How Many Greens In Regulation Does An Average Golfer Hit?
How Many Greens In Regulation Does An Average Golfer Hit?

We use Arccos data to look at how often players with different handicaps give themselves at least a chance to make a birdie.

It’s great to hit a green in regulation, no matter how good you are at golf. It can be very relaxing to hit the ball exactly where you wanted it to go into the middle of the green and leave yourself at least a birdie putt. This can also help you score.

A bunch of data from Arccos has shown that for golfers with average to high handicaps, making a birdie can be very hard.

On the other hand, how many greens does the average Joseph or Josephine hit during a full round? We can get a very good idea from the huge amount of information from Arccos.

In 2022, the average handicap for men in the UK was 17.1 and the average handicap for women in the UK was 27.2. In the US, the middle handicap was 14.2 and the average handicap for men and women was 27.5. This means that the average handicap for all four groups is 21.5. Arccos data only lets users compare their handicap to up to twenty other players, so that’s what we’ll use to begin.

Stats from Arccos show that a player with a 20-handicapper will only make 3.6 GIR on average over 18 holes. Even if they do, the player will still be a long way from the hole (about 36 feet) when they try to make a birdie.

The extra gaps are pretty small as you move up the scale. A golfer with an 18-handicap usually only makes 4.14 GIR per round, which is only a 3% gain. A golfer with a three-shot lower handicap still only makes 4.86 GIR. The same player with a 15-handicap is likely to miss their birdie-or-better shot from 33 feet as well.

When we get to golfers with handicaps below 12, there is a clear change in the percentage chance of getting to the green under par. People with an index of 12 are still 32 feet from the hole, but on 31% of holes (5.58 out of 18), they record a GIR.

Golfers with a 9-handicap average 6.84 GIR per round, while golfers with a 6-handicap average 7.92 GIR. Only golfers with a handicap of 3 or less have a chance of making birdie or better at least half of the time (9).

Last but not least, we have the scratch players and the lucky Tour golfers. Arccos says that people who start from scratch leave their 10.08 GIR shots every 18 holes an average of 26 feet from the hole.

If you want to see how you stack up against the best, Tour-level players miss their putts by an average of 12.06 feet per round, which is a little more than two thirds of the holes they play.

Check out the table below for the full stats for a number of different handicaps…

What is the average number of greens that a golfer hits?

GIR PercentageAvg No. Of GIR Per RoundGIR Approach Proximity
Tour Player67%12.0623ft
Scratch56%10.0826ft
3 Handicap50%927ft
6 Handicap44%7.9229ft
9 Handicap38%6.8430ft
12 Handicap31%5.5832ft
15 Handicap27%4.8633ft
18 Handicap23%4.1435ft
20 Handicap20%3.636ft

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