So you just started playing golf. You head out to the course, golf clubs in hand, ready to walk 18 holes. But when you get to the first tee, you realize you don’t actually know how scoring works in golf.
How many strokes are good? What’s a terrible score versus an amazing score? As a beginner, what golf score should you be aiming for?
Understanding golf scoring is key to setting reasonable expectations as you start out. In this article, we’ll break down the basics of golf scoring and averages for beginner player scores.
We’ll also provide tips to help you work toward achieving an average score your first time on the course.
Table of Contents
How Does Golf Scoring Work?
Before we get into average scores, let’s quickly cover the basics of golf scoring.
In golf, your score is the total number of strokes (times you swing your club) across 18 holes.
The goal is to finish the round with the LOWEST score possible.
The Stroke Count
To get your score, you simply add up the number of strokes each hole.
On Hole 1 you take 5 strokes
On Hole 2 you take 4 strokes
On Hole 3 you take 6 strokes
Your score after 3 holes is 5 + 4 + 6 = 15 strokes
This continues for all 18 holes of the course. Your total strokes at the end provides your final score.
The +/- Scoring System
Golf also uses a +/– scoring system compared to par. Par refers to the expected number of strokes to complete a hole.
If you take 1 stroke less than par, you score “-1” or “under par”
If you take 1 stroke more than par, you score “+1” or “over par”
So if a hole is a Par 4, and you take 5 strokes, your score is +1. 4 strokes would be -1 or “under par.”
This +/- system allows you to measure yourself against the course par. But your total stroke count is what matters for your final score.
Now that you know the basics, what score should you aim for as a beginner golfer?
What is the Average Golf Score for Beginners?
As a golfer just starting out, you can expect to shoot higher scores than more experienced players. But what’s considered average?
Here are typical scoring ranges:
Beginner Men Golfers: 120 to 150 strokes
Beginner Women Golfers: 130 to 160 strokes
These averages account for the higher number of strokes common for newer players.
Don’t get frustrated if your scores start out higher than these ranges! You’ll improve with more time on the course and practice.
Remember, when starting out, the priority is to have fun, gain experience, and see slow and steady improvement over many rounds.
Now let’s get into some tips…
Tips for Shooting an Average Beginner Golf Score
As a beginner, you want to avoid big numbers and penalties that can balloon your score. Here are some tips to help you come closer to the average:
Select the Right Clubs
Consider club selection on each shot carefully:
Use more lofted woods and hybrids off the tee rather than long irons to get more lift on the ball
Favor 7-irons and other higher numbered irons for approach shots since they launch the ball higher and land softer
Use a putter whenever possible when near the green rather than chipping with an iron
Sticking with easier-to-hit clubs tailored for beginners can help you lower your strokes.
Avoid Risky Shots
Don’t take unnecessary risks that get you into trouble:
Play it safe by keeping shots in wider fairways
Don’t go for tucked pins surrounded by bunkers or water hazards
Take shots you are confident you can execute even if it means longer clubs into greens
Staying away from high penalty areas leads to fewer disaster holes that drive up your score.
Practice Your Short Game
You want to limit 3 putts and chips that take several strokes to hole.
Sharpening your short game helps you limit strokes once on the green. And that significantly helps lower your scores.
By keeping it simple off the tee, avoiding high-risk shots, and smoothing out your short game, you’ll be on your way to golf scores in the beginner average range.
Golf Scoring Tips to Remember
To recap, here are some key golf tips for beginners looking to achieve an average score:
Use woods and hybrids off the tee for better launch and distance
Favor mid to high irons for approach shots
Avoid water hazards, dense bunkers, and tucked pins
Practice wedge shots from 50 yards and in
Improve approach shots from 100 yards out
Dial in putting from 5 to 10 feet
Following these tips will set you up for success and scores around the beginner averages.
Measuring Progress as You Improve Your Golf Scores
Knowing typical beginner scores allows you to measure your improvement over many rounds. But don’t dwell on your scores – focus on having fun and developing your skills.
As you gain experience striking the ball and learn course strategy, your scores will slowly drop. Pay attention to trends over multiple games versus judging on a single great or bad round.
With dedication to sound golf fundamentals and course management, you’ll hit the average score benchmarks and beyond.
The beginner golfer averages provide a goal to reach in your first rounds. But remember – focus on enjoyment and gradual progress as you master this addicting game. Savor every shot and moment on the course.
You now have a great sense of what to aim for as you track your scores and improvement. So grab your clubs and head to the first tee. Your golf journey starts today!
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