Scratch golf is an advanced level of play – reserved for those who have spent many years improving their game. A zero handicap is a common association with scratch golf. That means producing an average total score even with par over several rounds. Learn more about the USGA handicap system by clicking here.
Scratch golf does not mean perfect golf, but it does refer high level of skill which enables the golfer to avoid mistakes typically made by high-handicap golfers.
dictionary.com defines “scratch,” by the following…
“without any allowance, penalty, or handicap, as a competitor or contestant.”
This explains how the competitor must have a skill level which enables them to avoid mistakes.
The USGA also offers a specific definition about scratch golf.
“A male scratch golfer is a player who can play to a Course Handicap of zero on any and all rated golf courses. [A male scratch golfer] can hit tee shots an average of 250 yards and can reach a 470-yard hole in two shots at sea level. “
“A female scratch golfer is a player who can play to a Course Handicap of zero on any and all rated golf courses. [a female scratch golfer] can hit tee shots an average of 210 yards and can reach a 400-yard hole in two shots at sea level.”
Although these definitions provide a specific benchmark for male and female scratch golfer, the main points are shooting scores consistent with par and having a handicap of zero. It doesn’t matter how far they hit the ball or if they are expected to reach par 4’s from a particular yardage.
Scratch Golf School hopes this information helps clarify a very common term in golf, “Scratch Golf.”