What is a Good Score for a Beginner Golfer?

So, you’re just getting into the wonderful world of golf, huh? Well, you’re not alone because a lot of beginners out there are curious about what’s considered a good score when they’re just starting out. It’s a great question because knowing what to aim for can really help you track your progress and see how you stack up against other beginners.

Now, let’s dive into it. There are a few factors that can affect your golf score, such as the course difficulty, weather conditions, and your own skill level. But to give you a general idea, let’s talk about some average scores for beginners.

Typically, beginners might shoot anywhere from the high 90s to the low 100s for 18 holes. That’s a pretty wide range, right? Don’t worry if you’re on the higher end of that spectrum to start with; golf can be a challenging game, but that’s part of what makes it so rewarding when you improve. We have highlighted in the below article various scores for where you are in your beginner golfing journey.

As you practice and gain more experience, you’ll likely see your scores gradually improve. So, remember, it’s not about where you start but how you progress over time. Keep practicing, keep learning, and most importantly, have fun out there on the holes!

Good Golf Score for Young Beginners

Here are some general guidelines for a good golf score for young beginners:

  • Ages 5-8: Focus should be on having fun, learning fundamentals, and developing coordination. Avoid keeping formal score at this age.
  • Ages 9-12: Scores of 110-120 or lower for 9 holes would be considered good for beginners. Average might be around 120-130.
  • Ages 13-15: Scoring around 100 or lower for 9 holes would be a good benchmark. Average scores may be in the 105-115 range.
  • High School: For beginners, scoring in the mid 80s to low 90s for 18 holes is good. Average varsity players may score low to mid 80s.

Good Golf Score for Adult Beginners

Here are some general score guidelines for adult beginners in golf:

  • Complete Beginner: 120-140 for 18 holes is good for the first few rounds. Focus on making solid contact and just getting the ball airborne.
  • After 5-10 Rounds: Look to break 100 consistently. Scores in the 90s are very respectable for newer players.
  • After 10-20 Rounds: Aiming to shoot in the 80s shows good progression. Scores below 90 become more regular.
  • After 20+ Rounds: Good beginner players will start shooting in the 70s for 18 holes, with occasional scores in the 60s. But there’s still improvement ahead!

Good Golf Score for Senior Beginners

Here are some general guidelines for a good golf score for senior beginners:

  • Complete Beginner: Scoring around 120-130 for 9 holes is solid for first-timers in their 60s. Take time to develop swing fundamentals and flexibility.
  • After 5 Rounds: Look to break 110 consistently over 9 holes. Scores in the 100-115 range are respectable.
  • After 10-15 Rounds: Shooting under 100 for 9 holes shows good progress. Average scores landing in the 95-105 range.
  • After 20+ Rounds: Scoring in the 80s over 9 holes is a realistic goal for improving senior beginners. Some may reach the 70s.

Factors Affecting Beginners Golf Scores

Skill Level

As a beginner, your golfing skill level and experience will heavily impact your scores. Remember that golf is a complex sport that demands practice and a solid understanding of the game’s fundamentals. As you invest time and effort into improving these aspects, your scores will gradually reflect your progress.

Difficulty of Course

The difficulty of the golf course you play on has a significant influence on your scores. Beginner-friendly courses tend to have wider fairways, fewer hazards, and shorter distances, making it slightly easier to achieve lower scores. However, as you venture onto more challenging courses with narrower fairways, deeper bunkers, and longer distances, your scores may flex and increase dependant on the course difficulty.

Par and Handicap

Par serves as a benchmark score for each hole. As a beginner, your scores will likely exceed par on most holes, and that is perfectly normal. Handicap, a measure of a player’s ability relative to the course difficulty, is typically not established for beginners. Handicap becomes relevant as you gain more experience.

How to Set Realistic Goals

Understand the Golfing Learning Curve

Recognize that golf is a sport of continuous learning and improvement. Instead of focusing solely on the end result of your scores, appreciate the process of developing your skills, acquiring knowledge, and gaining experience on the course. This mindset will foster a positive outlook and a more enjoyable golfing journey.

Track Progress and Milestones

Rather than fixating on achieving a specific score, set smaller milestones to track your progress. Monitor improvements in driving accuracy, short game proficiency, or the number of putts per round. 

Practice Makes Perfect

Remember that golf is a sport that rewards patience and perseverance. Accept that there will be challenging rounds and occasional setbacks, but view them as valuable learning opportunities. Practice makes perfect and with patience and practice you will lower your golf score and improve your skills gradually. Some tips to improve your golf swing can be found here, what a perfect way to reduce the golf score.

Determining what constitutes a good beginner golf score can be subjective and dependent on various factors. Rather than fixating on achieving a specific score, focus on your personal development, progress, and the enjoyment that golf brings. Understand that beginner golf scores will naturally be higher than those of more experienced players. Keep in mind factors like age, athletic ability, practice time, and instruction access can affect scoring ability and pace of improvement. Play appropriate tee boxes for your skill level.


What is a good golf score for a beginner woman?

Generally, for a beginner woman golfer, scores around 100 or below for 18 holes can be considered a good benchmark.

What is a good golf score for a beginner man?

Generally, for a beginner male golfer, scores around 90 or below for 18 holes can be considered a good benchmark.

What is a good golf score for a beginner senior?

Generally, for a beginner senior golfer, scores around 100 or below for 18 holes can be considered a good benchmark. This could be slightly higher for senior women golfers.

What is a beginners golf handicap?

A beginner golf handicap is a numerical measure that reflects a player’s ability relative to the difficulty of a golf course. Typically, beginners may not have an official handicap until they have played enough rounds to establish a scoring pattern. Handicaps are established by submitting scores for several rounds, which are used to calculate an initial handicap index. This index is then used to determine the player’s course handicap, indicating the number of strokes they receive or give on a specific golf course based on its difficulty.

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