Setting realistic expectations for scoring is key if you want to truly enjoy the game of golf. In miniature golf par is a reasonable score to shoot for the average putting aficionado. But on a full size golf course, less than 2 percent of golfers play to par or better.
Let that number sink in a bit.
According to the National Golf Foundation, only 26 percent of golfers shoot below 90 consistently. A whopping 45 percent of golfers average more than 100 strokes per round.
The National Golf Foundation breaks down scores this way:
|Average Score||Percent of Golfers|
Those numbers are probably even inflated a bit. Most golfers don’t truly follow the rules of golf properly…especially when it pertains to Out of Bounds. Played to the letter of the rulebook, most golfers would have to add a few more strokes to their scorecard.
So what should your expectation be? What’s a good score for a beginner?
A “good score” is going to vary from person to person, from tee box to tee box, and from course to course.
Shooting 99 from the White tees on a par 72 course of average difficulty might be a banner day for you. But if you are a lower handicap golfer, this would be a day to forget. What’s good for you, may be terrible for another golfer…or conversely you score might be well beyond the hopes and dreams of the typical hacker.
When it comes to judging your scores, you need to make sure you are choosing the proper tee box for your skill level. Now you are playing the course as it was designed.
With the right tee box sorted out, you can then look at these next 3 milestones to judge your scoring expectations as a player.
Scoring Milestone #1 – Double Bogey Golf
As a beginner, your first milestone is to play double-bogey golf from your “optimal tee box.” On a par 72 course, this means shooting 108. This makes your score better than 21% of the players out there right from the start.
Scoring Milestone #2 – Breaking 100
Milestone 2 is to consistently break 100. This will require you to play a mixture of bogey and double bogey golf. Your goal should be to get on the green at 1 over regulation, and then two putt for your bogey.
Hitting a green in regulation on a par 4 hole means getting it on the green in 2 shots. Your goal is to get there in 3. You don’t have to kill a driver to get there if your aim is 1 over regulation.
Scoring Milestone #3 – Bogey Golf
If you can break 100 regularly, then you have it in you to play bogey golf. On a par 72 course, playing bogey golf will get you a score of 90. You’ll need to consistently get on the green in 1 over regulation, and you’ll need the occasional par hole to counteract any double bogeys that might arise.
Only 26 percent of players shoot better than 90 on the golf course. If you can play bogey golf (shooting 90), you’ve moved well past the beginner stages of your golfing journey.
For 98% of the population, shooting par is not going to happen. So don’t sweat it!
Choose the right tee box for your skill level, play smart golf, and you’ll have an enjoyable day on the course.
Excellent information for beginners and all golfers!