What is a Good Score in Golf? Find Out Here!

What is a good score in golf

How often have you looked at your scorecard at the end of a round and asked yourself, “Is this a good score?”. Well, you’re certainly not alone.

This post will answer the question what is a good score in golf for beginners, average golfers, and low handicappers.

We’ll also discuss factors that impact your overall performance on the green and, along the way, provide valuable tips to help improve your golf scores.

Understanding what a good score is for you can be a helpful marker to measure your growth and set achievable objectives, whether you’re just starting or aiming for higher levels of success.


What is a Good Golf Score for a Beginner?

Though more experienced players may have lower scores, beginners should accept that their initial scores will likely be less impressive.

However, knowing a good golf score for beginners can help set realistic expectations and motivate you to improve your game. In this section, we’ll discuss the factors that impact beginner golfers’ scores and provide some benchmarks for evaluating your performance.


Average Scores for Beginner Golfers

According to National Golf Foundation data, adult beginner golfers typically shoot around 100-110 on a standard par 72 course. While these numbers might seem high compared to professional golfer standards, they represent an achievable target for someone new to the sport.

  • Good score: A good score for beginners would be anything below 100 strokes on a par 72 course.
  • Average score: The national average golf score falls between 100-110 strokes on the same course.
  • Bad score: Anything above 120 strokes is considered a bad golf score and indicates room for improvement in various aspects of one’s game.


Golf Handicap System

The golf handicap system, which measures player skill levels by assigning them handicaps based on their previous scores, helps level the playing field among players with varying abilities. For example, if two players have handicaps of +20 (beginner) and +5 (experienced), respectively, then after completing their rounds:

  1. The beginner will add his or her handicap (+20) to the gross score (total number of strokes taken).
  2. The experienced player will add his or her handicap (+5) to the gross score.


The resulting net scores are then compared, allowing players with different skill levels to compete fairly.

As a beginner golfer, your initial goal should be reducing your handicap over time as you gain experience and improve your game.


Key Takeaway:  For beginner golfers, a good score is typically below 100 strokes on a par 72 course. Using proper equipment and understanding basic rules and etiquette can help improve performance, while the golf handicap system allows players with different skill levels to compete fairly.


What is a Good Score for the Average Golfer?

Average golfer

If you’re the average golfer who has played for a while and is not a beginner, you may wonder what is considered a good golf score. After all, you aren’t shooting 120, but you’re also not in the 80s yet.

While it’s important to remember that every player has their skill level and goals, some general guidelines can help you determine if your scores are on par with other players in your category.


Average Golf Scores

According to National Golf Foundation data, the average golf score for an adult male golfer is around 100 strokes per round, while the average female golfer shoots about 110.

Golfers who consistently break 100 or even play bogey golf can consider thier scores a good score. Of course, remember that golf courses are never built the same. The difficulty of the course plays a factor in achieving a good score.

These numbers may vary depending on course difficulty and weather conditions. For a more accurate comparison, recreational golfers should use the handicap system to measure their performance against other players.

Key Takeaway:  The average golf score for an adult male golfer is around 100 strokes per round, while the average female golfer shoots about 110. Therefore, breaking 100 over 18 holes consistently would be considered a good goal for high handicappers.

What is a Good Score for the Low Handicapper?

Low handicappers are experienced golfers who have honed their skills and consistently score low.

A good score for these players can vary depending on course difficulty, weather conditions, and the course ratings. However, some general guidelines help determine what constitutes a good score for low handicappers.


Scratch Golfers

A scratch golfer has a handicap of zero or better, meaning they typically shoot even par or better on average.

For these elite players, shooting under par (less than 72 strokes on a standard par 72 golf course) would be considered an excellent performance. On the other hand, anything over par is disappointing given their high skill level.


Golfers with Single-Digit Handicaps

If you’re not quite at scratch status but still maintain a single-digit handicap (according to National Golf Foundation data, only about five percent of adult golfers fall into this category), a good score would be consistently breaking 80.

