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19th Hole

The handicap indexes of players on the PGA Tour



Last week we took a look at Tiger Woods’ incredible handicap index throughout his entire pro career, and unsurprisingly, the results for Tiger’s peers on tour are just as fascinating.

Lou Stagner of Decade Sports crunched the numbers, calculating what handicap index tour pros would possess if they reported their scores from 2016 to present day.

Based on what players scored relative to rating and slope on the course’s scorecard from that period, here are the results:


As you can see, Rickie Fowler boasts a peak index rating of +8.4, the average tour pro index in this period is +5.4, and Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Jordan Spieth have the best average index at +6.5.

Once again, these numbers are calculated using data from tournament conditions – which makes the results that much more impressive.

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Gianni is the Assistant Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito



  1. DougE

    Jun 12, 2020 at 2:15 pm

    For those confused, a plus handicap indicates you have to ADD strokes to whatever you shoot for a gross score, to give you your net score. The majority of us have minus handicaps, meaning if we shoot an 85 gross and regularly play to a 10 handicap (from a particularly set of tees at that specific course) we actually get to SUBTRACT 10 strokes OFF our gross score of 85, for a net 75. All PGA and Korn Ferry Tour players would have a PLUS hdcp. No way you make it that far without one.

  2. Jack Nash

    Jun 12, 2020 at 12:22 pm

    So if Rickie’s +8.4 and I’m +12.5 should I be on Tour????LOL. This is the weirdest year of calcing handicaps since I started playing over 55 yrs ago. I just don’t get it.

    • steve

      Jun 12, 2020 at 12:37 pm

      Jack, you and others are confused as to the rating system. You are not +12.5. You are a -12.5. Strange, yes. But that’s how it works.

  3. DoDo

    Jun 12, 2020 at 12:06 pm

    Is there something wrong with the way that I see an index. High index is their best? I thought that the higher the index, the lousier you’re scoring.

    Please enlighten me!

    • JP

      Jun 12, 2020 at 3:30 pm

      Normal people are a minus index. I’m a -9

      These pros are a plus index. Tigers average is a +6.3

      On average, he will beat me by 15.3 strokes per round. Or 61 strokes through a 4 day tournament. Thus, I’m not on tour.

      Once you’re better than scratch and have a plus index, you’re shooting under par.

  4. bill

    Jun 11, 2020 at 10:31 am

    who is denny mccarthy?

    • Tom

      Jun 12, 2020 at 10:37 am

      I was thinking the same thing.

    • Dugan Rhodes

      Jun 12, 2020 at 11:17 am

      Someone who golf’s his ball pretty damn good from what I can see.

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19th Hole

Find out what the actual probability is of becoming a pro golfer



Ever wondered what the actual probability is of becoming a professional golfer? The Professional Athlete Index just conducted a study revealing which countries produce the highest percentage of top tier professionals in each sport, as well as the countries where people have the lowest odds of becoming of a top tier athlete.

According to the Professional Athlete Index, only one out 51,346 become a professional golfer in the United States, and the U.S. actually produces the highest percentage of top-tier golfers globally (23.09%). The United Kingdom (10.17%) and Japan (7.23%) were the following two countries that accounted for the second and third highest percentages.

Men in Sweden actually have the best odds of becoming a top-tier golfer (1:8170), just ahead of Iceland (1:8762) and Denmark (1:11725).

The study was essentially conducted by selecting a range of popular team and individual sports which had the highest levels of worldwide participation. For each individual sport, player data was collected from the international association of the sport from the latest completed year of competition.

Next, researchers dug into the data, country by country, using it to calculate the odds of a person from each nation currently becoming a top athlete in each sport. The odds were calculated via the ratio of athletes vs. the total number of males born in each country between 1991 and 2003 against the ratio of non-athletes born in the same period.

You can check out the full results of the study here.

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19th Hole

‘I think highly of him’: Bryson discusses Brooks and hecklers in candid interview



On Wednesday, Bryson DeChambeau sat down with Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis for an interview that saw the 27-year-old discuss Brooks Koepka, heckling fans, and the Ryder Cup.

Bryson has been in the midst of a feud with Brooks Koepka all summer, but perhaps surprisingly, the Californian was very complimentary towards his so-called foe during the chat.

During the interview, Bryson revealed that he thinks very highly of Koepka and is more than willing to come together for the sake of Team USA at next month’s Ryder Cup.

“Personally, I am 100% willing to do that (come together for the team). There’s no issue in regards to that. I think highly of him (Brooks).

He’s done a lot for the sport. I think he’s a very interesting character that can be an amazing asset to the team. For me, I know I can be an amazing asset to the team. If we all can focus on being the best we can possibly be, we’ll win.”

The golf scientist also opened up on fan heckling, where he reiterated that he has no issue with Koepka and that spectators are going to “say what they are going to say”, but that everyone has their “tipping point”, and that he has never tried to add fire to the flames.

“Everyone thinks that I have an issue with him (Brooks). I don’t. At the end of the say, the people that are saying things in the crowd are going to say what they are going to say because they have the right to do so.

It’s been going on for months now (Brooksy taunts), and everyone has their own limits and their own tipping points. I think I’ve done a pretty good job of going ‘You know what? I’m going to let that fuel me in a positive way.’ And that’s the way I look at it.”

Check out more from the interview below.


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A post shared by Golf Channel (@golfchannel)

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19th Hole

Players react to Tour’s clamp down on ‘Brooksy’ shouts



During a Tuesday press conference ahead of this week’s Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan addressed the now infamous “Brooksy” chants directed at Bryson DeChambeau during recent tournaments.

Monahan classified them as “harassing” and “disruptive” behavior, and clarified that fans who engage are subject to be removed from the tournament.

As one would expect, Monahan’s comments sent shockwaves through social media, and multiple Tour pros weighed in.

Lee Westwood and Shane Lowry were also quick to get in on the action.

Of course, golf Twitter MVPs, Max Homa, Joel Dahmen, Byeong Hun An, and Ian Poulter couldn’t refrain either.

Neither Bryson DeChambeau nor Brooks Koepka have commented yet on the Monahan’s remarks, but our ears will be peeled as the week progresses. Both DeChambeau and Koepka are in attendance at East Lake this week for the FedEx Cup finale, the Tour Championship.

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