The average handicap of amateur or weekend golfers across North America can vary, as it depends on the specific region, golfing population, and the level of participation in the sport. However, according to a Golf Digest article published in 2019, the average handicap for male golfers in the United States was approximately 15. This means that the average male golfer shoots around 15 strokes over par on an average course. For female golfers in the United States, the average handicap was around 27.

It's important to note that these figures are not necessarily representative of all amateur or weekend golfers across North America, as there is a wide range of skill levels and handicaps within the golfing population. Additionally, these statistics are based on data from a few years ago, and the average handicaps may have changed since then.

Improving your handicap in golf requires a combination of practice, dedication, and a focus on various aspects of your game. Here are some tips to help you improve your handicap:

  1. Regular practice: Dedicate time to practice your golf game regularly. This includes working on your swing mechanics, short game (putting, chipping, pitching), and hitting shots from different lies and situations.

  2. Get lessons: Consider taking lessons from a golf professional or coach. They can help you identify and correct any flaws in your technique, provide personalized instruction, and offer guidance on improving specific areas of your game.

  3. Focus on the short game: The short game, including putting, chipping, and pitching, plays a significant role in lowering scores. Practice these skills extensively as they can save you strokes on the course.

  4. Develop a consistent swing: Work on developing a repeatable and consistent swing. This includes proper alignment, grip, posture, and a smooth, controlled swing motion. Consistency in your swing will lead to more accurate shots.

  5. Understand course management: Learn to strategize and manage the course effectively. This involves making smart decisions on shot selection, understanding your own abilities, and playing to your strengths. Avoid unnecessary risks and play within your limits.

  6. Improve your mental game: Golf is as much a mental game as it is a physical one. Develop mental strategies to stay focused, manage stress, and maintain a positive mindset throughout your rounds. Visualize successful shots and learn to let go of mistakes.

  7. Play different courses: Challenge yourself by playing different courses with varying layouts, conditions, and difficulties. This will expose you to different shot scenarios and help you develop adaptability and versatility in your game.

  8. Practice course management skills: When practicing, simulate on-course situations and focus on executing shots that you would encounter during a round. Practice different lies, uneven lies, and difficult shots to enhance your ability to handle diverse situations.

  9. Track your progress: Keep track of your rounds, scores, and statistics. This will help you identify areas of improvement and measure your progress over time. Pay attention to fairways hit, greens in regulation, and putts per round to identify strengths and weaknesses.

  10. Play with better golfers: Whenever possible, play with golfers who have lower handicaps or better skills than you. Observing their techniques, strategies, and approach to the game can provide valuable insights and inspire improvement in your own game.

Remember, improving your handicap takes time and patience. Set realistic goals, focus on incremental progress, and enjoy the process of learning and growing as a golfer.