This is a respectable score that shows you have a good understanding of the game and can execute shots effectively.


Key Takeaway:  Low handicappers are experienced golfers who consistently shoot low scores. A good score for them depends on course difficulty, weather conditions, and individual skill level. Scratch golfers should aim to shoot par or better, while single-digit handicap players should strive to consistently break 80 by improving their short game and managing course strategy effectively.


Factors That Impact a Good Golf Score

To get a handle on what a good golf score looks like, we can’t ignore the trifecta of course difficulty, weather conditions, and your skill level. It’s a balancing act, with each of these factors playing a key role in shaping your performance on the greens and fairways.


Course Difficulty

The difficulty of a golf course plays a significant role in determining your score. Courses with longer yardages, narrower fairways, more hazards (such as water or sand), and challenging greens will naturally lead to higher scores for most players.


Weather Conditions

Weather conditions, such as wind speed and direction, temperature, humidity levels, and precipitation, can all impact your golf game. For example:

  • Wind: Strong winds can make it challenging to control ball flight and judge distances accurately.
  • Rain: Wet conditions often result in slower greens and reduced roll on fairways; you’ll need more club than usual when playing from wet turf.
  • Temperature: Colder temperatures cause the golf ball to lose distance due to decreased compression; conversely, warmer temperatures allow for greater distance off the tee.


Skill Level & Experience

Your personal skill level is another factor affecting your average golf score.

Beginner golfers should expect higher scores while they develop their skills, whereas more experienced players will generally post lower scores.

The golf handicap system is designed to level the playing field by scoring average, providing a net score compared to your skill level and the course difficulty.


Golf Equipment & Technique

Enhancing your golfing experience can be achieved through investing in quality clubs and balls and honing technique with practice or instruction.

Investing in high-quality equipment tailored to your specific needs may help improve consistency and accuracy.

Additionally, maintaining proper technique through regular practice or lessons from an instructor can lead to better scoring outcomes.


Mental Approach

A golfer’s mental approach is an often overlooked yet important factor in determining their success on the course.

Developing a solid pre-shot routine, managing emotions during play, and staying focused under pressure are essential to consistently achieving good golf scores.


Key Takeaway:  Scoring well in golf isn’t just about swinging the club. It’s about juggling a bunch of factors, such as the course’s toughness, the weather, and of course, your skills and experience. Getting your hands on top-notch gear that suits your style can also be a game-changer, like keeping up with regular practice or learning from a pro. And let’s not forget the mind game – staying cool, calm, and focused, no matter the pressure


Tips to Improve Your Golf Score

Improve your score

For amateur golfers, improving golf scores can be a challenging but rewarding journey.

Whether you’re a beginner golfer or an experienced player, several strategies can help you lower your scores and enjoy the game more. Here are some tips on how to improve your golf score.


Practice Regularly

Consistent practice is key to improving any skill, and golf is no exception.

Make time for regular practice sessions at the driving range or putting green. Regular practice sessions at the driving range or putting green can help you develop strong muscle memory and refine your golf swing technique.


Take Lessons from an Instructor

If you’re serious about lowering your golf scores, consider investing in lessons with a qualified instructor who can analyze your swing and provide personalized feedback on areas for improvement. Many professional golfers offer coaching services, so use their expertise to elevate your game.


Play with Experienced Players

You can learn valuable insights by only playing golf alongside more skilled players who have mastered certain game aspects, such as course management, shot selection, and mental focus during playtime.


Mental Focus During Playtime:

Keeping your eyes on the prize in golf means avoiding distractions. It’s all about zeroing in on each shot and brushing aside any noise around you.

Another little trick of the trade is having a pre-shot routine. Not only does this breed consistency in your game, but it’s also like a mini zen moment, helping calm those jitters before you take that all-important swing. So, stay focused, stay calm, and let your game do the talking!


