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Maverick

What are the percentages?

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I was trying to look it up in Google, but most of everything point to "Ask Yahoo!" or some other wacky place.  BUT, does anyone know what percentage of golfers break 100, 90 and 80?

I've heard it was 5% break 100, 2% break 90 and .2% break 80.

Can anyone point to some concrete reference or stats regarding this?

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http://averagegolfer1.blogspot.ca/2008/06/average-golfer-statistics.html

The average handicap for men and women is coincidentally 15.2 for both.**(Please see comments for a correction to this statistic). Weird irony I suppose. The average score for all amateur golfers is over 100. Why the difference? People that maintain a legitimate handicap are much more avid golfers, hence they play more and are more successful at the game. Keep in mind that your handicap is not an indicator of what you usually score. It's an indication of what you're CAPABLE of scoring. Think of it as what you may score on one of your better days.


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Only 1% of golfers can shoot 85, Ben Hogan's differentiation line between 'golfers' and 'hackers'?

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These numbers are startling to me.  I guess it goes to show how much more serious we take golf than the average person.  I played in a foursome this Sunday and all of us broke 90.  I wouldn't have assumed I was playing with the top 2% in the world.  But then again it seems a bit silly to include stats from the person who plays 1-4 rounds per year and shoots 120 with mulligans.

Brandon

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I know golfers that have played a lifetime, enjoy the game tremendously, work on their games, and don't break 80/90/100.  It's a hard game I'm not too surprised by stats like that.

The beauty of it is that it is also a game that rewards in increments.  Shooting par is not everyone's idea of a good round, really is fantastic if you think about it.

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It really gets down to greens in regulation.

If you cant hit greens in regulation you  can expect your score to be at least 18 over par and that's if you can get down with two putts.

72 + 18 = 90

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I average in the mid 80's.  I consider myself to be VERY "average."  I would never consider myself in the percentages posted above.  Just like any statistic, there can be more to a number than meets the eye.

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There are not a lot of golfers out there who really want to get better. Take my dad who I would put in the group of "Serious" golfers that really aren't trying to get any better.. He loves the sport and has been playing for 40 years. He plays 1/week from May to October and goes to the range every other week at best. THe only short game practice I have ever seen is before a round. He would say he is serious about his golf but the reality is with that amount of play and practice he is not going to get any better than he is right now. He will shoot 85-95 most weeks with a round or 2 in the lows 80s every year.

Quote:

Originally Posted by camper6

It really gets down to greens in regulation.

If you cant hit greens in regulation you  can expect your score to be at least 18 over par and that's if you can get down with two putts.

72 + 18 = 90

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I'd agree with x129 about GIR being a poor indicator of score.  Actually IMO any single stat taken out of context won't tell you much about a players game.  If hitting the green in regulation, but in bad putting position is just as bad as being one over GIR on every hole but leaving yourself a tap in or close to it.

I think what Camper was referring to was if you can't reach greens in regulation because you lack distance it could make breaking 90 tough, especialy on courses with long par 3's and 4's.

Originally Posted by x129

Why 2 putts? After you chip it to within 3 feet you should be sinking 70% of those putts? GIR is a nice stat because it means you made 2 or 3 decent shots. Saves are great because it means you made 3,4, or 5 saves. But the absolute number doesn't mean much. A 80% GIR round might be worse than a 60% GIR one. A 60% gir where the ball is within 30 yards of the hole the other 40% can score a lot better than the case where you hitting 3 off the tee 20% of the time.

There are not a lot of golfers out there who really want to get better. Take my dad who I would put in the group of "Serious" golfers that really aren't trying to get any better.. He loves the sport and has been playing for 40 years. He plays 1/week from May to October and goes to the range every other week at best. THe only short game practice I have ever seen is before a round. He would say he is serious about his golf but the reality is with that amount of play and practice he is not going to get any better than he is right now. He will shoot 85-95 most weeks with a round or 2 in the lows 80s every year.

