• Learn from the Pros

Good Golf Score

Breaking Down the Elements of a Good Golf Score: What Really Matters?

Studies show that about 26 million people actively play golf every year. With so many people practicing, understanding how to reach a good golf score is crucial. But what is a good golf score?

From practicing your golf swing to mastering the golfing basics, there are plenty of ways to impact your score. While not everyone is keeping score when they hit the greens, some of us are aiming for competition or to go pro.

If you're looking to improve your golf score, we're here to help. Read on to learn more about good golf scores and how they can impact your play.

What Affects a Good Golf Score?

To start, what are the main factors on your golf score, and how do you read your score?

Golf keeps score different from most other sports. In golf, your score reflects how many strokes it took you to finish the course. The fewer strokes, the better the score - lower is better in golf!

Here are some of the main factors impacting whether your score stays low.

Level of Play

One of the first things that will impact your score is the level of play. The level of play relates to what sort of a game of golf you're playing.

Are you in a leisurely, unofficial game with your friends where everyone is grabbing mulligans and re-hitting sliced shots? In this level of play, your score will likely end up lower. That's likely because you and your golfing buddies aren't keeping a strictly accurate score.

But if you're in a competition or training for one, you're unlikely to take such benefits. As such, your score will naturally be higher in these sorts of competitions. Aiming to get these scores lower is one of the main reasons to worry about your score.

Course Design

Course design is also important on how high your score ends up. Some golf courses may feature more par 5s that can give you the chance to score a birdie or eagle.

Other golf courses may mostly have par 3s or 4s. Some courses are designed with a shorter, lower-scoring game in mind, which will naturally keep your total stroke count low.

Course Layout

The layout of the course can also impact your game. Mostly, this comes in the form of the different types of golf courses.

One type of golf course to keep in mind is the Links golf course. Links courses have rougher terrain, uneven topography, and are traditionally ocean-side. These factors combine to make sure that every golf swing is earned and challenging.

As a trade-off, Links courses are often usually smaller than standard golf courses. It varies from course to course, but you can expect most Links courses to have more par 3s than other types of courses.

General Golf Scores

Now that we know a bit more about how different courses can impact your golf score, what about your golf skills? There are different averages for different skill levels of players. Here are some ballparks for different quality of players.

Amateur or Recreational

Amateur players are typically players who are still learning or who aren't worried about performing at the height of their abilities. Amateur golfers are normally hobby golfers enjoying a day out with their friends rather than training for competition.

Amateur golfers often take high handicaps, don't mind mulligans, and will impact their score in other ways. As such, many aren't keeping score accurately. Expect a score in the high 90s or in the triple digits, though it varies heavily by player.


Professional players are on the opposite end of the spectrum from recreational players. Professional players usually compete or are training to compete.

Most professional players score in the low 60s or better. It depends heavily on the course and many more factors, but you can expect professional scores to be the lowest you see.


Finally, pro-am players are at an in-between. These are recreational players who enjoy competing and joining local competitions.

Most pro-am players score around the 70s or 80s, though it depends on the player in question. Many also don't use things like mulligans or handicaps, as many tournaments don't allow these.

How to Lower Your Score

Is your score in line with where you'd like it to be? mastering the golfing basics can help you lower your score to where you want it. Here are some of the tricks you can do to get a good golf score.

Practice Your Basics

One of the best ways to improve, as cliche as it sounds, is just to practice. Golf is a game where improvement comes as a result of hundreds of hours of practice.

Look at where your game struggles and do your best to improve there. Are your drives lackluster, or do you struggle on your short game? Identify the problem areas and focus on improving so that you can lower your score.

Improve Your Clubs

Your golf clubs aren't just tools. Every golf club is designed to excel in a certain situation, but also takes practice. Just because you can swing a 9-iron doesn't mean you can swing a 5-iron as effectively.

Practice with all your clubs and consider widening your arsenal. That way, you're never in a situation where you aren't sure what to do.

Adjust Your Handicap

Your handicap is a pre-set number of strokes you lower your score by. That's great for practicing, but if your handicap is a permanent cushion, your score likely won't improve.

Consider lowering or removing your handicap. Doing so can help you see your "true" score.

Mastering the Golfing Basics

A good golf score varies depending on your skill level and what competition you're in. Do your best to know the course and practice with your clubs to keep your score low.

At Blue Sky Golf Club, we're dedicated to helping you improve. Our Arnold Palmer Signature Design golf course provides you with the challenges you need to improve, while our professional instructors are ready to help you identify where to focus your efforts. Contact us today to discuss tee times, membership, and golf lessons.