What is a Mid Handicapper? (Find Out What You’re Considered)
Written by Brittany Olizarowicz

Britt O has been playing golf since the age of 7. Almost 30 years later, she still loves the game, has played competitively on every level, and spent a good portion of her life as a Class A PGA Professional. Britt currently resides in Savannah, GA, with her husband and two young children. Current Handicap: 1

Updated on April 11, 2023

Mid handicappers make up the largest group of golfers in the game; however, this range can feel wide and leave you questioning whether or not you are a mid handicapper.

Low handicappers and high handicappers know who they are. Let’s find out if a mid handicapper describes your game or if you identify as high or low.


What Is a Mid Handicap Golfer?

A mid handicap golfer is anyone who has a handicap from around a 10 to a 20. The mid handicappers are not single-digit handicap golfers. Instead, they often shoot in the 80s and 90s (typically anywhere from 85 to 93).

A mid handicapper that breaks 90 consistently is generally quite happy with the way they are playing. Most mid handicappers will make a couple of pars and bogeys, but they often have one or two holes where they pick up extra strokes.

This may be from a golf shot out of bounds or the inability to get up and down from a tough spot around the green. However, those extra shots are what keep the mid handicap golfers from becoming low handicappers.


Understanding The Different Levels of Handicap

Although we would like to be polite and say that your handicap doesn’t define you as a golfer, it most certainly does. Scratch golfers work hard to get to that point and aren’t afraid to announce that they are scratch golfers.

High handicappers know they struggle to break 100, and until they do so consistently, that mid-handicap range seems almost out of reach.

The different handicap levels are the same for men and women. Women golfers that shoot in the mid to high 80s are considered mid handicap golfers as well. There are fewer mid and low handicap women golfers than there are men, but the range is still considered to be the same numbers.

Remember that everyone’s idea of what defines a “good” golfer can be very different. You may talk to a scratch golfer that thinks his friend who shoots 82 is not a great player. However, the higher handicapper who has that same friend likely thinks of them as professional!

Low Handicap Golfer

Mid Handicap Golfer

High Handicap Golfer

Handicap Range













Tips on What it Takes to Go From a Mid Handicapper to a Low Handicapper

All golfers have different goals in the game. Just getting out to the golf course and enjoying it is enough for some. For others, breaking 80 is a lifelong goal that they must achieve. When you start breaking 80 consistently, you will move from the mid handicap group to the low handicap group; here are some tips to help this happen faster.

Accuracy Over Distance

It’s fun to hit the ball far. Regardless of your handicap, hitting a shot with tons of ball speed that heads down the center of the fairway feels great. However, at some point, distance is not the only thing that matters.

In fact, when you are ready to really start scoring well, accuracy is much more important than distance. Golfers must be highly accurate to break 80.

Even hitting a shot in the rough can lead to a bogey, and scratch golfers will tell you there is a huge difference between hitting an approach shot from the rough and one from the fairway. Accuracy is essential when trying to shoot the lowest scores.

Putting Practice from 10-15 Feet

Golfers that want to be low handicappers need to be able to drain birdie putts. Unfortunately, pars are not enough.

When you go low out on the course, you will still make some mistakes. There are times when you get a bad lie or a bad kick and end up looking at a bogey shot. It’s going to happen.

However, if you can make a few birdies along the way, it becomes much easier to stay under 80. The key to making birdies is to be able to start draining those 10 to 15 foot putts.

An approach shot that puts you 10 to 15 feet from the pin is a good one; you must be able to capitalize on this to shoot lower scores.

Start some putting practice drills that allow you to get the ball in the hole a bit more consistently from the 10-15 foot range.

Getting Up and Down

Lower handicap golfers are much more confident with their wedges than mid handicap golfers. It is no longer enough to get your wedge shot on the green; it must be close to the pin.

In addition, lower handicap golfers have to pay close attention to where they land the ball on the green.

Don’t leave yourself with a 5 foot putt straight downhill to the pin if you are trying to make a par. Instead, a solid four footer up a hill will have a much higher percentage of you making it.

Be smart about what club you choose, where you land the ball, and the putt you are leaving yourself if you plan on becoming a lower handicapper.

Fairway Wood Approaches

The fairway wood is a club you can use off the tee if you struggle with the driver. However, the fairway wood should also be used on longer approach shots on a par 5.

If you can get the ball even remotely close to the hole on a par 5, giving yourself a chance for an easy birdie or even an eagle, it can make a huge difference.

Try to have a fairway wood that you are confident with when it comes to accuracy. Hitting the ball straight down the center of the fairway is essential. Even if you don’t have the distance to make it to the green, you can get close and then get the ball up and down for an easy birdie.

Mental Strategies

If you want to be a lower handicapper, start thinking like one!

Stop trying to hit shots to stay out of trouble or avoid things. Instead, go right after the target. If you want to make, a birdie think about making a birdie.

If you have a good round going, don’t start thinking about how it will go bad. If you are smart about how you are playing, it doesn’t have to go bad.

I highly recommend reading books by authors like Dave Pelz and Bob Rotella, as they will help you learn how to control your thoughts on the course and be a more consistent golfer.

Adding More Practice Time

Practice time should be increased when you are moving from mid handicapper to low handicapper range.

Even if your golf is limited to weekends, try to add in an extra half hour on a Wednesday afternoon. Think about getting an at-home putting or chipping mat so that you can at least work on short game during the week or on a busy day.

Tracking Stats and Data

Last but certainly not least lower handicap golfers start to track their stats and data to ensure their handicap is trending in the right direction. In addition, if you know you three putt often or miss greens in regulation, you know which golf clubs you need to work on the most.

Having some kind of direction for practice and ensuring that you are effective in the work you put in on the range will only help you lower your scores.

There are plenty of devices out there that will track the majority of this without you having to do anything.


Brittany Olizarowicz

Britt O has been playing golf since the age of 7. Almost 30 years later, she still loves the game, has played competitively on every level, and spent a good portion of her life as a Class A PGA Professional. Britt currently resides in Savannah, GA, with her husband and two young children. Current Handicap: 1