What Is A Good Golf Score? For All Levels & How To Get Better!

good golf scores

A good golf score is actually quite subjective. The same score can be considered really good for some players, but not so great for others. Even if both players are beginners, what’s considered a good score can vary significantly from person to person. So, it’s really up to you to decide what is a good golf score for you!

What Is A Good Golf Score For Beginners?

  • Typical Beginner Scores:
    • For a beginner, scoring around 100-120 on an 18-hole course is quite common.
    • This translates to about 5-6 strokes per hole, on average, when most holes are par-3, par-4, or par-5.
    • Remember, par for most 18-hole golf courses ranges from 70 to 72.
  • Focus on Improvement, Not Just Score: For beginners, it’s more important to focus on improving technique and understanding the game rather than just the score. Consistently hitting lower than 120 and moving towards a score of 100 or less is a good initial goal.
  • Measuring Progress: Beginners should measure progress in terms of personal improvement. For instance, reducing the number of putts per round, improving drive distance and accuracy, or successfully navigating hazards.
  • Learning and Enjoyment: The key for beginners is to learn the fundamentals of the game and enjoy the process. As skills improve, scores will naturally lower.

Good Golf Score For Intermediate Golfers

  • Score Range: Intermediate golfers often shoot scores in the range of 80 to 95 on a standard 18-hole course. This range can vary depending on the course difficulty and conditions.
  • Breaking 90: A common goal for many intermediate players is to consistently break 90. This means averaging just over bogey golf, which is one stroke over par on each hole.
  • Comparing to Par: On a standard course with a par of 72, shooting in the 80s means an intermediate player is typically 10 to 20 strokes over par. This is a significant improvement over beginner scores, which are usually over 100.
  • Consistency: Intermediate players tend to have more consistency in their shots and have developed a more reliable swing. They can often make pars and occasionally birdies, with fewer double bogeys or worse.
  • Course Management: At this level, players have better course management skills. They make smarter decisions about club selection, shot type, and navigating course hazards.
  • Short Game and Putting: Improvement in the short game and putting is a significant factor that helps lower scores for intermediate players. Reducing the number of putts per round is often a key area of focus.
  • Individual Goals: It’s important for intermediate golfers to set personal goals based on their skills and experiences. Some may aim to consistently score in the low 80s, while others might focus on specific aspects of their game, like improving accuracy or mastering certain types of shots.

What Is A Good Golf Score For Advanced Golfers?

  • Score Range: Advanced golfers often shoot scores in the low 70s to low 80s on a standard 18-hole course. Some may consistently score under par, but this is more common among professional or highly skilled amateur golfers.
  • Breaking Par: A hallmark of advanced play is the ability to score at or under par (typically 70-72 for most courses). This level of play indicates not just skill but also a strong strategic understanding of the game.
  • Consistency and Skill: Advanced players are characterized by their consistent play, including accurate drives, strong approach shots, reliable putting, and excellent course management. They have the ability to recover from challenging situations and minimize bogeys or worse.
  • Course Difficulty: Advanced players can maintain their lower scores even on more difficult courses, which feature challenging hazards, longer distances, and more complex greens.
  • Handicap: Advanced golfers typically have a low handicap, often in the single digits. The handicap system adjusts a player’s score to account for the difficulty of a course, allowing players of different skill levels to compete on an even field.

Good Golf Score For Pros

  • Scoring Averages: Professional golfers often have scoring averages significantly lower than amateur players. On the PGA Tour, for example, the scoring average is typically around 70, which means most professionals are regularly shooting at or under par.
  • Par and Below: A good score for a professional golfer is often under par. On a standard 18-hole course with a par of 72, scores in the mid to low 60s are not uncommon in professional tournaments.
  • Course Difficulty: Professional golfers play on a variety of courses, many of which are much more challenging than the average public/private course. Despite this, they still manage to maintain low scores due to their superior skills and strategies.
  • Consistency: One key aspect of professional play is consistency. Professionals are expected to consistently shoot low scores, and their ability to do so is a major factor in their success.
  • Tournament Performance: In professional tournaments, the standard for a “good” score can depend on the course, weather conditions, and the performance of other players. Winning scores in major championships, for example, can vary significantly.
  • Adjustment for Course: The concept of “good” is also relative to the course’s par. On courses with a higher par, even scores that seem higher might be considered excellent performances.
  • Mental Game: At the professional level, the mental aspect of the game is as important as physical skill. Maintaining focus, managing pressure, and strategic thinking greatly influence what constitutes a good score.

How To Get Better Golf Scores?

Master the Basics

  • Swing Mechanics: Work on the fundamentals of your swing. This includes grip, stance, posture, and alignment. A consistent and efficient swing is the foundation of good golf.
  • Short Game Skills: Focus on improving your chipping and putting. A significant number of strokes in a round of golf are taken within a short distance of the green. It’s estimated that the short game accounts for about 60% of a golfer’s shots. Therefore, proficiency in the short game can have a substantial impact on your overall score.

Consistent Practice

  • Regularly visit the driving range to work on your long game.
  • Spend time on the putting and chipping greens. Short game practice is often neglected but is crucial for lowering scores.

Course Management

  • Learn to play strategically. This means knowing when to take risks and when to play it safe.
  • Understand the layout of each hole and plan your shots accordingly. Sometimes a conservative approach can save strokes.

Mental Game

  • Golf is as much a mental game as it is a physical one. Stay calm and focused, especially after a bad shot.
  • Develop a pre-shot routine to maintain consistency and focus.

Physical Fitness and Flexibility

  • Golf requires a surprising amount of physical fitness and flexibility, especially in the core and shoulders. Regular exercise can improve your strength and flexibility, leading to a more powerful and controlled swing.

Learn from Mistakes

  • Analyze your rounds to understand where you lose the most strokes. Is it driving accuracy, short game, putting, or course management?
  • Learn from each round and make adjustments to your practice and strategy.

Use the Right Equipment

  • Make sure you’re using clubs that are suited to your skill level and physical attributes. Club fitting can make a significant difference.
  • Use a golf ball that suits your game. Different balls offer different levels of spin, control, and distance.

Take Lessons

  • Consider taking lessons from a PGA professional. Personalized coaching can quickly identify and correct flaws in your game.

Play Regularly

  • The more you play, the more you’ll understand how to handle different situations on the course. Experience is a great teacher.

Set Realistic Goals

  • Set achievable goals for your game. This could be breaking 100, 90, 80, or even par, depending on your current level.
  • Celebrate small victories and milestones along your golf journey.


Improving your golf scores takes time, dedication, and consistent effort. Remember, the most crucial aspect of golf is to enjoy the game and have fun! With consistent effort and a positive attitude, you can achieve lower scores on the course and become a better golfer overall. So get out there and have some fun on the links!

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