Gear Up Properly

Make sure you have the optimal golf clubs and equipment to maximize your performance on the course. Invest in quality golf clubs that suit your skill level, and remember to replace worn-out golf balls regularly.

Keep in mind equipment alone will not solve your swing problems. Instead, you should make sure you are playing with the right clubs based on your experience.

For instance, if you are a new golfer playing with blade irons, you’ll be in for a long round of golf. So instead, consider investing in game-improving irons.


Understand Course Management

Effective course management is an often overlooked aspect of improving one’s golf score.

This involves making smart decisions about shot selection based on wind direction, hazards, and pin placement.

  • Avoid High-Risk Shots: Choose safer options when faced with difficult shots or unfavorable conditions.
  • K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple Stupid): Simplify your game plan by focusing on hitting fairways and greens instead of attempting overly aggressive plays.


Track Your Progress

Maintaining records of your previous scores can help you identify patterns in your play and areas for improvement.

Use apps like Golfshot, which allow you to track stats such as fairway hit, greens in regulation, putts per round, etc., to monitor progress over time.

Incorporating these tips into your routine will undoubtedly lead to lower scores and an overall more enjoyable experience on the golf course.


Key Takeaway:  Golf scores can vary wildly, with an average adult golfer usually clocking in around 100 strokes. To lower your score, blend regular practice, lessons from a pro, learning from experienced players, and using quality gear suited to your skill level. Master course management, simplify your game plan, and track your progress using apps like Golfshot to keep an eye on key stats.


FAQ: What is a Good Score in Golf

If I’ve lost a dozen balls during my round, can I still consider my score for 18 holes as a good one?

Absolutely! While losing golf balls can indicate some struggles with accuracy, it doesn’t necessarily mean your score is poor.

The number of strokes you take contributes to your score, not the number of balls you lose. Therefore, improving accuracy can help reduce lost balls and improve your score.


My friend scored 90 in a windy condition, and I scored 85 on a calm day. Who has the better score?

While you scored lower numerically, golf scores can be subjective based on playing conditions. Wind can dramatically increase the difficulty of a round. Your friend’s 90 in harsh conditions is as commendable as your 85 on a calm day.


I consistently score 100, but I never practice. Is that a good score?

Scoring 100 consistently, especially without practice, suggests you have \ talent for the game.

However, “good” is relative in golf. If you’re happy with your score and enjoy your game, it’s a good score for you. On the other hand, if you’re aiming to improve, a little practice could likely bring that score down.


Wrapping It Up – What is a Good Score in Golf

So what does average golfer shoot and what is a good score in golf?

The “goodness” of a golf score depends on who’s swinging the club. If you’re starting out, keeping that score around 100 or even a bit less on a par 72 course is quite an achievement. High-five to you!

For all the average Joes and Janes out there who’ve spent a few more sunsets on the green, aiming for those mid to high 80s is a solid goal. And for the seasoned veterans, those low handicappers, they’re always gunning for scores flirting with par.

Let’s not forget that a golf score doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It’s like baking a cake with several ingredients in the mix. You’ve got your experience level and your handicap, and let’s not even get started on the ever-unpredictable weather and the uniqueness of each course.

Want to see that score drop like a perfectly executed putt? Regular practice is key. Work on those short-game skills like a sculptor on a masterpiece. Putting and chipping—these are your best friends. And let’s not forget about the right club technique. It’s like the secret sauce to your golfing success.

We hope you found this article What is a Good Score in Golf helpful. If you’re an avid golfer like us, subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest tips, reviews, and other golf lessons and guides from Humble Golfer. Plus, you’ll be automatically signed up for our free monthly giveaway!

Picture of Amir


Amir is a passionate weekend golfer with a love for the sport. He's always testing out new gear and exploring new courses, while also constantly learning and improving his game. As a true student of the sport, he's dedicated to sharing his knowledge and experiences with other golf enthusiasts.

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