What Is a Dandycap in Golf?

"Dandycap" is a slang term in golf applied to golfers who artificially lower their handicap index in order to appear (on paper) as better golfers than they really are. The dandycap, also spelled dandicap, is the handicap rating that they aren't actually good enough to play to.

So dandycap means the same thing as "vanity handicap." Another term for the same thing is "bullarding," meaning that a golfer is consistently playing higher than his handicap index or failing to play to his handicap in competitions.

A dandycap is the opposite of "sandbagging," in which a golfer artificially raises his handicap index in order gain extra strokes and achieve better results in competitions. Sandbagging is considered one of the worst things a golfer can do, since it is a form of cheating. You can also refer to dandycapping as "reverse sandbagging."

Dandycapping, on the other hand, isn't cheating. It's just an indication that a golfer values his own ego more than he values honesty on the golf course. And you definitely don't want to get stuck with a golfer carrying a dandycap during tournament play, since they aren't going to play as well as their handicap leads you to believe. Imagine the A-player in an A-B-C-D quartet who claims to be a 2-handicapper but, in reality, never breaks 80. That guy as your A-player is going to cost the team.

The terms "dandicap" and "dandycap" are plays on "handicap," obviously, and derive from the definition of "dandy" that refers to a person who values style over substance.

A person with a dandycap doesn't have to carry a real handicap, however. The term can also apply to those golfers who, every time you play with them, fall far short of the scores they claim to be shooting whenever you're not around.

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