What is a good golf score? What should you shoot for when playing your first game? As a beginner golfer, it can be hard to know what is considered a good golf score. After all, if you’re just starting out and don’t know the basics of golf yet, how can you even begin to determine what is considered a great score?

Common Golf Score Terms

First, it's important to understand some common golf lingo that you'll hear in golf lessons or on the golf course. When it comes to your golf score, these include:

  • Eagle: This is two strokes under par.
  • Birdie: This is one stroke under par.
  • Par: This is the average score for a hole, typically ranging from three to five strokes per hole on a golf course.
  • Par # (i.e. Par 3, Par 4, Par 5): These terms refer to the number of strokes it takes to complete a specific hole. For example, if someone says, ""Par 4,"" that means you will score par if you complete the hole in four strokes.
  • Bogey: This is one stroke above par.
  • Double Bogey: This is two strokes above par.
  • Triple Bogey: This is three strokes above par.
  • Golf handicap: A golf handicap is a numerical measure of your golfing ability, typically ranging from 0-36 for recreational players. You can calculate your handicap after you've played golf and tracked your score at least 3 times. Handicap is calculated based on the course handicap, slope rating, and adjusted gross scores.
  • Short game: Shots made within 100 yards of the green, primarily consisting of putting. If you drive long and straight, improving your short game (such as reducing total putts) can help you achieve a good score in golf.

While there is no definitive answer to what makes a good or bad golf score, understanding the basics of what par is, as well as common golf terms can help you determine your own goals for improvement when playing golf.

Understanding Par

Now that you know the terms, let's go over par in more detail. Par is determined by a combination of factors, such as the size of the course, the length of the holes, the shape and angle of each hole's terrain, and obstacles like water or sand traps. In general, par is determined by the stroke average of a scratch golfer (a golfer with a handicap of 0) playing the course.

Golf courses can also be described based on par for the whole course. For example, regulation golf courses are typically called Par 72 courses. Since most golf courses have 18 holes, when you add the sum of par for each hole, then the number should add up to between 68 and 74 total. While not every regulation course will be a Par 72 course, it is considered a baseline score.

What Is a Bad Golf Score?

Now that you understand the basics of what makes up a good golf score, let’s get into specifics.

Generally speaking, scores that are over par are not ideal and can be considered bad golf scores. If you are consistently shooting higher than par on a hole, it means you are taking more strokes to finish the hole than most other golfers. This can add up quickly and drag down your overall score.

In addition, your handicap is partially determined by the number of strokes you take over par on each hole. If you shoot too many strokes over par, your handicap will increase and make it harder to improve.

What Is an Average Golf Score?

The average golfer's score is typically around 100. An amateur adult man's average score is 96, whereas amateur adult women shoot a 108 on average. When looking at the handicap system, the men's average is 14.2, whereas the average handicap for women is 27.5.

Average golf scores can vary depending on golf course difficulty, age, and gender, but it generally falls in that range for an average golfer. If you want to shoot lower than the average golf score, focus on improving your putting and driving technique as well as your overall accuracy. With enough practice, you can improve your golf game and reach your desired score.

For beginner golfers aiming for good golf scores, your goal should be shooting below 100 over 18 holes when starting out. This can be broken down further into shooting par or better on each hole and keeping your score as low as possible.

What Is a Good Golf Score?

Generally speaking, a good golf score in golf for amateur golfers is one that is consistently in the low 80s. If you can keep your score below 80, this could be considered a great golf score.

Ultimately, while there are some basic guidelines to follow when determining what makes a good golf score, everyone's goals and standards should be taken into account when assessing their personal scores. Even your favorite professional golfer started as a beginner, so it's best to pay attention to their tips as well as how other amateur golfers play.

Improve Your Golf Score With Tips from Professional Golfers

Remember: what might be considered a good golf score for one player may not be considered a great score for another. What’s more important than comparing your scores to others is that you are improving your game, no matter what level of golfer you are.

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