Golf Digest, April, 2009
Handicaps - Your Questions Answered
Beating your handicap by nine strokes
Q: I played with a guy in a tournament who beat his handicap by nine strokes. What are the odds?
A: If he were an average golfer, the odds are 3,577-to-1. For a player with a course handicap of 15, and the Course Rating close to 70, he should average three over his handicap, or an 88, and play to his handicap (85) one in six rounds. To beat his handicap by nine means to score a gross 76 for a net 61. His Handicap Committee should investigate him. You can find the USGA's probability table here (in Appendix E).
By Dean Knuth, Golf Digest Professional Advisor. Former senior director of the USGA handicap department, Knuth invented today's USGA Course Rating and Slope system.