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Thread: What score does the "average" golfer shoot?

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    Dazed & Cornfused China Cat>Rider's Avatar
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    What score does the "average" golfer shoot?

    I always get into these conversations with my buddies. I have heard and read that the "average" golfer never breaks 100 in their life. The other day someone said that was around 85% of all golfers in the world. I find that to be ridiculous. I'm a high handicapper but I have managed to break 100 quite a few times in the few years I have been hacking. And there is no way in hell I am in the top 15%!

    First off, I don't know what defines the "average" golfer...someone who plays 2-4 times a month? More? Less? Seems like the majority of people on here are all mid to low handicappers so you must be in the top 2%! Is it even possible to come up with an average score for the average golfer to be able to make such a statement?

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    In some ways, there is no way to tell what the average golf score is. According to GHIN and the USGA the average score is about 100. However they are only measuring rounds where people have registered handicaps. With more and more people playing golf every year things have started to change. One of the biggest changes is the internet and people keeping their "index" online at hundreds of different sites such as oob, yahoo, etc... The other is that more and more people are playing and not keeping an index at all.

    We asked Leadbetter this question and his response was pretty cool. He said that if you averaged out all the golf rounds played by men ages 18-50, he felt as though the average score would be about 90. He has spoken a few times on TGC and seems to refer to the average player being a slightly worse than bogey golfer. (90-94).

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    I would think it would be in the 100s. I play with a few people that are decent (they don't slow down the round) and they barely ever break 100. But JB is right. The really average golfer doesn't enter their scores.

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    Dazed & Cornfused China Cat>Rider's Avatar
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    thats cool. If you go by the average internet golf forums then it would seem like the average golfer is a scratch golfer who drives the ball 350. I'm just curious about when I am struggling to break 100 twice a month how many other people are doing the same...
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    back to the season soxngolf's Avatar
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    I am willing to bet the score is over 100. If the USGA avg is 100, I have to think it is the better golfers who would even be recording their handicap. So those that wouldn't try to establish a handicap are most likely scoring higher than that.
    You definitely can not judge it based on golf forums, one because people exaggerate, but also because the people who are going to post on forums are probably those trying to improve their scores and are more devoted to the game. I also think that we all assume that the people posting are all good golfers, which we really don't know.
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    I would also think that a lot of the "average" players take mulligans, long gimmie putts, etc etc that could drastically effect their score. I remember when I first went from casual score keeping to real score keeping in highschool that my rounds were suddenly 4-5 strokes worse.
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    IMO, 100+ is the average score.
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    Club Pro Gus R's Avatar
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    I think if every stroke was counted and every penalty was added to the score the average would be easily over 100. I see people bumping their balls in the rough, taking mulligans, hitting it out of bounds and dropping about where it went out and not taking penalties for it. Plus how many times will a golfer after taking about 10-12 strokes to get it in the hole then say well a triple bogey is not bad for all the trouble I had on that hole.

    Here is one other thing to consider, by USGA rules the score entered for posting may not be the actual score shot due to maximum strokes per hole allowed. Heck I could take 15 stokes on a par 3 but only be able to post a 5 or 6 based on my handicap.

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    Water hazards are tough! tdinbr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gus R View Post
    I think if every stroke was counted and every penalty was added to the score the average would be easily over 100. I see people bumping their balls in the rough, taking mulligans, hitting it out of bounds and dropping about where it went out and not taking penalties for it. Plus how many times will a golfer after taking about 10-12 strokes to get it in the hole then say well a triple bogey is not bad for all the trouble I had on that hole.

    Here is one other thing to consider, by USGA rules the score entered for posting may not be the actual score shot due to maximum strokes per hole allowed. Heck I could take 15 stokes on a par 3 but only be able to post a 5 or 6 based on my handicap.
    Totally agree. My uncle has always said that if correct scoring is kept, 80% of golfers will never break 90. No mulligans, no improving lies and no gimme putts...

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    Dazed & Cornfused China Cat>Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gus R View Post
    I think if every stroke was counted and every penalty was added to the score the average would be easily over 100. I see people bumping their balls in the rough, taking mulligans, hitting it out of bounds and dropping about where it went out and not taking penalties for it. Plus how many times will a golfer after taking about 10-12 strokes to get it in the hole then say well a triple bogey is not bad for all the trouble I had on that hole.

