What is a Good Golf Score? Tips for Improving Your Score


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What is a Good Golf Score Tips for Improving Your Score

A good golf score can vary depending on a player’s skill level, the difficulty of the golf course, and personal expectations. In general, lower scores are considered better in golf. As a general rule, the following scores are good for a range of skill levels:

Average Golf Scores: For Different Skill Levels


If a player is just starting to learn the game, their average score is likely to be well above par. A beginner’s score for an 18-hole round might be between 100 and 120 strokes. These scores tend to get better as they gain knowledge and skill.

Intermediate Players

Those who have been playing for some time but haven’t reached a professional level generally score between 80 and 100 strokes for an 18-hole round.

Advanced and Professional

Advanced players consistently shoot below par, and professionals aim to finish significantly under par. Advanced golfers often score between 70 and 80 strokes, while professional golfers routinely finish rounds in the 60s.

What is Considered a Good Golf Score for 9 Holes and 18 Holes​​​​​​?

What is Considered a Good Golf Score for 9 Holes and 18 Holes​​​​​​?

Determining what qualifies as a good golf score can be a subjective matter, influenced by several factors. Let’s break it down into scores for 9 holes and 18 holes, while also considering factors like course difficulty, weather conditions, and the player’s skill level.

Good Scores for 9 Holes

In a typical round of golf, playing nine holes is a common option, especially for those with limited time. A good score for 9 holes can vary, but generally speaking:

  • For beginners and high handicappers, a score of around 45 to 50 is respectable.
  • Intermediate players might aim for scores in the low 40s.
  • Low handicappers and experienced golfers may target scores in the mid to high 30s.

These ranges provide a starting point, but what’s considered good will ultimately depend on your own skill level and progress.

Good Scores for 18 Holes

A full 18-hole round of golf provides a more comprehensive measure of a golfer’s abilities. Here’s a rough guideline for what constitutes a good score for 18 holes:

  • Beginners and high handicappers may aim for scores around 90 to 100.
  • Intermediate players often strive for scores in the 80s.
  • Low handicappers and skilled golfers frequently score in the 70s or even lower.

Again, these numbers are approximate, and what’s considered good for you should be based on your personal goals and improvement.

Common factors that affect scores

Common Factors that Affect Scores

There are a number of things that can affect what a good golf score is:

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Course Difficulty

The difficulty of the course plays a significant role. Playing on a challenging course with narrow fairways and complex greens can lead to higher scores.

Weather Conditions

Weather can be a wild card in golf. Wind, rain, and temperature can affect your performance. Adjust your expectations accordingly when weather conditions are less than ideal.

Player’s Skill Level

Your own skill level plays a vital role in determining what’s considered a good score. What’s challenging for a beginner may be routine for an experienced player.


The type and quality of golf clubs and balls used can affect performance. High-quality equipment can lead to more consistent and accurate shots.


Older golfers may experience a decline in physical abilities, which can affect their scores. Younger golfers often have more strength and flexibility.

To sum up, good golf scores are very different based on the player’s skill level, age, and course difficulty. It’s important to set personal goals and keep track of your scores regularly so you can see how you’re doing. In the end, a good score means that you played better and are happy with your performance on the golf course.

Understanding Golf Scores: Basics and Beyond

In the world of golf, a player’s score is much more than just a number. It’s a reflection of their skill, technique, and the challenges they’ve faced on the course. To truly appreciate what makes a good golf score, we need to dive into the basic scoring terms and understand the significance of the handicap system.

Scoring Terms

  • Par: The term “par” is the benchmark score for each hole on the golf course. It represents the number of strokes an expert golfer should take to complete the hole. A score equal to par indicates that you’ve played the hole as well as the pros.
  • Birdie: When a player scores one stroke less than par on a hole, it’s called a birdie. This is a golfer’s way of celebrating a great performance.
  • Bogey: Conversely, a bogey is when a player scores one stroke more than par on a hole. While it’s not as good as par or a birdie, it’s a common score for many golfers.
  • Double Bogey and Beyond: Scoring two or more strokes over par is referred to as a double bogey, triple bogey, and so on. These scores highlight areas where improvement is needed.

The Handicap System

The handicap system in golf levels the playing field for golfers of different skill levels. Every golfer has a handicap, a numerical representation of their skill, which is used to adjust scores for fairness in competition. A golfer with a lower handicap is considered more skilled than one with a higher handicap.

When determining what constitutes a good golf score, it’s essential to consider your handicap. A good score for one golfer may not be the same for another, depending on their handicap. This system allows players of varying abilities to compete on an even footing, making golf a game where improvement is measured relative to your own performance.

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What Determines a Bad Golf Score?

A bad golf score is typically defined by a score that exceeds the player’s expectations or what is generally considered acceptable. While what’s considered bad can vary from one golfer to another, there are some general guidelines:

Exceeding Par

Scoring higher than the designated par for the course can often be seen as a bad score. For example, if the course’s par is 72, a score of 80 or higher might be considered bad by some golfers.


Consistently scoring above your own average or desired level can be frustrating and may be seen as a bad score for you personally.

High Handicap Impact

For high handicappers, a score significantly above their handicap-adjusted par can be considered bad. It suggests they are struggling to play to their potential.


A player’s expectations can strongly influence what they consider a bad score. If you expect to score in the 70s and consistently score in the 80s, you might perceive those scores as bad.

Course Conditions

Tough weather conditions, challenging course setups, or fast greens can make scoring more difficult. In such circumstances, what’s considered a bad score may be higher than usual.

Strategies and Tips for Improving Your Golf Score

Strategies and Tips for Improving Your Golf Score

Improving your golf score is a journey that involves working on many different parts of your game, from your swing to your mental approach. Here are practical strategies and tips to help you lower your golf scores:

Get better at swinging

  • Consistency is Key: Work on achieving a consistent swing that allows you to make solid contact with the ball on a regular basis. A repeatable swing forms the foundation of a lower golf score.
  • Practice with Purpose: Practice regularly, focusing on specific aspects of your swing. Work on your grip, posture, and alignment to ensure a sound technique.
  • Seek Professional Guidance: Consider taking lessons from a golf pro who can analyze your swing and provide personalized tips for improvement.

Improve your Equipment

  • Choose the Right Clubs: Ensure your clubs are well-suited to your game. Getting a club fitting can help you find the right equipment for your swing.
  • Maintain Your Gear: Keep your clubs clean and well-maintained. Regularly check grips, shafts, and clubheads for any signs of wear or damage.

Focus on Short Game

  • Practice Putting: The short game, particularly putting, can have a significant impact on your scores. Dedicate time to practicing your putting skills regularly.
  • Master Chipping and Pitching: Develop a reliable chipping and pitching technique to get the ball close to the hole from around the green.
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Mental Game and Course Management

  • Stay Positive: Cultivate a positive mindset on the course. Stay focused on the current shot and avoid dwelling on past mistakes.
  • Course Management: Learn to manage the course effectively. Play to your strengths, and avoid risky shots that could lead to trouble.
  • Pre-shot Routine: Develop a consistent pre-shot routine to help you stay calm and confident before each shot.

Practice, Practice, Practice

  • Practice Smart: It’s not just about hitting balls on the driving range. Simulate on-course situations during your practice sessions, and work on your weaknesses.
  • Short Game Practice: Allocate a significant portion of your practice time to the short game, including putting, chipping, and bunker shots.

Set Realistic Goals

  • Track Your Progress: Keep a record of your scores and statistics. This will help you identify areas that need improvement and measure your progress over time.
  • Set Achievable Goals: Establish realistic goals for your golf game. Instead of aiming to shave off ten strokes in a single round, focus on gradual improvement.

Play Regularly

  • Experience Matters: The more you play, the better you’ll become at handling different course conditions and situations.

Remember that it takes time and patience to get better at golf. Setbacks are a normal part of learning, so don’t give up when they happen. You can slowly lower your golf scores and enjoy the game even more if you work on your game every day, keep your mind strong, and take a holistic approach to getting better. Golf is as much about the journey as it is about the destination.


Q: What is a good golf score?

A: A good golf score varies depending on factors like skill level and course difficulty. It’s relative to your own abilities and improvement goals.

Q: How do I calculate my handicap?

A: Your handicap is typically calculated based on your recent scores and the course rating. Many golf associations provide online calculators for this purpose.

Q: What’s the difference between gross and net scores?

A: Gross score is your raw, unadjusted score, while net score accounts for your handicap. Net score is a fairer measure for comparing golfers of different skill levels.

Q: How can I improve my golf scores?

A: Focus on swing consistency, short game, and mental game. Set realistic goals, practice regularly, and track your progress to steadily lower your scores.

Q: Why do my scores vary so much from round to round?

A: Golf is a dynamic sport, affected by many factors such as course conditions, weather, and your mental state. Variability is common, especially for beginners.

Q: What’s the importance of keeping score in golf?

A: Keeping score helps you track your progress, set goals, and measure improvement. It’s an essential part of the game and helps you compete with yourself and others.