Oct 10, 2022
POSTED BY: Nicholas Venditti

Average Golf Score: What Does the Average Golfer Shoot?

Golf is a game that is all about progress. Tracking your scores allows you to see definitive results, pushing you to do better every time. You're not directly competing with fellow golfers, so your biggest wins are against yourself. 

Even though other competitors will not impact your score, it's still helpful to know how well you're doing compared to other players. Read on to learn about the average scores of golfers. 

What Do Most Average Golfers Shoot? 

The average scores reflect the scores of those who actively submit their scores online, so this is important to keep in mind. It could be that some groups who perform worse or better than you more actively submit, meaning your position relative to the average golfer might vary from what the reports suggest.

That said, with this data, you can see the typical golfer playing recreationally scores 91 on a par 72 golf course. 

USGA tracks the stats using submitted handicap results. You can consider yourself a relatively high handicap golfer if your rating is 20 and above. This score equates to players shooting in the 90s and 100s. 

The statistics provided show that most male players fall into the 13 range. Most women score around 27. 

What Is the Average Score for 18 Holes? 

Despite changes in golfing gear, the averages haven't changed in a notable amount of time. The average score for 18 holes for those playing recreationally is around 100. 

We could reasonably assume some advancements have impacted progression through the years, including bigger drivers and improved putters. Bigger drivers make the ball travel further once hit. Improvements in putters point to better designs that increase the ball's precision roll. 

What Is the Average Score for 9 Holes? 

The standard score for nine holes for the typical adult is 45, which would be bogey golf. For anyone unfamiliar with the golf terms, or perhaps just starting, a bogey score is 1-over par on an individual hole.  

The time pressure is something to keep in mind when playing a 9-hole round. Especially in high season, you may have someone play both behind you and in front of you. Single and skilled players can finish a round this short in a mere 75 minutes. 

What Does a Decent Golfer Shoot? 

Most courses are par 72, with typical scores shot between even par and -1 for the entire round. It means a decent score stands between -2 and -5. Any lower score is rare and something to boast. The average score for those playing this season on the PGA Tour for 18 holes is around 71-72. 

Advanced and professional players tend to score below 40 after nine holes. If you're neither beginning nor advanced in golfing, you could consider shooting below 60 at the end of 9 holes to be a decent score. Beginners should aim to shoot below 60. 

Average Golf Score (By Age)

  • - Players aged 20-30 have an average result of 90 on a par 72 golf course. As we discussed earlier, the results come from those who submit their scores. As many people aren't doing this, it's plausible that typical scores are around ten strokes higher.
  • - Players aged 30-40 usually achieve a result of 92 on a par 72 golf course. This score is slightly higher and, therefore, worse than the younger payers. The difference is possibly due to many new golfers playing their first games within this age range.
  • - Players aged 40-50 typically see results of 92 on a par 72 golf course, much like their younger counterparts. Consistent averages like this make sense because not a great deal of our lives change from ages 30 to 50 regarding hobbies and free time.
  • - Players aged 50-60 do not have wildly differing results, seeing scores of 91 on a par 72 golf course. Nonetheless, 91 is still an improvement. By this point, many of us will retire, allowing more time for daily practice and play.
  • - Players aged 60 and over have an average score of 92 on a par 72 golf course. Many of us are less athletic in the later stages of our lives, which explains the slight decrease from 91 to 92.

Remember that these results are averages. They aren’t necessarily an accurate measure of whether you shoot much better than the above averages or those shooting worse. It’s best to focus on your performance and individual score.

3 Factors to Consider When Calculating Average Golf Score

Course Ratings

Course ratings are the playing difficulty level of any course for a scratch golfer. The rating takes into consideration the course level in weather conditions that are standard and clear. The rating refers to the numerical value of strokes you take to one decimal place. The system uses table values and adjustments to discern ratings.

In simpler terms, the rating uses factors like the effective playing length of the course and obstacles for 9 or 18-hole games. The number depends on yardage. 

The specific details that make up the effective playing length include, but are not limited to, a measurement of each hole on the course, adjustments that impact your roll, weather conditions, height, and elevation.

Obstacles that affect difficulty in scoring include the terrain and slope of the course. 

Slope Ratings

Slope ratings measure the playing difficulties for bogey golfers. The rating works in comparison to scratch players using the course rating. 

Essentially, scratch players use course ratings to understand how challenging the course will be. Bogey players will use the slope rating for the same objective. Usually, less advanced players will use the slope rating rather than the course. 

The calculation uses the difference between bogey ratings and course ratings, with the ratings multiplied by a fixed, constant factor. For women, this factor is 4.24; for men, it's 5.381. 

There are some game elements to bear in mind to apply the course and slope rating accurately. For instance, the golf course must not be shortened or lengthened by more than 100 yards. Otherwise, any results will be inaccurate when you apply the results to your scores. 

Handicap Ratings 

We touched on handicap ratings and their impact on your overall score earlier, but there is much more to consider. To fully define the meaning of your handicap, the term is a numerical way to measure your ability or even potential ability, comparing many players via scoring. The comparison works regardless of skill level. 

If you class yourself as an amateur, you may feel somewhat deflated by the earlier scores and ratings from other players. However, this is where the handicap comes through. Tallying up your scores at the end of the round results in your gross total. 

The score may be pretty high, but you have yet to subtract your handicap. Once you've removed the handicap number from your gross, you'll look at your net score, which is the final result. 

This calculation is simplified but beneficial to those of you starting. 

Final Thoughts 

For beginner golfers, it’s important to remember you don’t need to feel put down by comparing your game to others. Yet having said that, keeping a record of your scores and understanding where your results sit will push you to achieve more as you go. 

For those of you that have been playing a while already, it's arguable that having a general reference of averages is even more beneficial. Overall, seeing where you sit can motivate you to strive for better. Additionally, recreational players will have good fun comparing their game to their friends and competing in their social circles. 

 As you head to the course with the average scores in mind, make sure you look the part of the pros. Shop STITCH Golf today for stylish golf apparel designed for golfers by golfers.