What Is a Good Score in Golf?

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What Is a Good Score in Golf

Well, a good golf score for amateurs typically ranges in the low 80s, while beginners aim for scores under 130 for 18 holes.

Novices focus on learning fundamentals and enjoying the game. As skills improve, shooting below 100 is commendable. However, progress isn’t solely about scores; enjoyment, growth, and collaboration matter too.

Here, I’ll focus on the concept of a good golf score, which considers factors such as the difficulty of the course, age, and skill level of the golfer.

Providing insight from experts and professionals will provide an in-depth analysis of what makes a good score.

What Is a Good Score in Golf?

A good golf score for amateur golfers typically falls in the low 80s. Personal goals and standards vary, so it’s essential to gauge improvement and seek tips from professionals and peers alike.

The quality of a golf score depends on many factors, such as skill level, experience, and personal goals.

A score under 130 for 18 holes is considered reasonable for beginners who are just learning the game.

Shooting below 100 is a commendable achievement for casual golfers. It indicates a level of proficiency in handling shots and managing the course.

Despite target scores providing benchmarks for golf improvement, progress is not solely based on numbers. Factors such as enjoyment, personal growth, and game camaraderie are equally significant.

Factors to Consider When Determining a Good Score

The criteria for determining a good golf score encompass many factors beyond an individual’s skill level.

Course Difficulty

Golf courses present their challenges. Longer courses with tight fairways or thick roughs require more strokes to navigate. The course can also be more challenging due to hazards like water bodies and sand traps.

Weather Conditions

Weather can greatly impact gameplay. Strong winds can alter the ball’s trajectory, making it challenging to predict where it will land.

Rain can affect the ground, causing the ball to roll differently and impacting distance control. Weather understanding and adaptation are crucial for optimizing performance.

Swing Mechanics

Your swing quality directly influences your score. Your grip, stance, posture, alignment, backswing, downswing, impact, and follow-through all contribute to the effectiveness of your shots.

Slope Ratings

A course’s rating system provides valuable insight into the difficulty of the course, including slope ratings.

Slope ratings measure how challenging a course is for a bogey player compared to a scratch player.

The slope rating indicates greater difficulty, which can impact players’ scoring performance.

Handicap Ratings

Handicap ratings offer a standardized method for comparing players of different skill levels.

Advanced players typically have lower handicaps, reflecting their ability to achieve lower scores consistently.

Novice players, on the other hand, often have higher handicaps. Players can track their progress and relative performance by tracking handicap changes.

Course Management and Strategy

A strategic approach and effective course management are essential for optimal scoring. Knowing when to play carefully and when to take calculated risks to achieve lower scores is crucial.

Common Golf  Score Terms: You Must Need To Know!

EagleTwo strokes under par.
BirdieOne stroke under par.
ParThe average score for a hole is typically 3-5 strokes.
Par # (e.g., Par 3, Par 4, Par 5)Number of strokes to complete a hole.
BogeyOne stroke above par.
Double BogeyTwo strokes above par.
Triple BogeyThree strokes above par.
Golf HandicapNumerical measure of golfing ability.
Short GameThe longer grass surrounding the fairway, makes shots more difficult.
FairwayThe trimmed, mowed portion of the golf course between tee and green.
RoughThe marker indicates the location of the hole on the green.
HazardAny area on the course that presents a challenge or risk to the golfer.
BunkerA sand-filled depression on the course, often near the green or fairway.
Pin/FlagA do-over shot, is usually informally allowed in casual play.
Tee BoxThe designated area from which a golfer begins a hole.
DivotA piece of turf displaced by a golf club during a swing.
Out of Bounds (OB)Areas beyond the course boundaries where play is not permitted.
MulliganA do-over shot, usually informally allowed in casual play.
Stroke PlayA scoring system where the total number of strokes is counted.
Match PlayA scoring system where individual holes are won or lost.
CaddieA person who assists a golfer by carrying clubs and providing advice.

How Does Golf Scoring Work?

Understanding the golf scoring system is fundamental for players of all levels. Each score on the scorecard carries a specific designation, indicating how a player performed relative to par:

How Does Golf Scoring Work
  • Eagle (-2): Achieving two strokes under par. For instance, scoring a 3 on a Par 5 hole.
  • Birdie (-1): Making one stroke under par. For example, scoring a 3 on a Par 4 hole.
  • Par (0): The target score for each hole, adding or subtracting zero strokes from your score. It represents the expected number of strokes to complete the hole.
  • Bogey (+1): Adding one stroke to your score. For instance, making a 5 on a Par 4 hole.
  • Double Bogey (+2): Adding two strokes to your score. For example, scoring 6 on a Par 4 hole.
  • Triple Bogey (+3): Adding three strokes to your score. For instance, making a 7 on a Par 4 hole.

The goal for players is to achieve as many pars as possible, which means matching the expected number of strokes for each hole.

However, especially for beginners, it’s common to score bogeys, double bogeys, or triple bogeys, indicating strokes above par.

Each hole on the golf course has a designated par value, representing the standard number of strokes an accomplished player is expected to complete it in.

Understanding the par of each hole helps players strategize and plan their shots accordingly.

As you progress and gain experience, you strive to minimize the number of bogeys and aim for more pars, birdies, and even eagles.

Consistent practice, course management, and honing various aspects of the game contribute to achieving better scores over time.

