Golf could have more terms and sayings than any other sport.
The term “ringer” is a popular one that is often used when it comes to golf matches and events.
If you have been called a ringer and you are wondering what it might mean, we have all the info for you.
What Is a Ringer in Golf?
In golf, a ringer is a person with a very low handicap who does not announce their handicap is that low and does not always appear that their handicap would be low.
Often in a team event, the group will recruit a ringer to help them score lower.
The ringer is probably a person from another golf club the opposing team has not met before.
This ringer is usually naturally good at golf or someone who keeps a low handicap and a low profile.
When you are a ringer, you are usually not someone that is going to talk much about your game.
You will be the person who gets invited to play golf, and nobody realizes you are even a golfer until you beat them all.
If you are playing in a golf outing and you play well on the first few holes, someone may refer to you as a ringer.
Being a ringer in golf is a good thing as long as your handicap is kept honest.
What Is a Ringers’ Tournament in Golf?
A ringers’ tournament is a very fun golf format which allows players to better their own score over a few days.
A ringers’ tournament is usually a three-round event.
Let’s take, for example, the first hole of an event.
If a player makes a four the first day, a five the second day, and a three the third day, their score for that hole would be a 3.
At the end of the tournament, all the ringer scores for each hole are calculated to give the player one 18-hole score.
Typically, this score is relatively low because it will be the best of the best over the three days.
The ringer tournament is fun because it allows players to see what they can do on the golf course when it comes to scoring.
Most people don’t think they can shoot par on their course, but maybe after three days of playing the course, they can make par on all of the holes.
The other thing the ringers’ tournament will teach players is that golf is not always easy, and some holes will continually beat you up.
Some players will see that the same hole ruined their game three days in a row.
Take some time to work out a plan for managing that hole better; it could change your golf handicap completely.
Do Golf Ringers Have Handicaps?
Usually, a golf ringer has a USGA Handicap because they are avid golfers, it is just not widely known to their friends or competitors.
Most of the time, ringers will be low handicaps, but your handicap does not need to be low to be considered a ringer.
Most of the time, you won’t get the name of the ringer unless your handicap is a bit lower than those in your group.
Why Are Golf Handicaps so Important?
The example of a golf ringer showing up for a tournament is another reason why the golf handicap is so essential.
If you don’t have a handicap, you can’t play fairly against other people who do have a handicap.
It takes a little bit of time for golfers to establish a handicap, but it is a very important step if you are serious about the game.
Once you have a golf handicap, you can play a match where twenty-five handicap and a five handicap have a very fair round.
Some people think that the term “ringer” means that you are a golfer who plays below their handicap.
This is not the case, as this can often be referred to as a sandbagger.
What Is a Sandbagger in Golf?
A sandbagger is a person who claims to be one handicap but can shoot a lot lower.
This is the person who will say they are a 20 handicap, and then when you play with them, they shoot 79.
These types of players do not put all their rounds into the USGA Handicap System.
When they don’t put all of their rounds in, they will not be representing what their honest handicap is.
The formula will then calculate based on their highest rounds, so without these lower outliers put in, and they will then be labeled a sandbagger.
Typically speaking, the term ringer is not a negative term in golf, but the term sandbagger is a negative term.
You want to make sure you put all of your scores in to represent your handicap accurately.