Average Golf Score By Age (With Chart) 

Average golf score by age

Meet Jake

Jake was a competitive golfer for over a decade dating back to the days of being the Captain of his high school golf team. He has played more than 200 courses across 32 different states in the US. Now semi-retired, Jake continues to golf 3-4 days a week with a current 2 handicap, gives golf lessons to his friends and family, and provides a wealth of knowledge to Golf Circuit from his competitive playing days. Jake combines practical expertise with technical knowledge to create golfing strategies and training techniques for both beginners and scratch golfers.

In the words of Lee Trevino, one the most prolific golfers to ever grace the game, the beauty of golf is that you “never really conquer it” because the only person you’re trying to beat is yourself. 

This is why golfers obsess about progress and usually become disheartened by its slow pace.

However, you may be surprised to find out how close your score is to an average golfer your age. With a realistic picture of the average score, you can work on improving your game and realize how age affects your performance.

So, how do you match up with golfers in your age group? Come find out!

Average Golf Score for An Amateur Golfer

According to the data collected by USGA, the average score for an amateur golfer on a par 72 course is 90. 

This is a score for every 18 holes played, which means that if you score a bogey on every hole, you are comparable to an average golfer in the US.

Note: A bogey is one stroke above par. It means sinking a 5-par hole in 6 shots.

However, not all golfers record the scores religiously or consider their handicap (the basis for this average). Thus, it is reasonable to assume that the actual average golf scores are much closer to or higher than 100. 

The National Golf Foundation’s data corroborates with 45% of all golfers unable to break 100 in golf

older golfer in red shirt practicing chipping

Therefore, scoring in the 90s makes you more than a decent golfer. Also, the average score differs based on the golf course size: the full 18 holes course or the shorter 9 holes one.

For 18 Holes

For a round of 18 holes, the average score is 90. You can achieve this figure by making 5 strokes for each hole. 

18 holes is the most common golf length of a course used by intermediate and professional players. 

For 9 Holes

If you play golf recreationally, a shorter 9-hole course may be more up your alley. The average score for 9 holes par 3 golf course when scoring a bogey each hole is 36.

This course size allows more opportunity to score a hole-in-one, something every amateur golfer enjoys.  

Average Golf Score By Age: The 3 Phases of A Golfer’s Life

Now that you know what a tentative golf score for an amateur player is, it is time to break it down further based on the golfer’s age. 

Here is a quick comparison chart:

Golfer’s Age Group (In Years)Average Scores
7 – 10144 -180
10 – 20 89 – 180
20 – 3089 – 90
30 – 50 91 – 92
50 – 7091
Over 7093-94
Golf Score By Age Chart

As you can see from the table above, studies have shown that every golfer goes through 3 phases as they grow older.

These phases translate to the first period of constant, usually quick growth when the golfer is still learning the game and improving.

The next phase is a relatively stagnant period where the average score does not change by much, from a stroke every 8 years to a comparatively steeper decline in the last stage. 

Therefore, age affects how much your score varies through the years. Yes, your natural ability, handicap, experience, and dedication also come into play, but as you age, you lack fitness and are more prone to injury.

Another keen observation is that the beginner consistently scores higher than an experienced game player. Remember that the lower your score in golf, the better it is.

6+ to 20 Years 

Junior golfers between the ages of 6+ and 10 have a much higher stroke ratio than older age groups. 

Averaging 144 to 180 strokes on a par 72 course, young golf players can only do their best within their physical limitations. 

According to USA Today Sports, a youngster can only hit the ball 75 yards at most, which comes to 8 strokes per hole on a par 72 course. This results in a 144 score for the course at best. 

Once you determine your handicap, you can subtract it from the gross score to find the net score in stroke play.

In match play, you add the handicap according to each of the holes and play them separately; the one who wins the most holes wins.

Read More: Can You Golf While Pregnant?

After age 10, as younger golfers gain strength, they can score lower, even going down to 89 strokes. Again, however, this will depend on natural ability, practice, and experience.

2 golfers of the same age with the same natural skill level will have scores that differ based on when they started playing, as experience will allow for more improvement. 

20 to 30 Years 

A 20 to 30 years old golfer is usually at the peak of their physical fitness. Therefore, their score by age is the closest to the overall average. 

This also holds for professional golfers since relatively younger players win most tournaments.

However, achieving average scores of 89 – 90 strokes comes with consistency and determination. Many players this age have gathered experience and playing techniques that help them up their game.

30 to 70 Years 

Between 30 and 70 years, the average golf scores do not deviate much, only increasing by a stroke or two. 

This is a plateau phase in a golfer’s life where the general performance remains constant.

There are 2 reasons for this:

Golfer between 30-70 practicing his swing

The first is that most golfers on the younger side of this age bracket are physically fit and able to keep up with the average. However, they add a stroke every decade or so as they age. 

As we move to the older side of this age bracket, the aging process inevitably results in higher scores, even if they are by a stroke than the national average.

Even wizards of the golf game like Trevino would often joke about playing the “round bellies” instead of the flat ones as he was bound to join the Senior PGA Tour.

Another reason why this age group averages higher than the national average golf score is experience. 

Many people pick up golf as a recreational sport as they hit middle age. Since many of these golfers lack experience, they tend to score higher than average.

