Anyone who only recognizes golf as hitting a ball into a hole with a club has no idea how complex and challenging the sport actually is. It’s a game of patience and precision that requires lots of practice to master. Different clubs, shots, and angles all factor into a perfect game.
Yes, golfers come in all shapes and sizes, and so do average golf scores by age! If you’re a high-handicap golfer trying to understand how your handicap stacks up against the average golf score, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s touch on everything we need to know about golf scoring and the average golf score by age.
The first thing you should understand is that scoring in golf is more than just adding numbers. Well, sometimes it’s as easy as counting the strokes you make to get the ball in the hole. The lower the score, the better. However, when you check a golf leaderboard, you’ll see numbers, the symbols + or -, and even letters.
To make you less confused when you’re out on the course, here’s a quick breakdown of golf scoring terms:
The par is the average number of strokes a golfer should take to complete each hole. If you make par, it means you took average strokes on that hole. So, if you see the — symbol next to your score on a specific hole, it means you took fewer strokes than the average. In golf, a negative score is good!
In golf, a birdie is one stroke under par. For example, if par is 4, a birdie means you completed the hole in 3 strokes.
You get an eagle if you’re even better than a birdie and make two strokes under par. Think of it as upgrading your bird into an even bigger bird!
Double Eagle or Albatross
The double eagle, or albatross, is three strokes under par, but it’s sporadic and has happened only four times in 2022. It’s an even bigger bird!
A bogey is one stroke more than par. So, if the average number of strokes a golfer should take is 4, a bogey would be 5. “Double bogey” and “triple bogey” mean two and three strokes above average, respectively.
Lastly, an ace, or hole in one, is when you get the ball into the cup with just one stroke. It’s a rare feat and deserves lots of celebration!
“Good” Golf Score
Now that you know the basic terms of golf scoring, let’s figure out which golf score is “good.” Is it par? Below average or average? It depends. Par is considered a good score, especially for expert golfers. Experts scoring below par is even more impressive. However, if you’re a beginner or an amateur, it’s best to ignore the par and focus on improving your overall game.
Of course, the goal is always to shoot par or even below average, but it could be too much pressure on your first few rounds. High-handicap golfers, in particular, should work on improving their average score before trying to dive into serious scoring. You tend to have higher scores than average, meaning there’s much to improve.
Winning Every Hole vs Total Round Score
If scoring in golf differs from other sports, then “winning” is also different. A “win” in golf means two separate things: winning every hole and having a lower total round score.
Simply put, winning every hole means completing each hole with average or fewer strokes than average. Par is considered a win, but you must complete all 18 holes with an average or better in one round.
On the other hand, winning the round means having the lowest average score for all 18 holes for that round. It’s more about getting better average scores than winning every hole.
So which one should you focus on? That depends on your skill level. Some golfers aim to win every hole because of the challenge. Still, even beginner golfers should focus on improving their average score per round. Ultimately, winning every hole makes the game even more fun!
Average Golf Score By Age
As a high-handicap golfer, you may feel like average golfers have way better scores than you. Well, that’s the case, but don’t take it personally. Golfers have different average scores depending on their age, handicap level, and experience in the game.
The United States Golf Association (USGA) says the average score for a par 72 golf course is 91 for recreational players. Tracking your handicap will help you get a more accurate average score. So, what average golf score should you expect by age? Generally speaking, here’s the average golf score by age:
Age 20 to 30
If you’re between 20 and 30 years old, the average golf score on a 72 golf course is 90. It’s quite high because players of this age range are usually beginners. You need more experience and knowledge of the game.
Age 30 to 40
Moving on to ages 30 to 40, the average score on the same course is 92. Yes, it’s higher than the average score of younger players because not everyone discovers the magic of golf at an earlier age. Some golfers who fall under this age range are also new and might no longer be as athletic as their younger counterparts.
Age 40 to 50
Golfers aged 40 to 50 have the same average score as those aged 30 to 40. Why? Perhaps because they don’t have enough time to practice the game regularly. Age 40 to 50 is the busiest age range, and some golfers can’t hone their sports skills.
Age 50 to 60
Now, golfers aged 50 to 60 average 91 on a 72-hole course. It’s lower than the average of the two previous age ranges because they have more time to practice their game. With an average of 91, it’s clear that this age range has quite a skillful grip on the game. Moreover, retirement in the horizon, meaning golfers are young enough to be in decent physical condition and experienced enough to hit average scores.
Age 60 and Beyond
Finally, the average golf score for those aged 60 and beyond is 92. Understandably, these golfers have good experience and knowledge of the game, but their average score is higher because physical conditions deteriorate over time.
If we gather all golfers of all ages and compute their average golf score, it would come out to 91. It’s the same average score for beginners or recreational golfers. What you must keep in mind is that these average scores don’t have to be your sole basis for how to play golf.
Every player has different capabilities and experiences. If you’re having fun and trying to improve, an average golf score should be the least of your worries.
Improving Your Average Score
Focusing on your average score is ideal if you have the right people to guide you. Some will find the scoring frustrating, possibly leading to quitting the game altogether. Proper guidance will help you see scoring as a way to improve your game. Here are some tips:
Master the Basic Fundamentals
Golf is a game of technique and skill. You can play for years yet still lack knowledge of the fundamentals. To average a lower score, you must understand the rules, develop your swing, and master putting. Focus on improving these areas before taking a crack at average golf scores.
Play With the Right Golf Ball
Yes, there’s more than just one type of golf ball. Some are designed for professional golfers, while others are for average to beginner players. Knowing which one to use can help you improve your average score.
Focus More on Fairways
Fairways are essential to average lower scores. Focusing on fairway shots and accuracy takes you away from the rough and penalty strokes. Aiming for fairways won’t guarantee average golf scores, but it certainly helps. Hitting from the rough regularly will make it harder to shoot good scores.
Play With Better Golfers
Experts or coaches will help you understand the fundamentals of the game, and you can observe how they handle different scenarios. Playing with more experienced golfers will give you first-hand knowledge of the game! Moreover, a coach can help you identify your weaknesses and create a game plan.
Practice, Practice, and More Practice
Ultimately, average golf scores depend on how much time you put into practice. Despite your age, everyone can average low scores if they spend enough time on the course and the range. Whether focused on improving or average score or your whole game, practice and repetition will bring long-term improvement.
Now that you understand the average golf scores per age, try not to focus too much on them. It’s a little contradicting, but average scores are just a reference. If your average score is higher than the average for your age, it’s not the end of the world. It only means you need more time on the course. With the right people guiding you, average golf scores should be attainable. Now, get out there and practice!