What Is A Mid Handicapper?

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what is a mid handicapper

A mid-handicapper in golf has a handicap index ranging from 10 to 20. At this skill level has progressed beyond the beginner stage but is far from being a scratch golfer.

They can hit shots that average about 250 yards off the tee.

Generally, a mid-handicapper typically shoots between 80 and 94 for 18 holes.

Characteristics of a Mid Handicapper

A mid-handicap golfer displays unique characteristics that define their style of play. They vary in their strengths and weaknesses.

However, despite understanding the rules, they need assistance applying them practically. The mid-handicappers can still have fun and compete despite having similar skill levels.

As they transition through drivers, irons, wedges, and putters, you often see them using a mixed bag of clubs. On the course, they’ll come across many terrains with their toolbox.

In terms of swing, they often generate decent distance. Many players need help with practical areas. This includes inaccuracies with the driver and other woods. Their individual play style may also influence their club choice. This can influence theory and intuition.

They are more consistent with fewer birdies and double bogeys per round than beginners. Moreover, mid-handicappers have a different relationship with risk than high handicappers or low handicappers.

Mid Handicapper’s Defined Factors

A mid handicapper typically shoots 10 to 18 strokes over par. They are defined by several characteristics, including:

  • The driver’s swing and club selection are critical for setting up favorable shots.
  • Fairway and rough approach shots contribute significantly to performance.
  • Recover from challenging situations with chipping, pitching, and bunker shots.
  • Putting improves overall consistency, especially within short distances.
  • Sustained performance requires replicating successful shots.
  • Low scores result from strategic decision-making, club selection, and hazard navigation.
  • Handling pressure, recovering from mistakes, and keeping focus impact performance significantly.
  • Regular practice and addressing weaknesses are vital for progress.
  • A suitable gear selection matched to skill level impacts performance.

Categories Of Mid-Handicap

Mid-handicappers have a wide range of skill levels, which leads to further classification:

Lower-Mid Handicap:

Individuals with a Handicap Index of 10-12. Remarkably skilled, they consistently shoot in the low 80s or even the high 70s. They have developed a solid understanding of golf fundamentals. As a result, they can reach par or higher scores.

Mid-Mid Handicap: 

Golfers in this group have handicap indexes ranging between 13 and 16. Although they understand the basics, they need help to maintain consistency. Despite this challenge, they regularly achieve handicap scores in the mid to high 18s.

High Mid Handicap:

According to the USGA, 95+ shooters have high handicaps. Although golfers have progressed from beginners, they still strive for consistency. The handicap index of these players ranges from 16 to 18. They learn the game’s basics and improve shot accuracy with practice.

Mid Handicap Equipment: What Should You Have?

Choosing the right equipment is crucial to their success. Below is a guide on recommended equipment for a mid-handicapper:

golf clubs
  • Driver:

Choose a driver who offers both forgiveness and distance. Choose a driver with a larger sweet spot. Also, ensure the driver’s shaft is lightweight. It will help you generate more clubhead speed.

  • Fairway Woods:

Include a 3-wood and 5-wood in your bag. These clubs offer versatility and help mid-handicappers navigate various distances on the fairway. 3-woods are good for hitting the ball farther off the tee.

5-woods are better for hitting the ball higher and with more control. Both clubs are essential for golfers looking for increased distance and accuracy.

  • Hybrids:

Consider replacing long irons with hybrids. You can hit hybrids from the rough or fairway because they are easier to hit. Hybrids also give you more forgiveness on the clubface. You can hit the ball higher and straighter.

  • Irons:

Invest in cavity-back irons, typically from 4 to 9. These irons offer forgiveness and help maintain distance and accuracy, even on mishits. Better players should use irons with smaller cavity-backs. Beginners should use irons with larger cavities.

  • Wedges:

Carry a pitching, gap, sand, and lob wedge. The set will help you handle various short-game situations and improve accuracy.

  • Putter:

Choose a putter that suits your putting style. A mallet-style putter is perfect for mid-handsappers who hit off-center. Choosing mallet putters with large clubheads and proper weight distribution will enhance stability. Avoid advanced blade putters.

  • Golf Balls:

Opt for a golf ball that balances distance with feel. A softer ball with a reasonable distance off the tee can benefit mid-handsappers. Those with higher handicaps may benefit from a ball that spins more off the club face.

