Q&A: Golf Handicaps in Scotland

Q&A: Golf Handicaps in Scotland

I'm relatively new to the game and going to St. Andrews, where I'd like to play some of the town's great courses. Will they let me on even though I have a high handicap?

Many Scottish courses do require a certain handicap—or simply that you have a handicap—though seldom are you asked for proof. Still, no matter your ability, get a handicap card before you go (failing that, a letter from your pro). In any case, you should honor the spirit of the rule and only play courses where you're at least in the ballpark of the requirement. Of the six courses in St. Andrews, the Old Course is the only one with an official handicap requirement:twenty-four for men and thirty-six for women. High handicappers will enjoy playing several of the town's easier courses, such as the Eden, the Strathtyrum or the nine-hole Balgove. If you feel that you must play the Old Course, go in the off-season and ask the starter if he'll let you out during a slow time.

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