Golf Handicap Statistics: What Percentage Of Golfers Break 100, 90, 80, 70, 60?

Do you ever wonder about your golf ability? Are you an above-average player? How do you compare to other golfers?

We want to help you understand your current playing level. This information can help you set personal golf goals and improve your game.

The best way to assess your ability is your golf handicap. There are different options to establish one, but the most common is GHIN.

The GHIN handicap system is recommended by the USGA (United States Golf Association) and we are going to use data from this system to analyze the different levels of players.

Let’s get started!

golf handicap statistics

How We Did Our Math On Golf Handicap Statistics

Before diving into the numbers, let us take a quick moment to explain our approach. Here is the model we used.

We decided to use data from the USGA website to calculate our statistics. We also had to make a few assumptions:

  • Every course is a par 72
  • All golfers have a handicap (this isn’t true – most casual players do not maintain a handicap)

This last assumption is the most important to consider as you read the below details. When looking at golf handicap statistics you are dealing with golfers that take the game seriously.

It does not mean they are great players, but it does mean they have taken the time to establish a handicap. If you don’t have one, we recommend you set it up today!

golf handicap statistics

Breaking 100 In Golf

What Percentage Of Golfers Can Break 100 In Golf?

Simple math. If the course is a par 72, you must shoot +27 or better to break 100. So, what percentage of golfers have a 27 handicap or better?

94% of male golfers and 50% of female golfers can break 100. Is this higher or lower than you were expecting?

How Long Does It Take To Break 100 In Golf?

On average, it will take a beginner 1-2 years to break 100 in golf. This assumes consistent practice and engagement in the game.

It is true, that some players figure out the game fairly quickly and might be able to break 100 in just a few months, but this is rare.

Breaking 100 in golf is not a simple goal – you should celebrate this achievement!

golf handicap statistics

Tips For How To Break 100 In Golf

You don’t have to make birdies to break 100. In fact, you can make 9 double bogeys and 9 bogeys to post 99!

With this in mind, here are 3 Tips to break 100 in golf.

#1: Learn Course Management

You don’t have to hit the golf ball perfectly to break 100, but you do need to play smart. Improving your course management can quickly shave strokes off your score.

Simply put, take fewer risks. A bogey is a good score, so make conservative decisions.

You don’t need to hit the driver off the tee. If you are uncomfortable with a shot, layup. You don’t have to make putts over 5 feet. Practice lag putting and make your second putt easy.

#2: Focus On Making Consistent Contact

Don’t worry about trying to hit perfect shots. Your goal should be to consistently make contact.

Advance the ball down the hole and keep it in bounds. There are no pictures on the scorecard – it doesn’t have to look pretty.

#3: Relax & Just Let It Happen

Don’t put pressure on yourself. Simply enjoy your day and try your best on each shot. Keep your score, but don’t worry about what your scorecard says.

You can add it up after your round. You might be surprised when it starts with a “9” instead of “10”. Don’t try to force it and one day you will break 100!

golf handicap statistics

Breaking 90 In Golf

What Percentage of Golfers Can Break 90 in Golf?

Breaking 90 is playing “bogey golf”. If you play each hole 1 over par you will end up with a 90. Golfers with an 18-handicap or better break 90.

75% of male golfers and 20% of female golfers can break 90 on a regular basis.

How Long Does It Take To Break 90 In Golf?

This is more art than science. Some players enjoy the game for decades and never break 90. There are many factors to consider: age, coordination, flexibility, etc.

All things being equal, we estimate it will take the average beginner 2-5 years of practicing and working on their game to break 90 in golf.

Tips For How To Break 90 In Golf

You still don’t need birdies, but breaking 90 will require you to start making pars. Here are a couple of tips to help you get there.

#1: Avoid Big Numbers

To start breaking 90 consistently, you need to work to eliminate your disaster holes. Anything more than a double bogey can ruin your round.

What causes these holes to happen? Penalty strokes due to shots going out of bounds or because of a lost ball are hard to overcome.

The ability to “save bogey” is an awesome skill to develop when you are trying to break 90. Bogey is not a bad word!

If you are in trouble, don’t try the hero shot. Instead, get your ball back into the fairway and proceed with the hole.

#2: Invest In Your Short Game

Your ball striking isn’t perfect, so save strokes around the green. Develop the ability to chip the ball from the rough and to escape from traps.

You don’t have to get “up-n-down” every time. You simply want to get the ball on the green and set up an easy two-putt.

