Scratch golfers, as well as golfers with a plus handicap, are challenging to find. There aren’t a lot of scratch golfers who are in the United States or – in actual fact – anywhere else in the world. More frequently than not, the only scratch-or-better golfers who other golfers know are the professionals they may watch on TV.

According the USGA, a scratch golfer is merely identified as a player who is able to play to a zero Course Handicap on all rated golf courses. A golf course handicap is how many strokes an individual player earns on a particular course founded on their handicap index as well as the course rating.

In other words, a scratch golfer is essentially a golfer who is good enough in order to get zero handicap strokes on any type of golf course, from every set of tees in a net competition. In other words, these golfers nearly never get strokes in a friendly game. This is pretty rare.

An Amateur Golfer’s Dreams

The PGA Tour trailers on TV frequently finish with the slogan that goes along the lines of “these guys are great”. In actual fact, these guys aren’t just good – they are far, far better than you really think.

Every recreational golfer has probably dreamed of what it would be like to be a PGA Tour professional. Some of you could be scratch golfers, or play with golfers of this nature, and wonder if there is the possibility you could be mixing it with the big names on the PGA Tour. The only way most scratch golfers would make it on Tour is as a caddie or scoreboard carrier.

The majority of top golf professionals played to handicaps of +4 to +6 before entering the professional ranks. Some current pros still hold active handicaps, and these serve to highlight how much better than “scratch” they really are.

What Ratio Of Golfers Are Scratch Or Better?

A total of 40 000 golfers who are scratch – or better – make up 1.6% of handicap index-carrying golfers. However, only roughly 10% of American golfers have a recognised handicap index.

As the distribution of active golfers with a handicap index probably skews better as opposed to the distribution of active golfers who don’t have a handicap index, it’s fair to make the assumption that scratch-or-better golfers really make up closer to the top 1% of golfers than the top 2%. Approximately 1.85% of male golfers are scratch or better, while 0.69% of women are scratch or better.

Nevertheless, lots of professional golfers don’t enter their scores onto the reg, either in recreational rounds or from the competition, so there’s no chance of novelty betting here. So, it’s safe to say that the scratch-or-better golfers are the 1% of the golf population however within that 1%, the indices might not be properly skewed.

No matter how what their handicap index may be, if you find yourself to be playing with a golfer whose index is 0.0 or better, then you know that you’re playing with one of the most outstanding golfers in the world — even if they’re not playing professionally.