A handicap is a numerical measure of a golfer's potential playing ability based on the tees played for a given course. It is used to calculate a net score from the number of strokes actually played during a competition, thus allowing players of different proficiency to play against each other on somewhat equal terms. The higher the handicap of a player, the poorer the player is relative to those with lower handicaps. "Official" handicaps are administered by golf clubs or national golf associations. Exact rules relating to handicaps can vary from country to country.

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  1. An allowance of a certain amount of time or distance in starting, granted in a race (or other contest of skill) to the competitor possessing disadvantages; or an additional weight or other hindrance imposed upon the one possessing advantages, in order to equalize, as much as possible, the chances of success.
    The older boy won, even though his opponent had been granted a handicap of five meters.
    A handicap in chess often involves removal of the queen's rook.
  2. The disadvantage itself, in particular physical or mental disadvantages of people.
  3. A race, for horses or men, or any contest of agility, strength, or skill, in which there is an allowance of time, distance, weight, or other advantage, to equalize the chances of the competitors.
  4. An old card game.


  1. To encumber with a handicap in any contest.
  2. To place at disadvantage.
    The candidate was heavily handicapped.
  3. To estimate betting odds.
    Grandpa Andy would buy the racing form the day ahead of time so he could handicap the race before he even arrived at the track.

The above text is a snippet from Wiktionary: handicap
and as such is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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