What is a Mid Handicap in Golf?

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Golf is a great game because of its handicaps. If you’re just a beginner you can play with a seasoned golfer and even play gambling games thanks to handicapping. 

Golfers are often bitten by the golf bug and work hard to improve their game. At the beginning of your golf journey you’ll shoot in the 100s like every other player. You can shoot in the 90s and 80s depending on how hard you practice and how determined you are.

As your game improves, your handicap will decrease as it’s based on the scores you input in the system. The more times you enter lower scores (especially if they’re tournament rounds), the lower your handicap will drop.

Keep reading to find out about the different handicaps, how you can improve your golf game, and the best clubs to play for players with a mid-handicap. 

Mid-Handicap golfer

Before getting into what is a mid-handicappers, it’s important to understand the averages for men and women. According to the USGAThe average male handicap is 14.2, while the average female handicap averages 27.5. 

But remember, handicap does not equal the score you “should” shoot every single round. For example if you’re a 15 handicap you shouldn’t shoot 87 every time you tee it up. Mid handicappers can score anywhere from 82 to 92 depending on the course or day.  

Now that we have the average handicaps let’s get into the different types of golfers based on those handicaps. 

High Handicap (20+).

What is a high golf handicap?

These players are often just getting their start in the game and may not have as much time or energy to practice. High handicap golfers are those with more than a 20 handicap.

Scores range from 90 to 100+ depending on the course difficulty. These players can choose to play in normal mens tees or senior-tees. Depending on the course, the color of each box may change. 

These golfers should use forgiving game improvement clubs (hybrids and fairway woods) rather than long irons. You will also benefit from lighter shafts that naturally increase clubhead speed. 

For those with short game, cavity back wedges would be a great choice. A putter with built in alignment aids can help to get the ball on the right line and avoid making three putts as often. 

Click here to find out how to break 100 every time.

Mid Handicappers (10-20). 

What is a middle-handicap in golf?

The next group of golfers are called mid-handicap players. We can conclude that the average handicap level of mid-handicap golfers is 14.2. 

A mid-handicapper will shoot between 80 and 90 depending on the course. Average golfers should play the normal tees for men or one teebox back. We’ll break down the best type of clubs for these kinds of players in just a second. 

Click here to see how to break 90 consistently

Low Handicappers (0-9). 

Low handicaps are the third category of handicap golfers.

Low handicap refers to players who have a single digit handicap as they’re more likely to shoot scores in the 70s quite often.  They tend to play one back from normal men’s tee boxes or the championship tees depending on the golf course. 

According to the USGA report, 25% of golfers can be considered scratch or low handicap. This is a great goal for serious golfers who want to push their limits and play in tournaments.

Low handicap players tend not to use as many clubs (more long irons, and often a fourth wedge) as they do with higher handicappers. It’s also beneficial to get a full bag fitting with an emphasis on your driver and putter. These clubs play a crucial role in making sure that you score well every round.

Click here to find out how to break 80 every time.

Scratch Golfers (or Better) 

The scratch golfers are the last type of golfers. They have close to a 0 handicap. This means that they usually shoot around par (sometimes a little over, sometimes a little under). 

There are also plus handicaps, in addition to scratch golfers. These players have a +2.5 or +1 handicap, depending on their skill level. This means that they are more likely to shoot below par. Professional golfers on PGA Tour tend have handicaps between +5 and +7 (which is crazy).

According to the USGA study we’ve referenced in this article only 20,000 golfers in the United States are a +1.0 or better. This requires a lot of time to master your swing, short game, and mindset but a great goal to shoot for if you’re committed to golf. 

Scratch players use more advanced equipment because they have higher swing speeds than the average player. To improve accuracy and reduce spin, these players use stiffer shafts that are heavier and stiffer. Additionally, clubs are designed to work the golf ball more than to allow forgiveness.

Expect these golfers to compete in golf tournaments and play frequently in men’s clubs as well. Click here to find out how to become a scratch player. 


Best Golf Clubs For Mid-Handicappers 

What clubs should mid-handicappers use? You’re in the middle spot in terms of golf equipment but luckily there are more options than ever in the mid handicap category.

Driver and Fairway Woods

Mid-handicappers will be able to benefit from the middle-forgiveness driver. Callaway Golf offers three versions of the Rogue ST Max Max, ST Max-D, or two Triple Diamond versions. 

Because of its draw bias and additional forgiveness, the Rogue ST is a great choice for middle-handicap golfers. Mid-handicap golfers are looking for a driver with fairway woods that is both long and short. 

Irons and Hybrids 

The same goes with hybrids – most mid-handicap golfers will benefit from cavity back irons. Blades and muscle backs are best for low handicap and scratch golfers as they aren’t very forgiving. Cavity back irons are able to shape shots with enough forgiveness. 

Plus, don’t forget to have a driving iron and/or hybrid (or two) in the bag too. These clubs can be replaced with hard-hitting long irons for a more consistent long game. 

These are our top mid handicap irons.


Mid-handicap players should have three wedges. They should have pitching, gap and sand wedges. For your long game, skip the lob wedge and use the extra club. Plus, lob wedges aren’t the easiest clubs to hit. 


Finally if you’re a mid-handicap golfer use a forgiving putter that is easy to line up. If you mark your ball, it will make it easier to line putts. 

Three Tips to Help You Become a Low Handicap 

These three steps will help you quickly shoot lower scores once you have the right equipment.

1. Make sure you have a pre-shot routine in place

A pre-shot routine can be a key part of shooting lower scores. A consistent routine in golf is key to:

  • Be strong!
  • Play at a faster pace
  • Be confident in your actions
  • Avoid fear and doubt when taking on difficult shots
  • Help you analyze the shot and choose the right club

All professional, scratch, and low handicap golfers have a consistent routine. Click here to find out how to create a routine for your pre-shot in golf.

2. Spend more time with your driver

Your driver is the most important club in your bag. Amateur golfers are afraid to hit driver, as they fear losing a slice or hitting it out of bounds.

Spend more time at the range with your driver to overcome these fears. Focus specifically on hitting one shot shape; this is your “go to” shot on 99% of par 4s and 5s. 

Its so much easier to get on the tee box confidently when you have a go to shot (which should be your natural shot form). Also, don’t forget to adjust your driver settings (in the hosel and/or with sliding weights) to make sure it fits your swing. 

3. Reduce three putts 

Finally, don’t forget to spend plenty of time on the putting green too. Putt practice should be focused on two distances.

  • Within six feetThese are the putts that statistically have the highest chance of making. They can also play a significant role in shooting lower scores. These putts can also give you momentum if you are able to save par after missing the green. 
  • 30 Feet: This is about the average distance you’ll have when you hit a green in regulation. Don’t waste good approach shots with three putts from mid-range. 

FAQs about Handicap and Lowering your Scores

Are you looking for more information on playing better and lowering your handicap? Continue reading to find the most frequently asked questions.

Does handicap equal score?

Your handicap is the difference between your best and average scores. The handicapping system takes into account tee box played, total score and tournament vs. casual rounds, among many other factors.

But it doesn’t mean you “should” shoot your handicap every round. It’s more of a guideline as golf is quite an inconsistent game. A 10 handicap golfer could shoot in the 70s or low 80s, depending on the day. 

What does a middle-handicapper look like? High handicappers?

A mid-handicap players average score can vary from low 80s up to high 90s depending on course conditions and other factors. High handicappers tend to shoot in between the 90s and 100+ range.

What handicap is a 95-year-old golfer?

A golfer who shoots in mid 90s is likely to have an 18-20 handicap. Scores are affected by many factors, as we have already mentioned. The slope and course rating as well as weather conditions and tournament vs. informal round scores all play a part in the total score. 

What is a respectable handicap in golf?

The average golfer scores 14.2 points. There is no “respectable” golf handicap – instead try to get better everyday day, week, and year. Your handicap level progresses and you shouldnt compare yourself to anyone.

Is 16 considered a midhandicap?

A mid-handicap golfer is someone who scores between 10-20. A 16-handicap golfer will shoot in the high 80s to the mid 90s depending on the conditions and the day. 

What is considered a mid-handicap in golf

While there’s no definitive range the average handicap for male golfers is 14.2. The mid-handicap range was between 10-20. A low handicapper is below 10 and a higher handicapper is above 20.

Final Thoughts on Mid Handicap Golfers

If your handicap car is between 10-20, you’re considered a mid-handicapper. This is a great zone for golfers to aim for and, with a few tweaks, can even be a low handicap.

These tips will help you get from a 20- to a 10-handicapping.

If you’re committed to playing your best golf (at any level) make sure to always emphasize short game and mental game. While most golfers spend too much time at the driving range, they dont realize that these two aspects can have a dramatic impact on their scores. As Jack Nicklaus said, “Golf is 90% mental, only 10% physical.”

Also don’t forget to play the right golf balls based on your ball speed and if you’re an avid golfer, a club fitting session can help too.

One Response

  1. Very well written! The points discussed are highly relevant. For further exploration, check out: LEARN MORE. Keen to hear everyone’s opinions!

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