The assignment almost sounded like a mistake.

Play a bunch of golf this season …

Deal! Count us in!

No, wait, there’s more. Play a bunch of golf this season, track all the highs and lows, and share how your progress is reflected in your Handicap Index.

Oh, OK. So slightly more involved. Still, we’re in.

So maybe the whole point of this six-month golf experiment featuring four Golf Digest editors is not to simply justify stealing off for 18 holes on idle afternoons. We all have day jobs that depend on more than our ability to get the ball in the hole (Greg and I would likely starve otherwise). Instead, what we really wanted to provide was a snapshot of the handicap journey of four golfers of varying abilities, and the important role an Handicap Index can play in tracking progress and making competition fair. It will all be spelled out here.

As for our fearless panel, some background:

Luke is a former college golfer and one of our golf instruction experts. But he’s also a young father who is trying to balance his ambitions of getting back to a plus-index with the demands of work and family.

Maddi played college golf, too. But she also lives in NYC, which makes regular practice difficult and, remarkably, is relatively new to keeping a Handicap Index. “I want to work on getting that competitive edge back as I prepare for a few team events this summer,” she said.

Greg is just getting into the game, with the enthusiasm and rough edges one might expect from a true beginner. “My main goal for this project is to become not bad at golf,” he said.

Me? Well, let’s just say I’ve been on the verge of getting to a single-digit index for what feels like decades, and feel I’m closer than ever. Admittedly, I’ve been saying that for a while, but this year, I really mean it.

Starting this week and carrying into October, we will be providing regular updates on our progress through the above simple chart, and in regular installments of my Low Net newsletter (which you can have sent to your inbox weekly as a GolfDigest+ member).

We would love for it to be a story of rapid improvement, but one thing we know is that golf rarely travels a straight line. Either way, we expect it to be something golfers can relate to, and to show the essential role a Handicap Index can play throughout. It’s a tough job, but you can thank us later for doing it.

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