What is a Mid Handicapper in Golf?

Mid handicappers make up the majority of golfers in the world. Nearly half of al the golfers who keep a handicap, fit into the mid handicap category. But what is a mid handicapper and are you in this category of golfer? 

In this article, we'll explore the handicap requirements to be a mid handicapper and what a mid handicappers game looks like in relation to higher and lower handicap ranges. 

What is a Mid Handicapper?

A mid handicapper in golf is someone who has a handicap index between 10 and 20.

Handicap index is a measure of a golfer's playing ability, with a lower number indicating a better player. A mid handicapper is someone who is generally skilled, but still has room for improvement. This group of golfers usually has a consistent swing and can hit a variety of shots, but may still struggle with certain aspects of their game, such as putting or bunkers shots. The term "handicap" is used to level the playing field in golf, so that players of different abilities can compete fairly against each other.

Average golfer handicap

The average handicap in the USA for those who keep handicaps, is 14 .

What score does a mid handicapper shoot

What is a mid handicap score?

The average 14 handicap golfer will shoot an average score of 90. 

The lower mid handicapper will shoot scores between 84 and 85 as a 9 handicapper. A higher mid handicapper will average scores between 93 and 95. We can estimate the score of a mid handicapper is between 84 and 95.

Type of mid handicap

Low to Mid Handicap

Lower mid handicaps have handicaps between 9 to 12. What is considered lower mid handicap is a golfer who scores between 80 and 90. Sometimes the lower mid handicapper breaks 80, but 9 our of 10 scores will be above 80.

Mid Mid Handicap

Handicap 13 to 16 make up the mid mid handicap range. Average scores here are always above 80, sometimes below 90 with most scores around the 90 to 95 range.

Mid to High Handicap

What is considered a higher mid handicapper is a golfer who scores above 90. Rarely, this golfer will break 90. Average score in the higher mid handicap is between 92 and 100 and a handicap level of 17 to 18. 

Golf handicap divisions

If you play in competitions, the handicaps will be split into divisions. These are usually

  1. Division A: 0-8 handicap
  2. Division B: 9-18 handicap
  3. Division C: 19+ handicap

How does a mid handicapper play on the course?

A mid handicapper will usually hit 3-4 greens in regulation. In general, mid handicappers also swing slightly faster with more confidence than a high handicapper. As a mid handicap golfer gets more confident, their scores drop.

Areas of focus for a mid handicapper to lower their scores into the 70s:

  1. Practice the game inside 100 yards 3 times as much time as the long game
  2. Become very good at putting inside 5 feet
  3. Hit a tee ball into a position that allows a second shot without penalty - very often not the driver

What are the best clubs for mid handicappers?

Most mid handicap golfers will benefit most from game improvement clubs in the golf bag. 


Mid handicappers should use a driver to stay in play as a top priority. Distance will come later. Any driver with a loft of between 10.5 and 12 degrees suits you this level for the most distance and forgiveness combination. 


Avoid blades as a mid handicap. Many golfers will tell you that it's the best way to learn to hit the golf ball but it's not. It's always better to start with confidence first and then move to more difficult to hit clubs. Confidence breeds good swings, which breeds good contact. 

Lower mid handicap golfers can start with some muscle back irons when they get confident enough around the 8 handicap range. The best irons for mid handicappers are irons that have forgiveness and consistency. 


Cavity back wedges are always a good option for handicaps between 9 and 18. 


I always recommend that mid handicappers play golf balls that they do not mind losing. If you are worried about losing a golf ball, use cheaper golf balls or the balls you find in the woods.

If you do not care about lost balls, your best bet is to start with golf balls that have a surlyn cover. These are durable golf balls that can last up to 3 rounds long. I would avoid spending a lot of money on the expensive premium golf balls until you are confident you will not lose more than 1 per round.

My go-to ball has always been the Srixon Soft Feel or a WIlson Duo which I played until I was a 7 handicap.

How Do Mid Handicaps Perform?

mid handicap average score

Off the tee

Mid handicappers can be very good and very bad off the tee with the driver in hand. For the mid handicap golfer who loses shots from balls going out of bounds or in the water, I recommend scaling back to a fairway wood or a hybrid off the tee. Get the ball in play to allow for a stress-free second shot. 

Greens in Regulation

The hardest part for mid handicappers will be approach shots because the tee shot is often not long enough, or in the correct position to hit the greens in regulation. The approach shot distances are too long to allow for easy approach shots. Most often, mid handicap golfers will be hitting a 5 or 6 iron into the green and even a professional golfer only hits the green is 50% of the time with a 6 iron in hand. 

Up and Downs

Mid handicaps can slash their handicap by getting really good inside 100 yards. The average mid handicap player will spend hours hitting golf balls on the driving range with a driver but will never touch the short game area. The game is decided inside wedge range and if you want to drop your handicap into the single figures, the easiest and quickest way is to practice chipping and putting. 

Mental Game

Mid handicappers BIGGEST hurdle to better scoring is the mental game. Stop and think for 10 seconds before your shot. Don't auto pull the driver on every hole. Play back from the hole. Imagine where you want your next shot to come from and hit the ball there. Assess where the best place to be is on every shot. 

Mid handicap players will often hit the ball directly at the pin instead of the fat part of the green. Hit to the middle of the green and practice your putting. Watch my videos on Youtube and discover how to slash your golf score!.

mid handicap golfer


So what's considered mid handicap in golf?  Players with a handicap between 9 and 18, shoot between 84 and 95 but can have the ability to break 80 on a very good day.

You can learn more about breaking 80 here.

Last Updated on December 6, 2023 by Matt