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w00t

last round i played I only hit 5 greens in reg,...still shot 88,...scrambled well though

the stats are amazing though,

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Hmmm those stats are very interesting.

I have noticed one thing though, I don't know about anybody else, maybe it's the courses I play (which are higher end public courses). But I have noticed there are more better players out there today, than there were 10-15 years ago. Seemed like every time I played back then, I would see 30 handicap hackers out there a lot.

Now I see more people breaking 90 more often. Even at the range I see some really good players, like scratch golfers. I never used to play with or even watch on the range, the really good scratch golfers, until the past few years.

A couple of weeks ago, I played with a skinny little 14 year old and his Dad. Man this kid was good, he shot an 83 on a very tough course.

Anybody notice this trend? Is it the Tiger effect? Kids getting into golf at early ages?

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I think a few things contribute to what you're seeing.   Tiger has influenced a number of kids to take up golf so they are getting better at a younger age.  The other cause I've noticed more is that with the economy sagging less people are playing so there's probably a higher concentration of good players at the course or range that there was 10-15 years ago.

Originally Posted by Motley01

Hmmm those stats are very interesting.

I have noticed one thing though, I don't know about anybody else, maybe it's the courses I play (which are higher end public courses). But I have noticed there are more better players out there today, than there were 10-15 years ago. Seemed like every time I played back then, I would see 30 handicap hackers out there a lot.

Now I see more people breaking 90 more often. Even at the range I see some really good players, like scratch golfers. I never used to play with or even watch on the range, the really good scratch golfers, until the past few years.

A couple of weeks ago, I played with a skinny little 14 year old and his Dad. Man this kid was good, he shot an 83 on a very tough course.

Anybody notice this trend? Is it the Tiger effect? Kids getting into golf at early ages?

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Originally Posted by Maverick

I was trying to look it up in Google, but most of everything point to "Ask Yahoo!" or some other wacky place.  BUT, does anyone know what percentage of golfers break 100, 90 and 80?

I've heard it was 5% break 100, 2% break 90 and .2% break 80.

Can anyone point to some concrete reference or stats regarding this?

I think there are a lot of ways to phrase this question and different ways to compile the statistics.  Are you talking average score, best score or highest score for a player?  I am pretty sure that way more than 5% of all rounds are under 100, but would imagine that 95+% of golfers have failed to break 100 at some point.

Handicaps scores are probably the most concrete stats available, but as Camper6 states, it is only more serious golfers who have handicaps.  But then again, why do you care what a 1 or 2 round a year guy shoots (assuming that he even knows how to keep a correct score), so maybe looking at a handicap breakdown would be most useful to you.  I can`t find a current link on the USGA website, but this had a breakdown from ~2007 http://www.golfwrx.com/forums/topic/205127-what-percentile-does-a-handicap-fall-into/

Originally Posted by camper6

http://averagegolfer1.blogspot.ca/2008/06/average-golfer-statistics.html

The average handicap for men and women is coincidentally 15.2 for both.**(Please see comments for a correction to this statistic). Weird irony I suppose. The average score for all amateur golfers is over 100. Why the difference? People that maintain a legitimate handicap are much more avid golfers, hence they play more and are more successful at the game. Keep in mind that your handicap is not an indicator of what you usually score. It's an indication of what you're CAPABLE of scoring. Think of it as what you may score on one of your better days.

This says it is much higher for women which makes sense to me based on what I have seen.

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_mens_average_golf_handicap

According to the USGA, the average handicap of the American golfer is 16.1 for men and 29.2 for women. These numbers have remained largely the same over the last 15 years despite significant technology advances with equipment.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by camper6 View Post

http://averagegolfer1.blogspot.ca/2008/06/average-golfer-statistics.html

The average handicap for men and women is coincidentally 15.2 for both.**(Please see comments for a correction to this statistic)....

