Are you an above or below average golfer? THE DATA NEVER LIES!!!

Have you ever wondered how you compare to your fellow amateur golfer? Or even a Tour Professional? Well look no further, this article will highlight various statistics to compare your game against the average male golfer.

Looking at numerous key statistics we will break down each aspect of the game to benchmark your performance against the ‘average golfer.’ This highly valuable data is provided by Shot Scope’s extensive database with over 250 million recorded golf shots and over 140,000 active users continually adding to the data. Precise and accurate data can be easily captured with several of the Shot Scope products including the new X5 GPS watch or PRO LX+ rangefinder.

Average Shot Scope users’ handicap index = 13.6

Key Statistics

To par or not to par, that is the question…

Par 3 Scoring = 3.72
Par 4 Scoring = 4.98
Par 5 Scoring = 5.81

Birdies and Bogeys

A common misconception is that better scores require more birdies, this is not necessarily the case. If the average golfer chases birdies, they will more likely find bogeys, or worse. Subsequently, scoring is negatively impacted and instead players should seek to minimise their bogeys, doubles, penalties etc. to start shooting lower scores.


Fairway Hit Percentage

It may come as a surprise, but fairway hit percentage is consistent amongst amateur golfers with only a five percent difference between the handicap ranges studied.

Approach Play

It is evident from the data that approach play is an area that the average golfer can improve. The average golfer, based on the evidence, does not hit enough greens and does not take enough club, leaving 65 percent of all approach shots short of the green.

So, what does this mean for your game? Take time to familiarise yourself with your average club distances and when on course take enough club to reach the green. Why not try playing to the back of the green yardage and see if you notice an improvement? This may help to prevent you from under clubbing. Playing with a Shot Scope GPS and performance tracking product like the new X5 GPS watch or PRO LX+ rangefinder can provide you with on course club distances to help dial in your game. Manage your expectations, not every shot is going to be close, the middle of the green is always a good target. 

Short Game

Percentage of successful up and down based on lie type.

The average golfer will get up and down one out of five times from a bunker, bunkers can be costly. When missing the green, golfers will get up and down one in three times and have the greatest chance of success from the fairway.


Pace of putts is vital for the average golfer’s scoring. With the data available on make percentage from various distances leaving yourself as close to the hole as possible is key. The chance of making a putt decreases significantly as the distance from the hole increases with almost a 30% drop in make probability from 3-6 ft versus 6-9 ft.

Time to Track

Now you know what it takes to be average, are you above or below? If you want this kind of insight into your game, then Shot Scope have a range of performance tracking products to record your on course data effortlessly. Providing over 100 statistics including Strokes Gained and handicap benchmarking all available for free with no additional costs.

Research prepared and presented by Ryant Grant, Shot Scope

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