What is the Average Golf Score?

A golfer’s average score is a combination of several factors. From the course difficulty to the slope ratings of the greens, there are environmental factors each golfer must conquer to post a great final number on the scorecard.

While some golfers are happy being known as a “bogey golfer,” posting an average score around 90, many other players feel expected scores in the 80s is a good number to regularly post.

In this article about posting your best scores, we’ll take a look at what makes a good or bad score for a wide range of ages and handicaps.

average golf score

What You Will Learn In This Post


What Is The Average Golf Score For 18 Holes

One of the great things about handicaps is that it levels the playing field regardless of skill level. Handicap difference allows two golfers, no matter their average score, to play a square match.

Tiger Woods and an average player at your local club can battle with realistic expectations of being competitive over 18 holes when factoring in their average handicap.

High Handicap

A high handicap average golfer carries a handicap around 18, with regular scores of over 90. While most golfers feel a good golf score is anything under 100, it still gives these players the designation of high handicapper.

The average player usually carries an average handicap of over 18, so by that rule, most weekend warriors that you see on the golf course are high handicappers.

Mid Handicap

A mid handicapper scorecard regularly posts somewhere in the 80s. With a handicap anywhere from 10-18, a mid handicapper will find that although the course’s par is out of reach, they will post a handful of pars and birdies throughout their round.

According to the USGA, the national average golf score handicap is 14.2. But most players do not register their handicaps with governing bodies like the USGA, the average golfer that regularly records their scores is more serious about their golf game.

That said, mid handicappers will struggle to find consistency in the course of a full round, with the occasional triple bogey creeping up and causing final scores to bloat on the scorecard.

Low Handicap

A low handicap is a single-digit handicap score. Any golfers that regularly shoots in the 70s is considered a low handicapper. Golfers with sophisticated skill levels in every aspect of their game regular shoot in the 70s at a par 72 course.

For a low handicapper, the next step in their game is to reach the level of scratch golfer with scores around the average standard par for the course.

If you don’t know your handicap yet, check our article: What does Handicap Mean in Golf?


What Is The Average Golf Score For 9 Holes

While the best average golf score for amateurs depends on their normal expected score, an average golfer shoots in the range of 40-45 strokes per nine holes.

Depending primarily on the toughness of the golf course and factors such as slope rating and course rating, an average nine hole score can offer a wide range of outcomes.

Private golf clubs with tough layouts can force a scratch golfer to consider anything under 40 a good expected score, although they might argue differently.


What Is A Good Score In Golf

A great score in golf is anything in the 70s. While that might not cut the mustard on pro tours, for regular golfers and weekend warriors, shooting around 75 is a remarkable number to place on a scorecard.

For a beginning golfer, the threshold for a good round is breaking 100. So many players find a tremendous sense of pride when they first reach a score under 100. Of course, serious players use that first round sub-100 as a springboard to going further and reaching greater heights.

A scratch golfer considers anything under par a good score, although their threshold for what constitutes a “good score” differs from the average golfer just enjoying their weekend on the links.

In the end, a good score for a golfer is any score that gets below their expectations.


What Is A Bad Golf Score

An average golfer, whether they be female or male, should have a particular understanding about what constitutes a bad score. For a scratch golfer, a score above 80, might be considered worse than a bogey golfer shooting around 100.

When taking a deep dive into what makes a “bad score,” it remains important to acknowledge that it could be different for each golfer based on their average baseline scorecard number.


What Is The Average Golf Score By Age

The average golfer, regardless of age, routinely struggles with finding their groove on the course. That’s a big reason why to find the skill level of the golfer, they need to average their scores and find a good program to calculate their handicap.

Falling into one of three major age ranges, the average golfer can expect their scores to fluctuate based on their age, strength, and fundamental approach to playing the game. Also, numbers such as the course rating play a huge role in a golfer seeking a path to becoming a scratch golfer.

10-19 Years

Beginning golfers, especially ones that are younger, will hold average scores anywhere from the 100s to the 80s, based upon their skill level. The largest obstacle that young golfers face when playing the game at this relatively early age is consistency and distance.

Since the body is not fully developed in terms of strength, the young golfer has trouble driving the ball a long distance for a shorter second shot to help produce more birdies and pars.

20-49 Years

You’ll find great golfers in this age group ranging from a scratch golfer to your regular weekend warrior who loves hitting the links with their buddies. Golfers in this age range regularly shoot in the 80s, although the difficulty of the course certainly impacts the overall score.

50-69+ Years

For golfers over the age of 50, scoring in the 80s is quite the achievement. While senior golfers can utilize tee boxes further up than the standard tees on a course, their scores are limited by their inability to hit the ball as far as they once did in their life.


What is the Average Golf Score for Beginners?

An average beginner should expect to shoot well into the 100s on their first trip to a par 72 course. For a golfer with limited experience playing the game, their score will reflect the difficulties in finding consistency trying to reach even par on a hole.

Frankly, any double bogey on a hole should be considered a major success for many golfers just starting their golfing journey.

Most beginner golfers should focus on playing nine holes at the start of their golfing career, instead focusing the majority of their time off the course learning how to hit the golf ball.

One point to make for a beginning amateur golfer is that they should completely ignore their early golf scores because they will dramatically decrease their score averages and handicap once they figure out how to play the game with more efficiency.

Playing golf can be a frustrating experience on its own, let alone worrying about the course ratings,  average golf scores, and hoping to reach unrealistic expectations like playing bogey golf.


Average Female Golf Score: Is There A Difference?

For the average female golfer, according to the USGA statistics, the average handicap is 27.5. With a regular scoring average of over 100, the definition of a bad golf score needs to be re-calibrated for women golfers when compared to male players.

Golfers on the LPGA Tour post scores much like the men on the PGA Tour, with the best posting below par scores that amateur players can only dream about posting on their favorite one course near their home.


Average Pro Golf Score

The average PGA Tour golfer has a handicap below zero, and is considered to be much better than your run-of-the-mill scratch golfer.

If you were to take the worst PGA Tour golfer to your local course, they have a decent chance to shoot the course record with ease.

Each amazing golfer on the tour possesses a golf swing that can control the golf ball and post a low score no matter the course rating, slope rating, or overall condition of the par 72 course.

On tour, pro golfers must post scores in the 60s, while keeping their worst rounds in the very low 70s in order to win championships.

While most scratch golfers can hit a golf ball as well as a tour pro, the pro’s ability to keep their scores consistently low is the reason they maintain a career on the course.


Factors to Consider When Calculating Average Score

When looking at the factors to consider when calculating an average number you need to seek out a course’s slope rating, course rating, and how a score utilizes the line passing through the scale of the expected average scores.

Every golf club, as well as standalone golf courses, have their own standards for what constitutes a good golf score. Even someone considered a bogey golfer at their home course, might find themselves posting better than expected scores at a different course.

The only way to normalize scores across different places is through handicaps, total par, and average scoring.


Even a scratch golfer that regularly shoots par loves to work on their average score with their clubs and accessories.

Although everyday golfers will never taste that level of success, attempting to lower their scoring average through practice and playing is the main joy when playing the sport.