September 10, 2023

What Is A Mid Handicapper

Are you stuck in the golfing middle ground, not a novice but not quite a pro? You’re not alone.

Welcome to the world of mid handicappers, a place filled with potential and room for improvement. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into what it means to be a mid handicapper and how you can elevate your game to the next level.

Unlock the potential of your golf game by reading this article because it offers a comprehensive guide to understanding and improving as a mid-handicapper!

Defining a Mid Handicapper

A mid-handicapper is someone who has a handicap between 10 and 19. If you fall within this range, you are considered to be an intermediate-level golfer.

– Linda Parker
  • Skill Level: You’ve spent a good amount of time on the course, honing your swing and improving your overall technique.
  • Game Understanding: You’re not just hitting the ball; you’re thinking about the game. You’ve started to strategize for each hole, considering elements like distance, hazards, and wind direction.
  • Freedom and Fun: The best part? You can genuinely enjoy the game while you’re improving. You’re not a scratch golfer yet, but you’re on your way.

Factors That Define a Mid Handicapper

Mid handicappers often shoot 10 to 18 strokes above par. Your consistency—or lack thereof—plays a huge role in this. Here are the key factors that contribute to your mid-handicap status:

Accuracy off the TeeHigh
Approach ShotsMedium
Short Game ProficiencyHigh

Improving these areas will not only make you more consistent but also lower your handicap. So, keep practicing!

Equipment for Mid Handicappers

Golf Equipment

Choosing the right equipment is crucial for any golfer, but it’s especially important for mid-handicappers who are looking to improve. 1

From clubs to balls, the right gear can make a significant difference in your game. For instance, mid-handicappers often benefit from game-improvement irons and drivers with a larger sweet spot.

Here’s a more detailed guide, complete with specific recommendations:

Golf Clubs

Golf Clubs
  1. Game-Improvement Irons:
  2. Drivers with a Larger Sweet Spot:
  3. Hybrids:

Golf Balls & Tees

Golf Balls and Tees
  1. Low Spin Balls:
  2. Soft-Feel Balls:


  1. Plastic Tees:
  2. Step Tees:


Golf Club Grips
  1. Midsize Grips:


  1. Laser Rangefinders:

By investing in the right equipment, you can significantly improve your game and lower your handicap. Each of these recommendations is tailored to meet the specific needs of mid-handicappers, helping you make an informed decision.

The Challenges Mid Handicappers Face

Being a mid handicapper comes with its own set of challenges:

  • Swing Consistency: One of the most common issues is maintaining a consistent swing. Focus on your technique to ensure you’re executing the same swing each time.
  • Emotional Management: Golf is as much a mental game as it is physical. Keeping your emotions in check, especially after a bad shot, is crucial.
  • Course Management: Many mid handicappers struggle with this. Knowing when to take risks and when to play it safe can significantly impact your score.

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Mid-handicappers often fall into certain traps that hinder their progress. One common mistake is neglecting the short game, focusing too much on driving distance.

Another is poor course management, like always going for the hero shot instead of playing it safe. Being aware of these pitfalls is the first step in avoiding them.

Strategies to Improve Your Mid Handicap

To improve your mid handicap, focus on developing strategic approaches to each hole and making smart decisions that can greatly improve your overall score. By analyzing the layout of the course and taking into consideration your strengths and weaknesses, you can create a game plan that maximizes your chances of success. Here are some strategies to consider:

Course ManagementInstead of always going for the longest shot, think strategically about where to position yourself for the next shot. This may mean hitting a shorter club off the tee to set up a better approach shot.
Short Game PracticeA strong short game can save you strokes. Spend time practicing your chipping, pitching, and putting to improve your ability to get up and down from around the green.
Mental GameStay focused and positive throughout your round. Avoid getting frustrated by bad shots and make smart decisions instead of trying to make up for mistakes with risky shots.

Drills and Exercises

Improving your game requires targeted practice. Here are some drills specifically designed for mid-handicappers:

  1. Chipping Drill: Place a towel 3 feet from you and try to chip 10 balls onto it. This improves your short game.
  2. Putting Drill: Set up four tees around a hole at distances of 3, 4, 5, and 6 feet. Make 10 putts from each tee to improve your putting consistency.

Conclusion: Your Path Forward

You’re now armed with a wealth of knowledge about being a mid handicapper. Remember, improvement doesn’t happen overnight. Keep practicing, stay focused, and your handicap will start to drop.

So, grab your clubs and hit the course. Your journey from a mid handicapper to a low handicapper starts now. Happy golfing!

About the author 

Linda Parker

My name is Linda Parker, I’ve been around golf since I was born, and I’ve been golfing since I was four years old!

I’m here to share my love of the game with you, so please do let me know if you have any questions!

  • I am a 65 year old, retired mid handicapper and although we’ve never met, it seems you were writing this article specifically for me. Thanks for writing it…I am printing a copy and storing it in the pocket of my golf bag for future reference!

