Good Golf Score

What Makes a Good Golf Score? The Answer is Not What You Think

Last updated on July 31st, 2023

If you’re someone who enjoys golf, you’re probably familiar with the concept of a “good” golf score. But have you ever stopped to think about what actually makes a score good? Is it simply a matter of achieving a lower number? In reality, the answer is much more complex. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the factors that influence golf scores, how to set realistic scoring goals, and the true measures of a good golf score.

Understanding Golf Scores: The Basics

Before we delve into the nuances of golf scoring, let’s review the basics. Golf is played over 18 holes, with each hole having a designated “par” score. Par represents the number of strokes an expert player is expected to take to complete that hole. For example, if a hole is designated as a par 4, an expert player should be able to complete the hole in four strokes – one for the tee shot, one for the fairway shot, one for the approach shot, and one for the putt.

When a golfer completes a hole with fewer strokes than par, they achieve a minus score, such as “birdie” or “eagle.” Conversely, if they take more strokes than par, they achieve a plus score, such as “bogey” or “double bogey.” The total number of strokes taken to complete all 18 holes is the golfer’s final score.

Golf is a sport that requires a great deal of skill, patience, and practice. It is a game that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. Whether you are a seasoned pro or a beginner, understanding the basics of golf scoring is essential to improving your game.

How Golf Scoring Works

In golf, lower scores are generally considered better. However, the quality of a score is largely dependent on the context in which it was achieved. For example, a score of 72 on a difficult course could be considered an exceptional performance, while a score of 72 on an easy course may be less impressive.

It is important to note that golf is not just about hitting the ball as far as you can. It is a game of strategy and precision. A skilled golfer must be able to read the course, understand the wind conditions, and make calculated shots in order to achieve a low score.

The Role of Handicaps in Golf Scores

Handicaps are a tool used in golf to level the playing field for players of different skill levels. A handicap takes into account a player’s average score and adjusts it based on the difficulty of the course they’re playing. This allows players of different abilities to compete fairly against each other. The lower a player’s handicap, the better they are considered to be.

Understanding the role of handicaps in golf is important for both beginners and experienced players. It allows players to compete against each other on a level playing field and ensures that the game remains fair and enjoyable for everyone.

In conclusion, golf scoring is an essential part of the game of golf. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced player, understanding the basics of golf scoring and the role of handicaps is crucial to improving your game and enjoying the sport to its fullest.

Debunking Common Golf Score Myths

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s dispel some common misconceptions about golf scores.

Lower Scores Always Mean Better Performance

While golfers generally strive to achieve lower scores, it’s important to remember that the objective of golf isn’t simply to get the lowest score possible. Rather, it’s to play the best round you’re capable of, given the circumstances. Sometimes, that means adapting to challenging conditions or making strategic decisions that result in a slightly higher score.

For example, imagine you’re playing a round of golf on a windy day. The wind is blowing in the opposite direction of the hole, making it difficult to get the ball to the green. In this situation, it might be better to aim for a spot on the fairway that’s closer to the hole, even if it means taking an extra stroke or two. By doing so, you’ll have an easier time getting the ball onto the green and ultimately, into the hole. While your score may be slightly higher as a result, you’ll have played a better round overall.

A Good Golf Score is the Same for Everyone

What constitutes a good golf score varies widely depending on factors such as skill level, course difficulty, and individual goals. For a beginner, shooting under 100 may be considered a good score, while an experienced golfer may aim to consistently shoot under par.

It’s also worth noting that the definition of a “good” golf score can change over time. As you improve your skills and gain more experience, your expectations for yourself may increase. What was once a good score for you may no longer be satisfactory. This is a natural part of the learning process and should be embraced as a sign of progress.

Ultimately, the most important thing is to set realistic goals for yourself and focus on improving your own performance, rather than comparing yourself to others. By doing so, you’ll be able to enjoy the game of golf and see steady improvement over time.

Factors That Influence a Good Golf Score

Now that we’ve established that a good golf score is relative, let’s explore some of the factors that impact overall performance.

Course Difficulty

The difficulty of a course can have a significant impact on a golfer’s score. If a course features narrow fairways, numerous water hazards, and heavily bunkered greens, it may be much more challenging than a course with wide-open fairways and minimal hazards.

