7 Surprising Stats About 5 Handicap Golfers

We take a look at some fascinating statistics about 5 handicap golfers

Golfer watches their drive
(Image credit: Future)

5 Handicap Golfer Stats

A 5 handicap golfer can be considered a very accomplished player, with most golfers never getting their handicaps down to that level and dreaming of one day having an index that low.

While they are undoubtedly accomplished golfers, there are some surprisingly stats of how they compile their rounds and how they could even lower their handicaps across all areas of the game, from driving to approach, short game and putting.

The stats in this piece from Arccos Golf, with data gleaned from more than 540 million shots from 11.5 million rounds worldwide.

So if you're a 5 handicapper and want to lower your handicap or if your goal is to reach a 5 index, take a look at these statistics...

1. From 150 yards in the fairway

From 150 yards in the fairway, wielding something like a 6-iron, 7-iron or 8-iron, the average 5 handicap golfer hits their shots inside 20ft just 19% of the time and inside 10ft just 6% of the time.

From the fairway, 5 handicappers find the green around 50% of the time from 148 yards out, showing just how crucial this distance is for low handicappers. Overall, they hit 46% of greens in regulation, which equates to 8.28 greens per round.

2. Fairways found with driver

Golfer takes their hand off the club after a wayward drive

5 handicappers find just under 50% of fairways off the tee

(Image credit: Future)

Typical 5 handicap players miss more fairways than they hit with driver - although only just. With driver in hand, the 5 index players average 49.7% of fairways hit. That number only goes up 2.9% to 52.6% when using a 3-wood.

For those wondering, 5 handicap golfers average 245 yards off the tee.

3. Three-putts

From 30ft away, most 5 handicap golfers will be looking to, or thinking of, holing their putt for birdie or par. However, the data shows that they actually three-putt 20% of the time from that distance!

A one-in-five chance of three-putting from 30ft shows that 5 handicaps could shoot lower scores by working on their lag putting and from inside 5ft. In total, they tend to have two three-putts per round, with an average of 32.1 putts per round.

4. 300 Yard par 4s

According to the data, 5 handicappers average around 4.27 strokes on a typical par 4 of 300 yards - a surprising stat when nearly all players of that ability will be looking to birdie the shorter holes. Some might even try their hands at driving the green, or getting up close to it, despite the average distance off the tee of 245 yards.

If you're a 5 handicap, think of all the silly bogeys made on short par 4s and maybe look at taking an iron or hybrid off the tee to leave a simple wedge into the green.

5. Bogeys

Golfer holds their finish after hitting a drive

On average, 5 handicaps make bogey 44% of the time

(Image credit: Future)

The typical 5 index player makes bogey or worse on 44% of the holes they play. That equates to 7.92 holes of bogey or worse - and we know that 5 handicappers also make double or worse on roughly 1.6 holes per round yet make just 1.2 birdies per round on average.

It's clear that 5 handicappers looking to lower their indexes need to turn some of those bogeys and doubles into pars.

5. From 75 yards

From the fairway and just 75 yards out, a 5 handicapper is more likely to make bogey than birdie! 

The chance of them getting up-and-down for birdie is just 11%, while the likelihood of them taking four or more strokes to get down is double that at 22%.

6. Up-and-downs

You might think that 5 handicappers are short game wizards, but in actual fact they're just solid around the greens.

From within 25 yards, they only get up-and-down 46% of the time according to the Arccos data, but they find the green 94% of the time - meaning they rarely hit duffed or thinned chips shots. Overall, they average a distance of 14ft from the hole with chip shots inside 25 yards.

7. Inside 5ft

Golfer hits a putt from 5 feet

On average, 5 handicappers make 63% of putts between 3-5ft

(Image credit: Future)

Another assumption about 5 handicap golfers might be that they hole everything from inside 5ft, but the statistics show that they only make 63% of putts between 3-5ft, which will certainly back up the data that they three-putt 20% of the time from 30ft.

They don't even hole everything inside 2ft either, with a make percentage of 93%.

5 Handicap Stats:




UP-AND-DOWNS 25-50YDS: 26%


SAND SAVES 25-50YDS: 20%









PAR 3 SCORE: 3.4

PAR 4 SCORE: 4.5

PAR 5 SCORE: 5.1

Golf Monthly has also taken a look at scratch golfer stats, how a scratch vs 18 handicaps compare and 10 mind blowing amateur golfer stats.

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 team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five 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 off of a six handicap. 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

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV