Where do you stand?

The USGA just published a breakdown of handicaps for all Male US golfers.

We thought it would be fun to compare against our own member base, and so published both in graphical format below:

Breakdown of All Mens U.S. Handicaps

The graph shows the % of golfers that fall within each handicap number on an average course.* For example, about 2.5% of all golfers are ~24 handicaps. On average, golfers than maintain handicaps fall within the 13-14 range.

So now you know what the say when someone asks you “What is the average handicap?”. But note that this information is only for golfers that maintain a handicap. Many more do not, and so the average score for all golfers is about 100 (which might correspond closer to a 25 handicap).

The blue bars on the graph represent the USGA information, while the red bars represent the breakdown of handicaps on MyScorecard. Pretty close! We were hoping to tell you that our members are significantly better than the overall distribution, but on the flip side it’s nice to see that golfers of every skill level enjoying MyScorecard.com

Any questions, let us know.

*For golfers that maintain handicaps. Indexes are rounded, since handicaps are expressed to one decimal place. Or you can consider it as the course handicap on an average course (with slope of 113).

Golf Trick Shots in Wine Country

Grant Dodd is a former professional golfer who now leads Network Ten/One HD’s golf commentary team in all their domestic golf broadcasts providing expert analysis. He also writes for Australian Golf Digest, co-author of Barossa Wine Traveler and more importantly a wine connoisseur.

If you are really trying to hone in on your chip shots, grab a glass of wine and watch this video on knocking down wine bottles with pinpoint accuracy. It may be April’s fools (just like the tennis video of Roger Federer), but we’ve heard those guys down under can really dial in their wedges!

The World’s Most Expensive Golf Book

Setting you back $46,605, Wonderland Publications recently published a luxury Golf Bible, simply called Golf.

Measuring over 3 feet in width, weighing over 80 lbs, and bound in an extremely rare 400-year-old Russian Hide leather cove, this golf bible has eighteen chapters that tell the story of the game with contributions from over 50 individuals worldwide in the golf industry.

Our mission has been to create a satirical, informed work of prose and art, designed to capture the true spirit of the game from it’s formative growth, through to the realities of the recent financial depression, and on towards new and exciting horizons

Weitzman, Co-Author

The publication also features many restored, rare and never seen before photographs and letters from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including Ryder, Morris, Jones, Vardon, Duncan, MacKenzie, Park and Hollins, as well as an exclusive insight into the world of Mark McCormack and a look at the comparable evolution of cricket, completed in collaboration with Lords and the MCC archive.

If you are not quite ready to shell out the price of a luxury vehicle, a Collector’s edition is available that is priced at a much affordable $544.

Looking to browse before you by? Feel free to peruse, Chapter 6

Holiday Book Review: Play Your Best Mental Golf

Ever heard the saying that golf is “10% physical and 90% mental”? I don’t know if that’s completely accurate or not, but clearly, what goes on in your head during a round of golf can have as much to do with your score as anything happening in your swing.

Play Your Best Golf Now is a new book from Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott that’s focused on helping you play to your potential by improving your mental golf game.

Vision 54 (vs 72strokes)

Nilsson and Marriott may not be well known to your buddies in your foursome, but they are well known in professional golf. They are both Golf Digest top 50 teachers and are the Golf Digest #1 and #2 Women Teachers, respectively.

They’ve worked with players that have won more than 100 times on professional tours around the world, including 5 major championships. They clearly know a thing or two about harnessing someone’s full potential.
Continue reading “Holiday Book Review: Play Your Best Mental Golf”

Casey Martin: 10 years Later

This from our friends over at 72strokes, where they covered a great story on Casey Martin and his 4-year legal battle with the PGA Tour that ended in 2001. Martin was a three-time all Pac-10 and was a member of Stanford University’s NCAA Championship team in 1994. He suffers from a rare and painful leg disability, fought the PGA Tour for the right to use a golf cart in competition. He ultimately took his case all the way to the Supreme Court where he emerged victorious.

Riding in a cart didn’t turn out to be the advantage than many though it would be:

Maybe on a 120-degree day or on a really hilly course it helped to ride,” Martin said. “But I certainly wish I could’ve walked. The rhythm of the game at a competitive level is a walking rhythm, not a riding rhythm.”

After struggling to remain competitive on the golf course, Martin retired from professional golf five years ago. He’s now the head coach for the University of Oregon’s golf team, which he’s turned into a national powerhouse.

Overall, Casey Martin’s PGA story wasn’t filled with big wins – He played a year on the PGA Tour, but mostly knocked around golf’s minor league. His accomplishments were not big, but they were meaningful.

“In the end it worked out great,” Martin said. “I got a chance to legitimately pursue my career. It made a massive impact on my life for the better.”

Martin’s fight has served as inspiration for other athletes to pursue their dreams, and a lesson that a disability doesn’t have to come with preset limits.

Member Tournaments – Turkey Shoot Out

Thanksgiving Tournament
We’re glad to bring you another tournament created by the West Puget Sound Men’s Club, a club that uses MyScorecard to help make their rounds more enjoyable and fun. We appreciate their sharing their format with us.

In the turkey shoot out, each player will be allowed to “shoot” FOUR turkey holes as they occur on the course. Dead turkeys are replaced by a par score. Fire your shotgun shells early or save them for the end. You choose (some years the club plays that anything hire than a triple-bogey necessitates the use of a shotgun shell).

At the end, you will subtract a specific number of additional strokes (from chart below) and one-half stroke for every unused “shotgun shell”. (Higher handicappers will receive more after-round strokes to compensate for their reduced ammunition.). 1st and 2nd place receive a price. Continue reading “Member Tournaments – Turkey Shoot Out”

Golf Exorcism for Halloween

If you are interested in organizing a club tournament this Halloween, here is an interesting format used by the West Puget Sound Men’s Club, a club that uses MyScorecard to help make their rounds more enjoyable and fun. We appreciate their sharing their annual tournament with us.

Halloween Golf Tournament


The tournament is a regular tournament with two twists:

1) Based on your handicap (refer to chart below) you will be allowed to exorcise a specified number of demon holes before the round. Just declare the hole in advance and write in a par for each.
2) After the round you will be allowed to subtract a specific number of strokes for your handicap.


So you say you’re not afraid of ghosts?

You may wish to use your exorcisms to play “easy” holes aggressively without fear of a big number. Should you birdie one of your selected demon holes, not only do you get to keep the birdie (you can erase the par you wrote on the card, then enter the birdie,), but that exorcism becomes a wild card for you to use after the round on any hole that took a bite out of you. A wild card is a powerful tool – thus the tough decision is whether to choose the hardest hole, or perhaps the easiest hole and play it aggressively. Continue reading “Golf Exorcism for Halloween”

Welcome Digital Divot Members

We’d like to welcome the members of Digital Divot who have joined the MyScorecard service.

Knowing the importance of proper handicapping, Digital Divot has partnered with MyScorecard.com to transition their members’ accounts, scores, and handicaps to the MyScorecard service. MyScorecard has worked closely with the USGA from inception, building a system that adheres to the there rules and regulations, avoiding the unfortunate issues that we experienced.

As endorsed by Joshua Richards, owner and developer of Digital Divot: MyScorecard provides a place for members who loved Digital Divot to continue with all the great features that they enjoyed on our site, as well as the many new features MyScorecard offers. We’re glad to be able to partner to provide our members with a great experience and smooth transition from our site.

If you know of a web site that might benefit from partnering with MyScorecard, please don’t hesitate to let us know and we would be happy to reach out to them.

Your Golf Equipment Buying Guide, Part II: The Driver

Basic Factors to Consider
Is your driver more than three years old? If so, golf club manufacturers would say it’s time for a new one. I was skeptical too, but when I finally bit the bullet and bought a modern driver, I couldn’t believe the difference (and my old driver was only five years old). If you’re serious about your game, it’s well worth the investment.

Finding the right driver isn’t hard. Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t need to pay anyone to tell you what you should be swinging. You can do it yourself — you just need to know what to look for. We’ll spend this post discussing the four simple factors to consider when buying a driver, and then next time we’ll talk about how to get it done.

10.5 degree loft1. Loft
The higher the loft on your driver, the higher the launch angle and the more backspin. For players who have faster swing speeds (generally better players), too much loft can be detrimental. More loft creates more spin and more height, and this leads to high ballooning shots that get caught in the wind and don’t go anywhere. On the other hand, for those with slower swing speeds, higher loft will help get the ball started on a higher trajectory, and this will increase carry distance.

Most manufacturers sell drivers with lofts ranging from 8 degrees to 12 degrees. To check the loft on a driver, look at the bottom of the club (see left). Continue reading “Your Golf Equipment Buying Guide, Part II: The Driver”

New Blog Name: The Scratch Pad

Thanks to everyone for your suggestions and feedback. While the finalists were all strong contenders, the consensus (among both you and us) formed around one name . The clear winner was The Scratch Pad, and we’re very excited to have that as the new name for our online golf handicap blog. We’ll be posting the name shortly.

As a thank you to Dayton House (who suggested the name), we’ll be sending him a free year of membership.