"Don't forget about my handicap!" - you've probably heard this term bandied about in golfing terms, but don't have the slightest idea what it could mean. You may have played golf for little while and but have been too chicken to ask what it means, or you've yet to try your first game but you may have overheard a friend or the television casually mention it and forgot to google it later.

Well, don't fret: the golf clothing for men retailers Function 18 are going to give us a run-down of not only what a golf handicap is, but how to calculate yours so you can play with one yourself!

What is it?

The idea of a golfing handicap is essentially a method of levelling the playing field between players of different skill sets. This isn't a one-size-fits-all system and varies from course to course depending on difficulty levels. It is a complex system to work out yourself, so just do yourself a favour and let the professionals at the club deal with it - just smile and nod politely when given it.

How do I get one?

If you're a relative newbie to golf, or haven't played at all, then you probably won't qualify for a handicap just yet. The rule is you must play at least ten rounds of golf to meet the requirements for one.

So, with that in mind, take to the green with your friends and swing away. There is an ulterior motive here with bringing your friends, as they will need to sign your scorecard at the end of every round as a way of them vouching for you - nobody likes a cheat!

How do I work mine out?

Worried that you'll have to commit yourself to a load of mental gymnastics trying to figure out what your handicap is, but fear not, all you'll have to do is give in your scorecard at your local club and they'll do all the hard work for you.

We say 'hard work', but it's actually not when you learn the process. Should you choose to work out your handicap yourself, it's 96% of the average score of the best ten games of your last twenty sessions - sounds like a mouthful, but once you get the hang of it you'll be able to do this independently.

Your handicap will always echo your current form as it can rise and dip depending on how you've done in the previous games. You'll find that your handicap will shrink at a sonic rate when you first start playing golf and you get the hang of it, but will somewhat linger at the same place once you're fully fledged in the sport.

What does it mean about my game?

If you have a lower handicap, it means you're a better golfer. So, if you have a handicap of four and your friend has a handicap of seven, you're entitled to bragging rights as you're three strokes better than them!

When you're starting out, it's best to play with players of a similar handicap to you so you don't get a whooping. Once you've got the hang of golf, it's an idea to start playing golfers with a lower handicap so you can give yourself a bit more of a challenge and also learn a thing or two from some quality players!