A ball with less spin can be beneficial for lower handicappers. Finding the right ball for your skill level and playing style is essential.

  • Golf Bag:

It’s good to invest in a lightweight, multi-compartment golf bag. This makes organizing and carrying your clubs, balls, and other accessories easy. Also, consider a bag with a carrying strap to carry it more easily.

In What Way Does a Mid Handicapped Player Play?

They exhibit a faster swing and greater confidence in their shots. It reflects improved skills and a deeper understanding of the game. They typically achieve 3-4 greens in regulation per round, showcasing consistent ball-striking abilities.

Also, Mid-handicappers tend to drop their scores with confidence. This influences decision-making and execution. To further enhance performance, they focus on specific areas for improvement.

They practice short-game skills three times more than long-game skills. Putting accuracy within five feet becomes critical, affecting your overall score and consistency.

How Do You Define a Low-to-mid Handicapper?

A low to mid handicapper typically has a handicap between 1 and 9. It depends on the golfer’s playing environment whether “low” is perceived as such.

However, “low” skill level depends on the golfing context and his peers’ skills. The handicap of 9 may seem low to some, but to someone with a handicap of 3, it may seem high.

To determine a “low” or “mid” handicap, one must consider the golfer’s progress and the golfing landscape.  Remember that a handicap does not represent a golfer’s overall skill level. It represents their relative ability.

What Is a Mid-handicapper’s Score?

A mid-handicapper generally shoots in the 85–95 range. In golf, the handicap represents potential based on the best 10 out of 20 scores, not actual scores.

However, interpreting a handicap score requires some finesse. The handicap, based on the best 10 scores out of 20, doesn’t directly correlate with actual scores.

For instance, a player with a handicap of 11 may not consistently score in the low 80s. Instead, the handicap represents potential and is relative to par.

Generally, a mid handicapper might shoot about 3 scores above their handicap, compared to par. Golfers must understand this distinction. It helps them to determine their actual performance beyond their handicap number.

How To Choose an Iron For a Mid-Handicapper? 

golf irons

For mid-handicappers, game-improvement irons are ideal. With a broader hitting zone, these clubs promote straighter and longer shots. You may switch to clubs offering consistent and solid strikes as handicaps lower.

Usually, Game-improvement irons are well-suited for mid-handicappers, typically around 20. This iron features a more expansive central hitting zone, which enhances mishit accuracy. They improve shot quality due to their forgiving nature.

As mid-handicappers focus on refining their skills, game-improvement irons provide the necessary support. However, as players advance and lower their handicaps, they might consider transitioning to players’ clubs.

How To Move From a Mid to Low Handicap?

Moving from a mid to a low handicap in golf involves honing specific aspects of your game.

Focus on consistently delivering solid drives with moderate distance. Long-distance drives set up more manageable approaches and putting, particularly on par-5s.

However, solid contact is essential. It emphasizes clean hits in the center of the club’s face. To achieve this precision, maintain proper setup, posture, and even weight distribution.

Also, minimizing three putts is crucial. It involves improving your putting technique, choosing better shots, and managing your course. Reducing three putts significantly impacts your overall score. It also lowers your handicap.

Lastly, focus on improving your putting technique, emphasizing control over distance and speed. A closer first putt reduces pressure on the following putts. This leads to more polished putting

Focusing on these critical areas will help you achieve a lower handicap. By doing so, you’ll be more competitive and enjoy golf more.


How are handicap levels determined in golf?

It is your handicap index that determines your level of handicap in golf. This index is calculated based on your recent scores and the difficulty of your courses.
Or you can use our golf handicap calculator.

How can a mid-handicapper, improve your game?

If you are a mid-handicapper, focus on driving consistently. Make solid contact and minimize three putts. Dedicated practice in these areas can help you lower your handicap. It can also help you manage the course more effectively. 

Can you, as a mid-handicapper, play in tournaments?

Yes, you can play in golf tournaments if you are a mid-handicapper. Tournaments often have handicap divisions.
This lets players with different skill levels compete fairly. It’s a great opportunity to learn and challenge yourself on the course.

Are mid-handicappers expected to have a specific skill level?

As a mid-handicapper, you fall into the intermediate-level category. The result of time spent on the course refining your swing and technique. 

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Hey, I am Allen Jackson a golf expert with over 30 years of experience. From my childhood, I have found my passion. I played on high school and college teams and went on to become a professional golfer. Now, I am a full-time trainer.