10 Mind Blowing Amateur Golfer Stats

Take a look at this fascinating data to learn more about how golfers stack up in various areas of the game

10 Mind Blowing Amateur Golfer Stats
(Image credit: Future)

Golf is becoming more and more of a statistics game, and these 10 stats dispel some myths you may have about golfers and may teach you a thing or two about your own game too. The stats in this article come courtesy of Arccos Golf, with data gleaned from more than 540 million shots from 11.5 million rounds worldwide using its Smart Sensors.

1. 5 handicappers from 150 yards in the fairway

Inside 10ft: 6% of the time

You might think that 5 handicappers are lethal from 150 yards in the middle of the fairway with a 7 or 8 iron, but according to the stats they only get it inside 10ft of the pin 6% of the time, averaging 1.2 birdies per round. They hit 46% of greens in regulation and average 28ft with GIR approaches and 54ft with all approaches to the green. If you play off 5 and don't get it inside 10ft with your 7 iron, go easy on yourself.

2. What distance to hit the green roughly 50% of the time

20 index: 92 yards
15 index:
110 yards
10 index:
129 yards
5 index:
147 yards
0 index:
165 yards

Golfers hitting the green around about 50% of the time differs drastically with skill level unsurprisingly, with a 73 yard gap between 20 handicaps and scratch players. The average 20 handicapper has around a one in two chance of finding the green from 92 yards, going all the way back to 165 yards for scratch players. The distance changes by around 18 yards for every five strokes on handicap.

3. Fairways found with driver - 5 handicaps

Golfer hits a drive

The average 5 handicapper misses more fairways than they hit with driver

(Image credit: Future)

5 handicaps find the fairway 49.7% of the time with driver

You might think that 5 handicappers find fairway after fairway, but the data shows that they actually hit just under 50% of fairways with driver. Taking a 3 wood ups that chance by just under 3% at 52.6%, showing that maybe 3 wood isn't always worth hitting compared to driver. Overall, 5 handicaps average 245 yards off the tee but are probably more wayward than you might think.

4. Chipping - 10 handicaps

The typical 10 handicapper is more likely to leave it outside 20ft than to hit it inside 5ft from 15 yards in the rough

When it comes to chipping from the rough 15 yards from the hole, 10 handicaps are more likely to leave their ball outside of 20ft than inside 5ft. From inside 25 yards, 10 handicaps average 16ft and get it up-and-down 37% of the time. Play off of 10? Work on your chipping and your handicap should come tumbling down.


Golfer gets ready to hit an iron shot

The average 5 handicap player makes bogey or worse 44% of the time

(Image credit: Future)

The typical 5 handicap makes bogey or worse 44% of the time

5 handicappers make bogey or worse on 44% of holes, although that does mean that they make par or better 56% of the time. This equates to 6.4 bogeys around, with 5 handicappers averaging 1.2 birdies, 8.9 pars and 1.6 doubles or worse.

6. From 75 yards - 5 handicaps

5 index players more likely to make bogey than birdie from 75 yards

A 5 handicapper is more likely to make a bogey from 75 yards than birdie from the fairway. They get up-and-down for birdie just 11% of the time and go on to make bogey or worse 22% of the time. If you play off 5 and want to get your handicap down, make sure you work on your wedges from inside 100 yards to help you avoid bogeys.

7. From 15ft - 12 handicaps

Golfer lines up a putt on the green

The average 12-handicapper is more likely to three-putt from 12ft than hole out according to the stats

(Image credit: Future)

From 15ft, 12 handicappers 3-putt more than they hole out

A 12 handicapper is more likely to three-putt than hole-out from 15ft...yes you read that right! Overall, 12 handicaps average a total of 2.9 three-putts per round, 1.9 putts per hole, 2.2 putts per GIR and a 34 putts per 18 holes.

8. Drives over 275 yards

Percentage of driver shots hit 275 yards or longer:

  • Scratch - 18%
  • 5 index - 13%
  • 10 index - 6%
  • 15 index - 3%
  • 20 index - 2%

The data on how far golfers hit their drives shows that lower handicappers hit the ball longer off the tee on average and these numbers offer up some fascinating insight. If you play off of 20 and drive it over 275 yards, you're doing very well!

9. 90 yards - 10 handicaps

10 index player from 90 yards in the fairway: 6% chances they get down in two

10 handicaps get up-and-down from 90 yards just 6% of the time, and take four or more to get down 36% of the time. Play off of 10 and want to get to single figures? Work on your wedges.

10. Scratch players from 160 yards

From 160 yards in the fairway, a scratch player will hit the green and be less than 20ft from the hole 19% of the time

Scratch players, from 160 yards in the fairway, get it inside 20ft just under one in five times. Zero index golfers average 56% of greens in regulation, with an average of 26ft on GIR approaches and 44ft on all shots into the green. Learn more about scratch handicap golfer stats and see how scratch vs 18 handicappers compare.

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2 HL

Irons: Mizuno MP-H4 3-iron, Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5