    • Hi Joseph,

      Wow, you just made my day! I’m absolutely thrilled to hear that the article felt tailor-made for you! It’s comments like yours that make writing these pieces so rewarding. I’m honored that you found the information valuable enough to print and keep in your golf bag for future reference.

      As a retired mid-handicapper, you’ve already got a wealth of experience on the greens, and I’m glad my article could add to your knowledge. If you have any more questions or topics you’d like to see covered, feel free to let me know.

      Happy golfing, and may your grip bring you many more successful rounds!

      Best regards,


  • I carry a 16.4 handicap. I found your article interesting. Most of what you said applies to me. Emphasizes the truth about what I need to work on.

    • Hi William,

      Thank you for taking the time to read the article and share your thoughts. It’s encouraging to hear that you found the content relevant to your own experience as someone with a 16.4 handicap.

      Golf is a game of constant learning and improvement, and it sounds like you’re on the right track in identifying areas to work on. If there are any specific topics or questions you’d like to see covered in future articles, I’d love to hear your suggestions.

      Wishing you all the best in your journey to lower that handicap even further!

      Best regards,


  • I’m 63,better physical condition than most, saving for the 4th back operation last year, replace left hip tomorrow. I’m right handed. I anticipate losing 50yds off tee and 2 clubs. Thoughts? I’m thinking higher spin balls and play a hard pull hook for distance.

    • You wont lose any distance with the operation. Your mobility has been restricted and shortly you will increased it. Time to be positive! been there – not an issue.

    • Hey Wesley,

      Wow, you’ve been through a lot with those back ops and now a hip replacement. That’s tough, man. But the fact that you’re still pumped about golf? That’s awesome.

      I get why you’re thinking about using higher spin balls and playing a hard pull hook. Smart moves to adapt your game, especially after surgeries like yours. But hey, maybe check in with your doc or a physical therapist who knows golf. Just to make sure you’re not going to mess up your back or new hip even more.

      Once you get the green light, you might want to look into tweaking your gear. Lighter shafts, forgiving clubheads—stuff like that could help you make up for any lost distance. And don’t forget, a killer short game can be just as good as smashing it off the tee.

      Good luck with the hip surgery, and can’t wait to hear about your comeback on the course. Keep that passion for golf going; it’s clearly doing something right for you.

      Take care,

    • I’m 64 and had left hip replacement last November, as well as have crushed my pelvis, 2 major surgeries on both knees, broke my back, and torn both shoulders.

      I retired this past March and spent the summer working part time for a Tiger farm team on the groundcrew, which really helped with losing weight, making me stronger, and raising my stamina.

      I’ve played a lot of golf too and worked hard on my flexibilty….you really need to tell yourself that “you” can use that hip. I understand the apprehension that it might hurt or dislocate….take your time and your body will tell you how much you can turn on it. It’ll come around.

  • Great article. I am a 5 handicap. I Would like to Hear what you have to say to get to a scratch handicap. Been chasing it for years, just can’t get there.

    • Hi Jay,

      Thank you so much for your kind words about the article! Achieving a 5 handicap is no small feat, and I can sense your passion for the game and your drive to improve even further.

      I’ve actually written an article on what it takes to become a scratch golfer. It covers a range of topics that could be beneficial for you, from mental preparation to specific drills.

      In addition to that, here are a few quick tips that might help you get closer to that elusive scratch handicap:

    • Course Management: Sometimes, it’s not about hitting the perfect shot but choosing the right one. Knowing when to be aggressive and when to play it safe can save you crucial strokes.
    • Short Game Mastery: The saying “Drive for show, putt for dough” holds true. Spend extra time practicing your putting and chipping. These are the strokes that truly count when you’re looking to go from a 5 to a scratch.
    • Mental Toughness: Golf is as much a mental game as it is physical. Work on staying focused and maintaining a positive attitude, especially after a bad shot or hole.
    • I hope these tips, along with the insights from the scratch golfer article, help you in your journey to achieving that scratch handicap you’ve been chasing for years.

      Best of luck, Jay! I’m rooting for you.


  • Great article. I actually took notes. How can l follow you? Didnt see a link. I have a 10 to 12 hdcp dpo time of year. In the last five years l had complete left shoulder replacement. Left arm folds very quickly on follow thru now. How important is that move to getting in the single digits?
    Thx Michael

    • Hi Michael,

      Thank you for your kind words about the article, and I’m glad you found it helpful! To follow me and stay updated, you can connect with me on Facebook or Twitter. You’ll find the links to both of my social media profiles in the header of my website.

      Regarding your question about your left shoulder replacement and the impact on your golf swing, it’s essential to work with a golf instructor or physical therapist who can assess your specific situation. While the follow-through is crucial in golf, adapting your swing to accommodate physical changes can certainly be done. It may require adjustments and drills tailored to your unique needs. With dedication and the right guidance, you can certainly work towards improving and achieving that single-digit handicap.

      Best of luck with your golf journey, and feel free to reach out if you have any more questions!


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