For example, the famous Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters Tournament, is known for its challenging course layout. The course features narrow fairways, undulating greens, and strategically placed bunkers, making it a difficult course for even the most skilled golfers.

On the other hand, a course like Pebble Beach Golf Links, which is known for its stunning ocean views and wide-open fairways, may be less challenging for some golfers.

Weather Conditions

Weather conditions can also play a role in overall golf performance. High winds, rain, extreme heat, and cold temperatures can all affect the trajectory of a golf ball and make it more difficult to achieve an optimal score.

For example, playing in high winds can make it challenging to control the direction and distance of a golf ball. Rain can make the course wet and muddy, which can affect the way the ball rolls on the green. Extreme heat can cause fatigue and dehydration, which can impact a golfer’s focus and physical ability to perform well.

Conversely, playing in ideal weather conditions, such as sunny and mild temperatures, can make it easier for a golfer to achieve a good score.

Individual Skill Level and Experience

Of course, a golfer’s individual skill level and experience will play a major role in their performance. Players with more experience and practice will typically achieve better scores.

However, even the most skilled golfers can have an off day, and beginners can have a great day on the course. It’s important to remember that golf is a game of skill, strategy, and mental toughness, and every round is different.

Additionally, a golfer’s physical fitness can also play a role in their performance. Golf requires a combination of strength, flexibility, and endurance, and being in good physical shape can help a golfer maintain focus and perform well throughout the round.

Setting Realistic Golf Score Goals

Realistic Golf Score Goals

Assessing Your Current Skill Level

In order to set realistic golf score goals, it’s important to have a clear understanding of your current skill level. This can be done by observing your performance on the golf course, tracking your scores over time, and seeking feedback from other players or a golf instructor.

Identifying Areas for Improvement

Once you have a sense of your skill level, you can identify specific areas for improvement. This may include enhancing your swing technique, improving your short game, or practicing more consistently.

Tracking Your Progress Over Time

As you work to improve your golf performance, it’s important to track your progress over time. This will allow you to see how far you’ve come and identify areas where you still have room for growth.

The True Measure of a Good Golf Score

Personal Growth and Enjoyment

Ultimately, the true measure of a good golf score is personal growth and enjoyment. Golf offers a unique blend of physical and mental challenges, and achieving a personal best or overcoming a difficult obstacle can be incredibly rewarding.

Consistency and Adaptability

Another measure of a good golf score is consistency and adaptability. A player who can consistently achieve scores in line with their skill level, and adapt to varying course conditions, will be deemed a more proficient golfer.

Sportsmanship and Etiquette

Finally, sportsmanship and etiquette are also key measures of a good golf score. Treating fellow players and the course with respect, and following proper golf protocol, are important components of the game.

In Conclusion

As we’ve seen, what makes a good golf score is more complex than simply achieving a lower number. Rather, it’s about playing to your full potential, adapting to different circumstances, and displaying respect and etiquette on the course. By understanding the factors that influence golf scoring and setting realistic goals, you can work to improve your game and find greater enjoyment in this classic sport.


What is a good golf score?

A “good” golf score can vary greatly depending on the skill level of the player. For beginners, a score of around 100 for a full 18-hole round (which is roughly 28 over par on a standard par-72 course) is often considered good. For more experienced amateur golfers, breaking 90 (which is 18 over par) is a common goal, and very skilled amateurs or professionals often aim to shoot par (72) or better.

What’s the best score in golf ever?

A “good” golf score can vary greatly depending on the skill level of the player. For beginners, a score of around 100 for a full 18-hole round (which is roughly 28 over par on a standard par-72 course) is often considered good. For more experienced amateur golfers, breaking 90 (which is 18 over par) is a common goal, and very skilled amateurs or professionals often aim to shoot par (72) or better.

How do you score golf?

In golf, the score is calculated by counting the number of strokes it takes to get the ball in the hole for each hole on the course. The total number of strokes for all the holes is your score for the round. The goal is to have the lowest score possible.

Each hole on a golf course is assigned a “par” value, which is the number of strokes an expert golfer is expected to take to complete the hole. If you take fewer strokes than the par value, you’ve made a birdie. If you take one stroke more than par, it’s called a bogey. Two strokes over par is a double bogey, and so on. If you take the same number of strokes as the par value, you’ve made par.

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