    Here is one other thing to consider, by USGA rules the score entered for posting may not be the actual score shot due to maximum strokes per hole allowed. Heck I could take 15 stokes on a par 3 but only be able to post a 5 or 6 based on my handicap.
    I think this is it exactly. My friend almost never takes the correct score on a hole. He will say a 6 when I know his tee shot was OB, he was on the green in 6 after that and then 3 putted. I admit when I first started playing I wouldn't count shot's OB, in water, etc. now that I am counting every shot and giving myself appropriate penalty shots my score is about the same it was before but I feel better knowing that I'm posting honest scores. And I also know my game is improving
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    Quote Originally Posted by RxGus View Post
    I would also think that a lot of the "average" players take mulligans, long gimmie putts, etc etc that could drastically effect their score. I remember when I first went from casual score keeping to real score keeping in highschool that my rounds were suddenly 4-5 strokes worse.
    +1, if I didnt take penalty strokes, I could probably break 90.

    Playing at a local muni this last weekend, it was very busy, so I spent alot of time watching the "average" golfer golf. The fairways were close and open to eachother, so I was able to see alot of different groups. I'd have to say that I'd be suprised if 1 out of every 4 broke 100. Drives sprayed in every direction, irons chunked or thined, balls kicked into the fairway, you name it, it happened. I could probably only point out maybe 2 or 3 golfers there that could actually have a legit chance of breaking 80.

    I think there are two groups of golfers. The group that loves the game, makes the game a part of their life, and practices to get better at the game. Then there is the group of golfers that might play one to four times a month with their buddies, never practice, and play just to get out and enjoy the weather or whatever. I'd say the majority of golfers are in the latter group, but you see more of the golfers from the former (they just play more often).
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    Dazed & Cornfused China Cat>Rider's Avatar
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    I guess I would fall kind of in between the 2 groups. I only get to play 2-4 times a month but thats really just because of my work schedule. I never take it too seriously and just try to have fun and enjoy the day. But I do practice in the back yard chipping, pitching ,etc every chance I get. And I guess I spend WAY too much time online researching equipment, tips, etc. I think because I live in the northeast where we have 4-5 months of the year that does not allow much, if any, golfing I tend to only by obsessed with golf half the year.

    But I do feel better now that it seems the majority of players I see on the course are hackers much like myself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by China Cat>Rider View Post
    I guess I would fall kind of in between the 2 groups I only get to play 2-4 times a month but thats really just because of my work schedule. I never take it too seriously and just try to have fun and enjoy the day. But I do practice in the back yard chipping, pitching ,etc every chance I get. And I guess I spend WAY too much time online researching equipment, tips, etc. I think because I live in the northeast where we have 4-5 months of the year that does not allow much, if any, golfing I tend to only by obsessed with golf half the year.

    But I do feel better now that it seems the majority of players I see on the course are hackers much like myself.
    You sound alot like me! I'm a bogey golfer that plays 3-4 times a month on 9-hole, par 36 courses only 6 months out of the year. I practice frequently from March through September (range, putting at home, swing trainers, etc.), but my scores continue to range from 41 to 48 for nine holes.
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    Paul Casey, WINNER! Tmex's Avatar
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    Typically I shoot mid 70's... on the Par 60's. And Im in the mid 90's on the par 70's. Really depends though. Who I'm with and what we are out there to do. I shot an 88 the other week but thats an outlier! Im really close to putting it all together. I do average 378.3 yards per drive though. HA.
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    It has to be 100+. I normally play single golf which means that I'm paired up randomly almost every round. In the past 3 years, I've seen 2 guys shoot legitimately in the 70s; 3 or 4 in the 80s; a bunch in the 90s (usually with multiple mulligans, no penalty strokes, foot wedges, ball changes, you name it) and the majority shooting over 100 -- even with concessions.

    Now, if you factor in those folks who play as members, track official USGA handicap, etc., it might be lower than 100. The only person I've seen below par was my instructor and a college kid playing for IU.
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