Some make golf look a lot easier than it is. As we watch PGA Tour players flush irons and make unimaginable putts. And then there’s the guy on the range striping his driver 300 yards down the middle. When it comes to your game, you may feel like you're lagging behind the “majority.”
According to the USGA, the average male golfer has a handicap of 14.2. Only a small percentage (9.68%) have a 5 handicap or better, while a significant majority (70.65%) have a 10 handicap or higher.
So no, not everyone is an exceptional putter, 300-yard driving, dart-throwing golfer like Scottie Scheffler or Rory McIlroy. In reality, not many of us are single-digit handicaps. However, our selective attentiveness might make us think otherwise. Watching professionals on T.V. or even competing in local tournaments can create the illusion that there are more skilled golfers than there actually are. The silver lining though is your play may actually be above average if you compare it to your handicap.
To help manage these expectations. Arccos has captured over 700 million shots, 15 million rounds, and 1 trillion data points thus far, to give you the inside look at amateur data you’ve been needing and wanting.
Expectation #1: Driver
Rory McIlroy’s average driving distance so far this year is 326.2 yards. The PGA tour’s driving distance is 298.4 yards. The average 10-handicapper’s driving distance averages 226.6 yards. No, that wasn’t a typo. Yes, yards. And yes, total driving distance, not just carry.
So next time you don’t quite out-drive your buddy, don’t beat yourself up too badly. You might not be hitting it as far as a PGA Tour player, but you might still be outdistancing your current handicap and working your way to your target handicap.
Check out the Arccos Distance Report to see where you stand.
Expectation #2: Approach
When you think of 100 yards in, you might think of a comfortable yardage, a common number, a simple wedge shot onto the green, setting yourself up for an easy par if not a birdie opportunity. But is it truly that simple?
From 100 yards, the average 10-handicap golfer takes an average of 3.38 strokes from the fairway and 3.5 strokes from the rough.
If you manage to walk away with a par from 100 yards out, give yourself a pat on the back, you’re scoring better than most average 10-handicap players.
Expectation #3: Short Game
Watching Jordan Spieth around the green never gets old, as just about every one of his chip shots looks like they’re going in. It starts to make you think, would it be better to be closer to the green but in the rough vs. on the green and farther away?
The average 10 handicap takes the same number of shots to hole out from 12 yards in the rough as they would from 81 ft. on the green.
For many of us, we want to get the putter in hand as quickly as possible. Have you ever used a Texas wedge?
Expectation #4: Putting
Good players rarely ever three-putt… right? For the PGA Tour, that might be true, as they average 0.49 three putts per round. But we’re not on tour, so let’s see what Arccos’ data says:
There are some exceptions though, like if you’re Scottie Scheffler at the 2022 Masters. #FourPuttForTheWin
Expectation #5: Scoring
In the end, we all just want to shoot lower scores. And according to the Arccos Data Insights Lead, Lou Stagner, the real scorecard killer for amateurs… penalty shots!
A 10 handicap has 3 or more penalty shots on about 25% of their rounds
Avoid the penalty shots, avoid the big scores. They can add up quickly.Of course, these stats might not relate to every golfer, as each person’s game can vary in different ways. However, to gain your own personalized insights, review your Arccos data and be sure to set your target or current handicap to see how you might stack up. From there you can pinpoint what facets of your game you excel in and which you need to improve in.