Are You A Golfer?

So recently on my golf Facebook wall a discussion broke out on what makes a golfer a golfer. A few decided that if you aren’t serious about the game, then you aren’t a golfer. And you need to be shooting well under an 18 handicap in order to be considered an golfer. This caveman wasn’t so sure he agreed with this, so I decided to delve into some statistics about the average golfer. But before I share, I am going to explain that there is definitely a difference between a serious golfer, and a recreational golfer, but the average golfers aren’t spending their life attempting to get on the PGA tour, and instead like to spend a few Sundays out on the links. Anyone who wields a club long enough to play more than one round a year, however, in my opinion is still a golfer.

According to a study of US data, the average score on a regulation length course (defined as one with at least a length of 5,200 yards and including a variety of par 3, 4 and 5 holes totaling to a minimum of 66) in 2005 was 98.3 (96.4 for men and 108.1 for women; sorry ladies, but you did bring the average up a bit). More than 60% of golfers actually shoot between 90-119:

Score Range
% of Golfers Within Range
Under 80
5%
80-89
19.7%
90-99
27.2%
100-119
32.8%
120 & Over
15.3%

Dr. L.J Riccio did an analysis of average golfers and came up with some excellent relationships:

AVERAGE
SCORE
Relationship
CATEGORY
71
75
79
81
85
89
91
95
99
GIR
12
10
8
7
5
3
2
0
0
Strong
% Fairways
81
71
61
56
46
36
31
21
11
Weak
Iron Accuracy
80
68
53
47
33
20
13
0
0
Good
Putts per
Round
29.0
30.3
31.7
32.3
33.7
35.0
35.7
37.0
38.3
Weak
Pitch/Chip/Sand
5.1
7.4
9.8
10.9
13.3
15.6
16.8
19.2
21.5
Strong
Birdies
3.2
2.4
1.8
1.5
0.8
0.1
0
0
0
Strong
Pars
11.8
10.3
8.8
8.1
6.6
5.1
4.3
2.8
1.3
Strong

This table explains how your score will reflect how often you hit each category (GIR means greens in regulation). He has actually discerned a few mathematical equations that could help predict your score in upcoming rounds. Using the GIR, the formula would look like this: Score=95.1-2.0(GIR). So for example, using the table, if you the green 12 times per round, your score would be 71={95.1-2.0(12)} or {95.1-24}. He also concluded that you can predict score based on how many pars you average on a given Sunday with the formula: Score=102.6 – 2.7(#of Pars).

A scratch golfer hits an average of 12 greens in regulation, 81% of the fairways, has 29.0 putts, 3.2 birdies per round and 11.8 pars per round.
A golfer that averages a score of 85 hits 5 greens in regulation, 46% of fairways, has 33.7 total putts, 0.8 birdies per round, and 6.6 pars.
A golfer that averages a score of 100 hits 0 greens in regulation, 11% of fairways, has 38.3 putts, 0 birdies, and 1.3 pars.

Another study showed that the average handicap for all golfers (both men and women) is 15.2, but the average score of amateur golfers it is over 100. This is because people that maintain legitimate handicaps are much more avid golfers than your recreational golfers. So maintaining and measuring your handicap might actually be that push you need to keep getting better!

The study also showed the average distances for those who maintained handicaps:

Average driver distance
Men: 200-260 yards
Women: 150-200 yards

Average 6 iron distance
Men: 130-160 yards
Women: 70-130 yards

Average pitching wed distance
Men: 80-120 yards
Women: 50-80 yards

These measurements have been properly measured and reported. It has been said that most of us over estimate our hits by 20-40 yards when asked.

So definitely the difference between an avid golfer vs. a recreational golfer is the maintenance of a handicap.

Are you an avid golfer? Or a recreational Golfer

~Scratch

 
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