What is a Good Golf Score for 9 Hole

A good golf score for 9 holes is below 40 on a short course, factoring in handicap. High-handicappers may aim for under 60, while mid-handicappers target below 50. 

Determining a good golf score for nine holes involves several considerations.

A score below 40 is commendable, especially on a short course, especially when considering handicaps. High-handicappers want scores under 60, while mid-handicappers want scores under 50.

What is a Good Golf Score for 18 Hole

A good golf score for 18 holes reflects a player’s performance throughout a round. Scores below 80, regardless of handicaps or individual skill levels, are commendable.

Low handicappers typically have more refined skills and lower handicap indexes, so scores close to 80 indicate consistent and proficient play. They can manage risks effectively and maximize scoring opportunities.

A high handicapper can still strive for an 80-shot score by subtracting multiple shots from their total scorecard.

How To Improve Your Golf Score?

Improving your golf score requires technique, strategy, and mindset. You can improve your game by following these tips:

  • Regularly practice at the driving range or putting green. Build muscle memory and refine your swing technique.
  • Invest in lessons with a qualified instructor to receive specific feedback on your swing.
  • Play alongside experienced players to learn. Learn about course management, shot selection, and mental focus.
  • Focus on each shot, eliminate distractions, and establish a pre-shot routine.
  • Include exercises that improve strength, endurance, and flexibility, especially rotational and core strength.
  • Practice chipping, pitching, and putting.
  • Make sure you use quality clubs and equipment. Replace worn-out golf balls regularly and buy game-improving irons.
  • Identify hazards, wind, and pin placement to make wise decisions. Make sure you hit fairways and greens.
  • Keep track of your progress using apps like Golfshot to identify areas for improvement.

Your golf experience will be more fulfilling if you incorporate these strategies into your routine.

What Is An Average Golf Score?

The average golfer’s score typically hovers around 100 strokes for 18 holes. However, there are variations based on age, gender, skill level, and course difficulty.

Adult male amateur golfers score approximately 96 strokes, while adult female amateurs shoot an average of 108 strokes. These figures give an overview of typical golf performance levels. Aside from that, the average handicap for men is 14.2, while women’s is 27.5.

What is a Good Golf Score for a Beginner?

Generally, breaking 120 strokes for a full 18-hole round is a notable achievement for a novice golfer. A beginner’s good golf score depends on experience, skill level, and course difficulty.

As you progress and gain more experience on the course, setting progressive targets can be beneficial.

For example, after achieving a score below 120, the next target could be breaking 110, followed by 100, and so forth.

You can track your progress and set realistic goals through this incremental approach.

What is a Good Golf Score for a Woman?

Despite exceptional scores, a recreational female golfer usually considers a score of 90 to 100 for 18 holes good.

Women’s tees are generally set closer to the hole than men’s, which can impact scores.

What is a Good Golf Score for a Senior?

Breaking 90 for 18 holes is often considered a great achievement for senior golfers.

Physical condition, flexibility, and strength may affect senior golfer’s game.

What is a Good Golf Score for a Junior?

For younger junior golfers, shooting close to 100 or under is impressive. In junior golf, breaking 100 signifies solid progress and proficiency as they learn course management techniques.

In contrast, older and more competitive junior golfers may set higher scoring standards.

Junior players often aim for the 70s and 80s, showing advanced skill levels. It shows strong technical proficiency, strategic decision-making, and mental toughness.

What is a Good Golf Score for a Pro Golfer?

Professional golfers score based on course difficulty and conditions. A standard of shooting is below par, with exceptional rounds in the low 60s. Scores in the high 70s or 80s are considered poor performances.

Determining what constitutes a good score for a professional golfer is highly subjective.

Shooting 71 on a challenging course during adverse weather conditions such as rain and wind could be considered remarkable.

On the other hand, scoring a 70 in favorable weather may be less impressive.


Does Your Golf Score Matter as a Beginner?

As a beginner, your golf score matters less than learning and enjoying the game.

Focus on improving your skills and understanding course etiquette.

While tracking progress can help set goals, having fun on the course is the primary focus.

What Is a Bad Golf Score?

A bad golf score generally exceeds par, indicating more strokes than average.

A consistent over-par score can hinder improvement. Keeping track of performance helps identify areas for improvement.

Is 90 a good golf score?

Yes, a 90 is a good golf score.

On a par-72 course, it indicates solid play and competency. An individual’s skill level, course difficulty, and personal goals determine a good score.

What is the Lowest Golf Score Ever?

The lowest 18-hole golf score ever recorded in a professional tournament was 58 strokes (PGA Tour).

Jim Furyk achieved this remarkable feat at the 2016 Travelers Championship.

What is the Highest Golf Score Ever?

A golf score for a single hole can reach 100, especially in amateur play or non-sanctioned events.

Due to their occurrence outside of tournaments, these extreme scores are rarely documented.

Final Note

So, what is a good score in golf? What constitutes a good score in golf depends on many factors. While it ultimately depends on an individual’s skill level and personal goals.

The ideal score generally ranges from 60 to 80 for amateurs and 70 to 80 for professionals.

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Hey, I am Allen Jackson a golf expert with over 30 years of experience. From my childhood, I have found my passion. I played on high school and college teams and went on to become a professional golfer. Now, I am a full-time trainer.