player’s handicap is, the better that person is at golf and is the base for scoring when using handicaps. While not at the professional level, playing off a 2 handicap will set you as a player of commensurable skill in the game.
Handicaps play a significant role in competitive golf. It allows players who are very good at golf and others who have never swung a golf club in their life to have an even and fair competition without the excellent golfer winning drastically.
Let’s look further at exactly how good a 2 handicap is.
Is A 2 Handicap Good In Golf?
If a golfer has a 2 handicap, it is of particular significance from where it is on a scale and almost a scratch handicap. Knowing your handicap and someone else’s can help you get a grip on someone’s golfing ability and allow for a fair match-up between players.
A 2 handicap is extremely low and therefore extremely good. In its simplest terms, a 2 handicap requires the player to score 16 pars and just 2 bogeys in a round.
That is not easy!
A 2 handicap is an excellent skill level and would put you in the top echelons of golfers worldwide as you would be able to shoot two over par consistently or better. It should be respected due to the time and effort required to reach it.
The highest possible handicap in golf is officially 54.0 (though I doubt anyone has a handicap that high), and the lowest potential handicap is even lower than 0.
A dishonest player claiming to be a two handicap would be quickly found out due to the standard of play required.
Why Are Handicaps Used?
The handicap system was introduced way back in 1911 and was based on the British three score average. There were ideas about handicapping in golf dating back to the 17th century, but the first official handicap system was implemented in 1911.
Handicaps were introduced to allow a fairer competition in golf. Though rarely used in professional and top amateur tournaments, handicaps are commonly used in local club competitions and social play among friends and colleagues.
The handicap system lets players who, on average, shoot a high number of strokes per game compete with a ‘much better’ golfer that hits a relatively low number of strokes per game.
Handicaps are calculated by taking your last 20 best scores and factoring in the course difficulties to arrive at the Handicap Index. As a two handicap player, the average score would be, for example, 74 on a par 72 course or 73 on a par 71 course.
In each of those examples, you can see that the average score above par is two strokes over.
What Percentage Of Golfers Are 2 Handicap?
A two handicap is immensely respected because relative to the number of golfers worldwide, very few play at two handicap or better.
In the USA, the average men’s handicap in 2021 was 14, while women average 27.7. You can read more about this topic here, What’s The Average Golf Handicap In The US?
To give you a deeper insight and indication of how good a 2 handicap golfer is compared to the overall playing population in the USA, only 1.53% of golfers play off a 2 handicap, with only 1.13% playing off a +1 handicap or better.
Considering that there are about 24 million golfers in the USA, that number would equate to a select few of around 37,000 male golfers with a two handicap index. Only 0.25% of players have a two handicap rating in the women’s game.
At this level, you would be able to compete in the top Amateur tournaments and possibly enter such events as The Open or US Open.
As you can see from the handicap index statistics, achieving this skill level in the game isn’t easy. There is a stark contrast in skill between a 10 handicapped and a 2 handicapped player. You could say it’s practically as much as between a 2 handicap and a professional.
Do you want to know what the best irons are for 2 handicappers? Check out this article, 5 Best Golf Irons For 2 Handicap Players.
What Does It Take To Get A 2 Handicap?
Golf ranks among one of the most challenging sports in the world. There is no doubt about it; golf is a hard sport.
It would be nice. But I doubt that even the most naturally gifted of players, someone like the great Spaniard Seve Ballesteros walked out onto a golf course and immediately had a two handicap after just a handful of rounds.
To get a 2 handicap takes years of hard work and dedication, and you certainly can’t rely on luck. And like Tiger Woods, arguably the sport’s greatest player, always emphasizes, practice is the key to success.
And practice does not mean going to a driving range and hitting 50 balls in 10 minutes!
Instead, practice at this level is centered around your game, focusing, and envisioning yourself hitting certain shots on the golf course while also working on the aspects of your game that need improving, usually under the guidance of a qualified coach.
An excellent mental approach is also necessary. A poor shot needs to be forgotten about straight away.
When answering the question, “how good is 2 handicap in golf?” you need to know the lower the handicap, the better the golfer. Becoming a 2 handicap is a significant achievement. It usually takes years of hard work to achieve this level.
But once reached, many doors are opened to prestigious national and international tournaments, which can lead to even greater glory! A win in some of these tournaments can lead to being invited to play at either The Open, US Open, or Masters.