The handicap, after some needling back and forth, was fixed at eight strokes.
Otherwise, according to Mom, intelligence could handicap a woman.
Golf Digest magazine ranked all elected officials based on their handicap.
Given his handicap, his speed seemed incomprehensible, a hero, yes a permanent hero that nothing and no one could ever bring down.
Unprepared, and a laughingstock because of his handicap, Yarvi is bullied on every front—even by his mother.
Besides this question of handicap, he was afraid with so astute a man as Coburn he would sooner or later give himself away.
And the pinto, for all his courage, could not meet that handicap and beat it.
A roar from the starter, a spattering rain of clods, a swirl of dust—and the handicap was on.
His imperial intelligence, however, was too heavy a handicap.
She would need them, for she knew—none better—how great a handicap was hers.
1650s, from hand in cap, a game whereby two bettors would engage a neutral umpire to determine the odds in an unequal contest. The bettors would put their hands holding forfeit money into a hat or cap. The umpire would announce the odds and the bettors would withdraw their hands -- hands full meaning that they accepted the odds and the bet was on, hands empty meaning they did not accept the bet and were willing to forfeit the money. If one forfeited, then the money went to the other. If both agreed either on forfeiting or going ahead with the wager, then the umpire kept the money as payment. The custom, though not the name, is attested from 14c. ("Piers Plowman").
Reference to horse racing is 1754 (Handy-Cap Match), where the umpire decrees the superior horse should carry extra weight as a "handicap;" this led to sense of "encumbrance, disability" first recorded 1890. The main modern sense, "disability," is the last to develop, early 20c.
handicap hand·i·cap (hān'dē-kāp')
A physical, mental, or emotional condition that interferes with one's normal functioning.