Apr 14, 2023
POSTED BY: Nicholas Venditti

What Is a Mid Handicap?

If you’re unsure about your skill level and want to know how you’ll fare against other players, it’s essential to understand what mid-handicap is. A golf handicap is a great way to measure a player’s ability based on a golfer’s recent performance and course difficulty. 

So what is a mid-handicapper? A mid-handicapper falls within the middle range of golfers - with a handicap index between 9 and 18 - and shoots between 80 to 94 in scores. 

Read on to learn about mid-handicappers - from the best equipment to tips to lower your scores.

Mid Handicap Categories

Mid-handicappers are the most common category for male golfers. However, within the mid-handicap group, three types apply depending on a person’s skill level. 

Lower Mid Handicap

Lower mid-handicappers are the groups' most skilled, play between 10 and 12, and shoot low 80s and high 70s. These golfers have a solid understanding and mastery of the fundamentals and can shoot scores near par or better. 

Mid Mid Handicap

In this group, golfers have an index between 13 and 16, with the ability to regularly reach mid to high 18s in the handicap score. While they have a good grasp of the basics of their swing, they tend to struggle with consistency in their shot. 

Higher Mid Handicap

These golfers have moved up the ranks from the beginner stage but need consistency. They play off of 16 and 18 in handicap index and tend to shoot in the high 80s and mid-90s. 

While improving over time, these golfers may still be learning game basics and looking to improve shot accuracy. The USGA categorizes people that shoot over 95 as having a high handicap. 

What Equipment Should a Mid Handicap Play With?

No matter your skill level, choosing the right gear to maximize your talents is crucial. While mid-handicappers are confident in their striking abilities, they still struggle with consistency, often having mishits in their shots. Thus, players in this category should prioritize forgiveness and performance in their equipment.


Mid-handicappers should pick drivers with a larger clubhead and a deep center of gravity, offering more forgiveness on mishits and having a higher launch angle. We recommend choosing drivers with at least 10.5 degrees of loft or more. 

Drivers with adjustable weights also benefit players by fine-tuning their shot shape and ball flight. If your drives aren’t getting the distance you’d like, changing drivers can help optimize your launch, speed, and distance, giving you a great head start on any hole. 


Mid-handicappers should look for irons that balance control, forgiveness, and workability - no blades.

Instead, we recommend cavity back irons and game improvement irons, providing consistent distance even on off-centered hits. They also have a lower center of gravity, which helps players hit more greens during regulation. 


Wedges help golfers hit specific types of shots near the green. As a mid-handicapper, choosing wedges with a mixture of versatility and forgiveness is imperative. Your best bet may be to have a sand wedge with a high bound of at least 10 degrees and a gap or lob wedge with mid-bounce with 7 to 9 degrees. We recommend avoiding low bounce on wedges altogether. The higher bounce is ideal for sand or soft turf, preventing your clubhead from digging too deep. 


While putters vary depending on your preferences and playing style, we recommend steering clear of more advanced blade putters. Opt for mallet putters with larger clubheads with proper weight distribution to avoid the dread of three-putts. Peripheral weighted putters also offer some forgiveness on the green. The added weight along the perimeter of these putters provides stability during the stroke, leading to a more controlled putt. 


At this stage, consider golf balls that help to minimize the effects of off-center hits, such as low-compression and two-piece golf balls. Low-compression balls will compress during impact, providing a greater distance. They also offer more spin on shots and a softer feel. Two-piece balls are made of a solid core and durable cover - designed to maximize forgiveness and distance. 

How To Move From a Mid to Low Handicap

Getting from a mid to low handicap requires practice, dedication, and strategies. Below, we’ve rounded up a few tips to help you take your game to the next level. 

Practice Consistent Drive with Good Distance 

Consistently hitting solid drives at a moderate distance is a significant aspect of lowering your handicap. A long-distance drive sets the stage for the remainder of the hole, making your approaches and putting easier and placing you in a position to attack par 5s better. 

Make Solid Contact

Receiving a low handicap requires you to hit a high percentage of solid shots, meaning the ball makes clean contact in the center of the club’s face. The crisp impact from a reliable connection maximizes the energy transfer from your club to the ball, helping the ball travel further with greater precision. Conversely, golfers who hook, slice, or shank the ball usually make poor contact, resulting in shorter distances and less accurate shots. 

The best way to ensure you consistently make solid contact is to have a proper setup and good posture. Evenly distribute your weight with the ball in the middle of your stance. 

Minimize Three Putts 

One of the main contributors to handicapped groups is the number of three putts. A golfer takes three strokes for his putts to go in the hole, which adds strokes to a player’s scorecard. Over time, three putts cause higher scores and a higher handicap. 

Limiting the number of three putts in your games will make a massive difference in your handicap score. Improved putting technique, better shot selection, and course management will help reduce the number of strokes. 

Practice controlling the distance and speed of your ball so that the first putts roll closer to the pin, alleviating the pressure off your second putt. 

Final Thoughts

Knowing your golf handicap helps you better understand your game to compare yourself with other players at the same level. It’s also a great way to monitor improvement along your journey. The handicap system also helps level the playing field for golfers at different skill levels. 

Of course, having the right golf gear significantly impacts your performance. If you want the best game equipment as a mid-handicapper, there’s no better place than Stitch Golf. We offer an unbeatable selection of premium golf bags, apparel, and accessories, so you’re confident to bring your A-game every time. Shop Stitch Golf and elevate your game today!