70+ Years 

With an average of 93 to 94 strokes on a par 72 course, senior golf players over 70 cannot deny the effect fitness has on their overall game. 

As golfers grow older, they lose muscle mass and dynamic force, increasing strokes every course. 

How Does Handicap Affect Your Golf Score

We have mentioned how handicaps can affect your golf score. According to the USGA, the average handicap index for women is 27.5, and that for men is 14.2

So, how does the handicap index help determine your net score? 

When competing with other golfers, the handicap levels the playing field. For example, despite having fewer strokes, you may receive lower scores because of a handicap difference. 

Once you determine your handicap, you can implement it when playing with others to get a net score.

You can go for stroke play, subtracting your handicap at the end to find your net score. You can also go for match play, where each hole is played separately, and the one winning the most holes wins! These two types of scoring are how they score golf tournaments.

In this video, you can easily find how to implement handicaps to keep score accordingly.

What is A Good Golf Score for An Average Golfer?

The average strokes for a golfer are in the 90s, the same as that of a bogey golfer. 

However, we have discussed how the collected data does not reflect all golf players. Thus, the score looms around or over 100 strokes. 

Keeping this in mind, a score of 108 is a good one for beginner golfers. 

On a par 72 course, you get a 108 score by averaging 6 strokes per hole (2 above par), which is not a bad golf score if you’ve recently picked up the clubs. 

6 Ways to Improve Your Golf Score 

Now that you can compare your scores with the average range by age, you can assess where you stand and how much you can improve to reach a good score. 

The one rule to ensure you start taking fewer strokes to complete a course is to practice religiously. 

However, keeping these 6 pointers in mind, you will be able to lower your score in no time.

1. Aim for Steady Success

For a beginner golfer, to aim for a par in golf would be unrealistic and set you up for disappointment. Instead, it would be best if you sought steady success and only tried to be better than your previous score.

women putting golf ball

Take on each hole individually and try to sink it in 1 less stroke than before. Such efforts add up over time and help get better slowly but steadily.

2. Fundamentals Matter 

Just owning golf clubs does not make you a golfer. Instead, it is prudent to focus on the fundamentals. Your posture, stance, and grip are pivotal in how well you strike the golf ball.  

Taking time out to learn golf fundamentals will help you get the most out of every shot. 

For example, understanding how to turn correctly when you swing the club eliminates a problem various amateur golfers face. Also, this allows focusing on other aspects of the golf game, like strategy.

3. Lean on Defense: Choose A Smaller Stroke

Choosing a smaller stroke whenever you can lessen the possibility of an error.

All good players know when they should be defensive and when it is time to go all out.

Instead of going big, minimize mistakes by setting up an easier next shot. Putt, chip, flop, or pitch whenever you can. 

Remember: the lesser time the ball will spend in the air, the easier it will be to control and predict. 

Rather than focusing on how much distance you have to cover, focus on staying on the fairway to make for easier shots as the game progresses.  

4. Use Tech to Your Advantage

Technological advancements have changed the game and are likely the reason for decreasing average handicaps. So, use it to your advantage.

For example, getting the exact yardage to hazards can potentially subtract strokes from your scorecard. Get a good rangefinder like the Blue Tees rangefinders.

5. Choose the Right Equipment

Know which club or the type of ball to use. The right kind of equipment can make a massive difference to your score. 

Choosing the right golf ball or advanced practicing with your club of choice can help improve your score drastically.

If you are just beginning, pick a more forgiving ball. You can also choose to use hybrids off the tee to cover more distance. 

Change up the woods, drivers, and irons, and keep practicing to ensure you make the most of your golfing equipment. 

Golf bag with club can help improve your score at any age

6. Consider the Wind

Keep in mind wind is a huge factor in how the shot plays. 

For example, a 10 mph shot downwind will play 10 yards shorter than the shot into the wind, which will play 20 yards longer. 

Moreover, hitting a shot diagonally into the wind will minimize the curve and grant you more control of the ball. 


The average golf score for amateur players of all ages is 90 strokes. Concerning age, the scores tend to be higher for younger golfers. 

However, those around 20 get equal to or under the average.

From then on, the score does not get much higher until 70, when it rises by approximately 4 strokes. Factors such as experience, ability, dedication, and handicap all play a role in marking down the average score by age.

Learning the fundamentals, choosing the right equipment, using tech to your advantage, and playing safer shots can help improve your score at any age.

FAQs: Average Golf Score By Age

What is the average golf score for amateur players?

The average golf score for amateur golfers is around 90 for a par 72 course. 

Since not all golfers record their scores accurately, the actual average must be around or over 100. 

Does the average golf score improve with age? 

The average golf score is higher for children, but around the age of 20, a skilled, experienced, and physically fit golfer would score around 89 to 90 strokes which is less than the average. 

The score, post 20, remains primarily constant, only increasing by a stroke or two till the age of 70. At 70 and over, golfers score between 93 to 94, 4 strokes higher than average. 

How do you apply handicap to get the net score? 

Once you determine your handicap, you can subtract it from the gross score to find the net score in stroke play.

In match play, you add the handicap according to each of the holes and play them separately; the one who wins the most holes wins.

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