Handicaps even the playing field, but without a live golf scoring app, they add complexity and time to the end-of-round scoring calculations.
So, instead of handicaps, one fun alternative is to let your golfers use something more tangible—a length of string.
Every golfer gets a length of string they can use to move their ball to a more favorable position anywhere on the course.
Once part of the string is used, it has to be cut off and thrown away. You can’t use a section of the string more than once.
Before the round, cut every golfer a length of string. The length is equivalent to their handicap. You have options here:
As an example, an outing you and I play in chooses to use option two. You're a 5 handicap, so you get 5 yards of string or 15 feet. I'm an 18 handicap, so I get 18 yards of string or 54 feet. Because I'm a worse player, I get more string to bail me out of bad shots.
PRO TIP: Provide each golfer with a pair of scissors to cut the string after using it.
On the course, golfers can use the string to move their ball from where it landed to a more favorable position. For example:
PRO TIP: Consider making a rule that the string cannot be used to make a putt or even to place a ball within five feet of the hole.
Golfers can use the whole length of string for one shot or strategically throughout the round. Either way, once it's used, it's gone.