Not everyone can do a certain thing the same way. No matter how simple something is, two people will hardly ever do it in the same manner. This is of course perfectly normal due to how many differences there are between any two people. So if one cannot expect two individuals to behave in the same way at simple tasks, why are we expected to have the same form and style in more specific tasks that require experience and training to be good at?
In sports like golf, every golfer has something unique that makes it their own, a move, a routine, the way they carry themselves, and the way they swing. However, there are also different types of golfers to be distinguished based on certain traits and what feels natural to them. Not everyone falls into these categories of course, but it is something that makes it easier for everyone to explain, predict, and expect a golfer’s style.
Different Types of Golfers
Why golfers differ from each other is largely due to their experience and skill with the club and the sport in general, but also their physical abilities. Some golfers have been playing for many years and have honed their skills through practice and dedication.
They are in it for decades and know the ins and outs. On the other hand, others may be relatively new to the game and still develop their skills through trial and error. Additionally, physical attributes like height, weight, and athletic ability can impact a golfer’s playing style and effectiveness on the course and dictate what they can or cannot do.
In general, there are several types of golfers that enthusiasts and enjoyers like to distinguish, each with its unique characteristics and playing styles. Among them, you will probably find the one that is the closest to your style and approach which can help you understand your game better. Here are some of the most common types of golfers:
A recreational golfer is someone who plays golf mostly for fun and typically has a handicap of 10 or more. They may not take the game as seriously as other golfers and may be more focused on enjoying the experience of playing and spending time outside. They like the social aspect and the surrounding elements of golf just as much as the sport.
A high handicapper is someone who has a handicap of 20 or more. They are often less experienced and struggle to consistently shoot at or below par. These golfers are usually amateurs, occasional players, and those that despite the lack of any talent or improvement keep playing and having fun.
As you might have guessed, the weekend warrior plays golf only on the weekends and may not have a lot of experience or skill. They may also be prone to fits of frustration on the course, especially if they are having a bad round. This happens due to inconsistency, which is usually the biggest problem for weekend golfers.
A long hitter is someone who consistently hits the ball a long distance, often with a high degree of accuracy. They are typically powerful and athletic and their ability to hit the ball a long way can give them an advantage on the course. Make no mistake, they know what they are doing and one is not a long hitter unless they want to hit the ball that long.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, from the long hitter is the short hitter. As someone who does not hit the ball as far as other golfers, they make up for it with their great accuracy and consistency in short shots. They have a good understanding of the game and can manage their way around the course effectively. Their long game is good as well, but short hits are where they shine.
Last but not least and the most important for this article, is the scratch golfer. A scratch golfer is a player who has a handicap of 0, meaning they shoot par or better regularly without any issues. These players are typically skilled and experienced and have a strong understanding of the game. This is what you want to eventually play like if you care about the sport and your results.
Characteristics of Scratch Golfers
As mentioned, scratch golfers have handicaps of 0, which means they consistently shoot at or below par on the golf course. They are considered elite in the golfing world because achieving a scratch handicap requires a high level of skill, experience, and dedication.
Watch this video to fully understand what make someone a scratch golfer:
One of the defining characteristics of a scratch golfer is their ability to shoot consistently low scores. This is achieved through strong technical skills, like having a good swing, accurate shots, and effective course management, but also understanding the game and the course well.
Staying focused and composed under pressure is also key. Scratch golfers are typically able to play a wide variety of shots and they adapt their technique and strategy to the challenges and situations at hand.
Students of the Game
A very important aspect of these players is the level of commitment required to maintain this skill. These players usually practice regularly and seek out opportunities to compete and improve their game. It is crucial to constantly seek new ways to improve performance and stay ahead of their competition, which they do by trying new things, visiting new courses, and just surrounding themselves with the game.
They also have a deep understanding of the mental side of the game and can stay calm and focused even when faced with difficult or stressful situations on the course.
Being a scratch golfer requires a high level of athletic ability and physical fitness, too. If you aim to hit this level, you must have the endurance to play 18 holes of golf without many problems, as well as the flexibility and strength to execute powerful and accurate shots for the entire duration of the session.
Additionally, withstanding the physical demands of practicing and competing several times a week is necessary, including repetitive motions of the golf swing to develop muscle memory and the strain of carrying a heavy golf bag.
Never Give Up, It Can Be Done
Despite the high level of skill and dedication required to achieve and maintain a scratch handicap, many golfers still strive to reach it. It is the ultimate stage of being a golfer and the challenge and the rewards of playing at this level of competition is a major driving force.
The sport becomes more exciting and rewarding and you give it meaning. Whether playing for fun or competing against others, scratch golfers are a testament to the commitment and hard work that can be put into the game of golf. For any up-and-coming golfer, they are the inspiration worth striving for.