I couldn't find anything in the comments of that article regarding a correction (strange that it doesn't make the correction in the body instead of putting that asterisk and comment in there). But the number for women is way off - see below...

This says it is much higher for women which makes sense to me based on what I have seen.

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_mens_average_golf_handicap

According to the USGA, the average handicap of the American golfer is 16.1 for men and 29.2 for women. These numbers have remained largely the same over the last 15 years despite significant technology advances with equipment.

I've found several articles that state "according to the USGA..." but none of them provided a link to the source. The USGA does provide this though:

http://www.usga.org/handicapping/articles_resources/Men-s-USGA-Handicap-Indexes/

http://www.usga.org/handicapping/articles_resources/Women-s-USGA-Handicap-Indexes/

The median is in the 14s for men, 27s for the women. The average would be a bit time consuming to compute from those tables, but I can see by inspection that it's going to be fairly close to the median. (The average for the women might be a bit higher than the median, since the percentage of golfers in the highest range is disproportionately large.)

So the 15.2 or 16.1 for men, and 29.2 for women, seem reasonable to me. I don't know where that first article gets that it's 15.2 for women - goes to show you need to be careful when citing internet blogs for data.

Also, "remained largely the same" depends on your definition: Handicaps have in fact gone down a stroke or two over the last several years.

Again, as others have pointed out, remember that these numbers only account for people who keep handicaps.

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The hard part is deciding who you count. I don't consider myself a "good" golfer by any means, but now that my (unofficial) handicap is in the 16.x range, I'm surprised by how crappy golf you can play and still shoot 90. Comparing myself to other people I get paired with when I play, I'm wouldn't be surprised if I was at roughly 20% percentile of people who play on the average weekend. But I'm not sure it makes sense to count everyone who plays semi-annually as a "golfer". [quote name="joekelly" url="/t/58251/what-are-the-percentages#post_714530"]Only 1% of golfers can shoot 85, Ben Hogan's differentiation line between 'golfers' and 'hackers'?   [/quote] I'm a bit confused - is that what his differentiation line was, breaking 85?
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Originally Posted by newtogolf

with the economy sagging less people are playing so there's probably a higher concentration of good players at the course or range that there was 10-15 years ago.

This seems very plausible to me.  Anyone seen any numbers/studies that tried to figure out how "serious" the average golfer has been over time?  Something like the average number of rounds played per month/year by the average golfer over the years?

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Its tough to say, because every golf course is different. You would have to calculate there handicap based on the course at hand. Besides that, in the league i play i think about 33% of us can break 85, and probably 20% of us can break 80. So its tough for me to say stats because i play in a tough league. We play on a course with a 126 rating, not sure how that relates, the course is pretty straight forward.

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I have heard all kinds of statistics about what percentage of golfers are scratch, break 80, etc. I play a lot of golf and I play quite a bit as a single or with my dad as a twosome. In the 15 or so years I have been playing golf I have never been paired up with another golfer that broke 80, not once. This doesn't mean I haven't played with someone that broke 80, I just haven't gone to the course and randomly been placed with a stranger who broke 80. That's hundreds if not thousands of people.

Plus, most people shoot much higher scores than they think they do.The rules of golf are complicated and most weekend players use them "loosely". So that average score that most people say they shoot should probably be taken with a grain of salt. For exampIe, I played with a guy on Sunday that hit 3 balls out of bounds, lost two others, gave himself several putts in the 5'-6' range, and took his fair share of mulligans. He never hit a provisional ball, he just dropped a ball around where his got lost and played. He was a really nice guy, but when he announced on the 18th green that he had just shot 86 I had to laugh (to myself of course). Personally I don't mind, we were not playing against each other and he can think he shot under par for all I care, but there is almost no chance, had he played within the rules, that he would have broken 100. Like I said the rules are complicated, and for the average recreational golfer they are not that important and could even be somewhat of a downer.

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