Usually, when golf is talked about by state it is generally about the golf courses in each state. Every year Golfweek puts out a list like this year's Best Courses You Can Play 2022: Top 100 public access courses. If it is about something other than the golf course it is usually about the golf tourist destinations across the country. However, sometimes we come across something different.
Recently the United States Golf Association shared on their social media pages the 2022 Average Handicap Index by State/Territory. (see post below). This was also a post on Golf.com titled: This Is Where Golfers With The Lowest Average Handicap Indexes Live. It would be easy to think that the states with the better golfers would come from golf-populated states such as Florida, Arizona, or California. However the higher the golf population that also mean the wider the range of handicaps. Of course, we are not talking about which state has the most single-digit golfers either. This was a post about the lowest average which also means states like Louisiana that have a low number of golfers when compared to others does pretty well coming in at #19.
Being #19 on the list with an average handicap of 15 is a pretty good spot to sit. The average handicap index around the world is just under 20 with an average score of 92. This puts Louisiana in the just better than the world average category when it comes to golf skill level on average. However, it depends on the source as well. According to The Grint, a golf scorekeeping, stat tracking software that also lets golfers get an official World Handicap or Golf Handicap Index number they had Louisiana with an average handicap index of 12.7 based on their article, Average Golf Handicap by State and Region - Data Facts, back in 2020.
The only bad thing about these statistics is according to the Louisiana Golf Association, which handles registered handicaps for Louisiana golfers, estimates there are only about 14,000 golfers that have official handicaps. That is pretty low when it is estimated Louisiana also has about 400,000 golfers in total counting professionals and juniors.
No matter how you look at it having the 19th-lowest handicap index in the country is pretty good. Could this be simply that the golfers we have that keep a handicap index are good or is it that our golf courses may be easier than other states because many of them are flat? Either way, this is something we should be proud of, especially since we are known as The Sportsmans Paradise. Another reason to be proud is that Louisiana is rarely brought up in conversation nationally when it comes to golf. This is rather disappointing since New Orleans has hosted professional golf since 1932 and the Zurich Classic of New Orleans is the 8th longest-running event on the PGA Tour.
Golf in Louisiana has been growing over the last few years and we would like to see two things happen by the next time the USGA does this list. One let's hope more golfers sign up for and track their handicaps. Two let's see if Louisiana can get into the top 15 or better by the next time. So keep working on that golf game Louisiana and let's all get better together and keep building Louisiana Golf.