On a regular basis I peruse the site monitoring features I have set up for Average Golfer. Many people that find my site are looking for amateur golfer averages, be it score, handicap, club distances and the like. I compiled and averaged some information from a lot of different sources to boil it down into something useful. Everyone wants to know how their stats compare to the "norm". Keep in mind there is no norm, especially in regard to how far you hit a particular club. The only thing that matters is that YOU know far YOU hit each club. I'll take a hole in one with a 6 iron over a playing partner's errant 9 iron any day. There's too many variables that can't be accounted for between individuals. Age, height, weight, athletic ability, how long you've been playing, all make up your swing and affinity for the game, and as a result, your scores. It's almost worthless to compare your game to anyone's. The shape of your game is determined by how well you score and what course you're playing. It really is you against the course and it's condition when you played it. Nevertheless, here's some "rough" numbers because so many of you have been asking.
The average handicap for men and women is coincidentally 15.2 for both.**(Please see comments for a correction to this statistic). Weird irony I suppose. The average score for all amateur golfers is over 100. Why the difference? People that maintain a legitimate handicap are much more avid golfers, hence they play more and are more successful at the game. Keep in mind that your handicap is not an indicator of what you usually score. It's an indication of what you're CAPABLE of scoring. Think of it as what you may score on one of your better days.
Average distances for amateur golfers that maintain handicaps.........
Average driver distance, men......200-260 yards.
Average driver distance, women......150-200 yards.
Average 6 iron, men......130-160 yards.
Average 6-iron, women......70-130 yards.
Average pitching wedge, men......80-120 yards.
Average pitching wedge, women......50-80 yards.
I know everyone plays with or knows someone that doesn't fall into these numbers. They're averages, properly measured and reported. When asked on the tee box how far our drive went, most of us overestimate by 20-40 yards. Yes, it's true!
Some useful playing stats....................
A scratch golfer hits an average of 12 greens in regulation, 81% of the fairways, has 29.0 putts, 3.2 birdies per round and 11.8 pars per round.
A golfer that averages a score of 85 hits 5 greens in regulation, 46% of fairways, has 33.7 total putts, 0.8 birdies per round, and 6.6 pars.
A golfer that averages a score of 100 hits 0 greens in regulation, 11% of fairways, has 38.3 putts, 0 birdies, and 1.3 pars.
So the biggest differences are greens in regulation, fairways and putts. In other words, everything! The easiest shots to shave off your score are found in the short game. Chipping, pitching, and putting don't require tremendous swing speed or physical ability. Plus, they can be practiced in your back yard or living room. Having a reliable tee shot that lands in the fairway is important as well. Finding the short grass off the tee is much more important than distance, especially for high handicappers.
I hope this satisfies the average golfer's need for numbers. Hit the range or the course and improve yours!