The investment is your practice time. Spend as much time on the practice green as you spend on the driving range.

golf handicap statistics

Breaking 80 In Golf

What Percentage of Golfers Can Break 80 In Golf?

The ability to consistently break 80 in golf is rare. We have officially reached the “great golfers” category. We are talking about players with an 8 handicap or less.

20% of male golfers and 4% of female golfers can consistently shoot in the 70s.

How Long Does It Take To Break 80 In Golf?

For many golfers, the challenge to break 80 in golf is a lifetime pursuit. If you are picking up the game for the first time now, plan on at least a decade.

Golf goals are a great way to stay motivated, but make sure they are realistic. This goal shouldn’t make your list until you are consistently in the “85 range”.

Tips For How To Break 80 In Golf

Your scorecard looks different once you are shooting in the 70s. You need more pars than bogeys and probably a couple of birdies.

#1: Get Some Professional Help

Yes, you can “DIY” your golf game using YouTube and great golf sites (like this one), but you will reach a point when a couple of lessons will help you take the next step.

You need solid fundamentals (grip, setup, etc.) if you want to break 80 and your instructor can also help you with swing tweaks to improve your consistency.

Consistency is the first word that comes to mind when we think about a golfer that can break 80.

#2: Where do You Lose Strokes?

At this point in your golf career, you need to understand your game. You need to analyze your rounds. What caused you to shoot 82 instead of 78?

Did you have any 3-putts? Did you have any penalty strokes (hazards, out of bounds, etc.)? How many fairways did you hit? How many greens in regulation?

The answers to these questions will help you build a practice routine to improve your weaknesses.

#3: Diversify Your Short Game

To start breaking 80 in golf you will need to save strokes with your short game. You need the ability to get “up and down”.

The key is to have options around the green. Develop different chip shots that you can trust during your round.

You never know when you might need a flop shot or a bump-and-run. The more shots you can play, the better your chances are of breaking 80!

golf handicap statistics

Breaking 70 In Golf

What Percentage Of Golfers Can Break 70 In Golf?

Breaking 70 means that you are shooting several strokes under par. We are talking about elite amateurs and professional golfers.

These types of players have a “plus” handicap. 1% of male golfers and 0.5% of female golfers can break 70 in golf.

How Long Does It Take To Break 70 In Golf?

To be honest, this golf achievement is more about skill than time. Only a player with elite skill can break 70 in golf.

It does help to start playing when you are young. Most golfers that can break 70 started playing as a child.

Tips For How To Break 70 In Golf

Once you reach this level of golf, the difference between who wins and who loses is very small. Here are a couple of tips to help you break 70 in golf.

golf handicap statistics

#1: Dominate On The Greens

You simply can’t break 70 in golf without being an above-average putter. In fact, you need to be a great putter to consistently shoot in the 60s.

Yes, part of this is working on your stroke and finding the best putter grip for you. You also need to know how to read the greens.

You need to make birdies and you can only make birdies by rolling in putts!

#2: Improve Your Mental Game

You have mastered your golf swing and your putting stroke, but how is your mental game?

Can you handle the pressure on the back 9? Can you make the critical putt to win your club championship?

Once you reach this level of golf, we assume that you like to compete in tournaments. A mental coach can help you play your best under pressure.

golf handicap statistics

Breaking 60 In Golf

What Percentage of Golfers Can Break 60 In Golf?

The quick answer is 0%. You would need several decimal points.

The PGA Tour has been around for almost 100 years and this is where the best golfers in the world compete. There have only been 14 rounds shot in the 50s (13 59s, 1 58)!

How Long Does It Take To Break 60 In Golf?

We aren’t sure if the answer is “never” or “forever”, but you get the point.

Tips For How To Break 60 In Golf

Here is the “simple” process you can follow if you want to break 60 in golf:

  • Be one of the best golfers in the world
  • Play your absolute best
  • Make every putt you look at
  • Get lucky

We are kidding of course, but this isn’t a goal you should ever have when you reach the first tee. Tiger Woods has never done it in a tournament.

If Tiger hasn’t done it, it may not be a reasonable golf goal! If you do pull it off, please make sure you celebrate. It is much rarer than a hole-in-one.

Up Next: How Does Your Driver Distance Compare To Other Golfers?

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Ray has been playing golf for 35+ years, including being part of his High School and College golf teams. While he still enjoys playing in amateur tournaments, Ray now focuses on growing the game of golf through teaching and coaching. He has two sons that both play golf competitively and loves spending time watching them compete. Ray continues to play in local amateur golf events and currently has a +2 handicap.

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