What Percent of Golfers Break 90?

Why do people want to know what percent of golfers break 90? Well, 90 is what a golfer would score by playing bogey golf. Meaning, they average a bogey on every hole.

Doing better than that is a significant milestone for many golfers.

Honestly, if you’re a bogey golfer, you can pretty much play with anyone and still have a good time.

I feel pretty fortunate to be able to say that I am now consistently breaking 90, and often times 80. At the start of the 2022 golf season I was a 16 handicap and worked my way down to an 11. Through the 2023 season, I’ve managed to drop down to a 7 handicap. It has taken a lot of hard work, but it is paying off. I plan to work on my game through the winter and see if I can get down to a 4 next year.

All of the data used in this article comes from USGA handicap statistics. Although not all golfers use the handicap system, the percentages recorded in the system make up a realistic representation of all golfers and their respective skill levels.

What Percentage of Golfers Break 90

In the United States, 70.44% of men and 21.11% of women break 90 according to the United States Golf Association (source).

That’s a pretty high percentage of golfers who are capable of breaking 90.

The average handicap of male golfers is 14.2.

Male golfer handicap index distribution

The average handicap of female golfers is 27.5.

Female golfer handicap index distribution

This means that the average golf score for men is around 86. The average score for women is around 99.

So, the “average golfer” can absolutely break 90. How many golfers do you know who can break 90? The majority of the golfers I regularly see at my local club certainly can. But these players are a little more serious about it, most playing at least once per week.

Casual golfers, those that maybe only get out a couple of times per year will definitely find it harder to break 90.

Related – What is the average golf handicap

How Can You Break 90

If you’ve been golfing for at least a couple of years, chances are pretty high you can break 90. Start with an evaluation of your golf game. What part of your game contributes the most to higher scores?

Maybe you are terrible off the tee? Perhaps your approach shots are lacking. Maybe it’s the 100 yards and in. Figuring out where your biggest problem area is should be step #1.

Chances are, with minimal practice and a solid mental approach to the game, you can absolutely break 90.

I have worked through a few of these areas over the last year or so. For me, it started with my driver. After working through it, I wrote a step-by-step guide on how to hit a golf ball straight that highlights tips and drills that I found useful.

Although fixing my driver was important, I got the biggest gains from working on my 100 yards and in. To do this, I worked on my wedge distance control & created a wedge matrix.

Those two things alone have me closer to breaking 80, especially the work on my wedge distances.

What Percentage of Golfers Break 80

In the United States, 20.08% of men and 3.24% of women break 80 according to the United States Golf Association (1).

Thats a pretty significant drop off from those who break 90 on the golf course. Average golfers do not break 80. In fact, most amateur golfers will never achieve this mark.

Those who break 80 are some pretty talented golfers. 80 is a really good golf score for amateur golfers.

How Can You Break 80

Breaking 80 is going to take some skill. Many amateur golfers have the raw talent, but do not put the time in to practice regularly. Most golfers show up to the course, hit a few putts, maybe hit a bucket on the range, then go out and play 18.

That approach is not enough. If you want to be a better golfer, I think you must put some time into it. Practicing regularly, and methodically, could put you on a path to becoming a scratch golfer.

On my journey to consistently breaking 80, I have compiled several swing guides and tips to help other golfers.

What Percentage of Golfers Break 100

In the United States, 94.81% of men and 49.89% of women break 100 according to the United States Golf Association (1).

It doesn’t take an avid golfer to break 100. Most golfers who have played for at least a year can turn in golf scores under 100. It is typically the beginning golfer who will struggle to break 100. If that is you, stick with it. Playing golf can be so much fun, but it really is a hard game.

How Can You Break 100

Learning the most basic fundamentals and having a good mental approach to the game will absolutely get you well on your way to breaking 100.

Simply addressing the basics of the setup and your ball position can help significantly. That, coupled with a solid course management strategy, and you’ll be breaking 100 in no time.

RelatedHow to break 100 in golf.


Final Thoughts

Turning in lower golf scores can be a ton of fun and very rewarding. The majority of golfers will break 90, but most will never break 80.

If you can turn in scores in the mid-80’s, I’d say you are a good golfer. You’ll turn in lower scores on occasion, and certainly some higher scores. There is no definitive answer as to how many golfers break these thresholds, but the handicap system gives us extremely accurate data and some very solid indications on what the overall picture looks like.

If you are looking to improve your game, I’d love to hear from you on how you are progressing and what you have found useful on your journey. Follow me on Twitter, and feel free to reach out to me via email. Bigteesgolf@gmail.com.

Good luck on the golf course!

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