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What's Stopping You From Reaching Single Figures

By: | Thu 16 May 2024

Being a golfer is living in a state of constant self-improvement and maximising your potential. That sounds like the tagline from an empty motivational book, but the beauty of this particular game is that it's true for us.

We all want to play better, hit consistently good shots, and hole more putts, ultimately with the ambition to shoot lower scores. Everyone who has taken up this glorious sport is united on that front - whether you are the world number one or someone nervously taking their first swings at the local driving range.

For golfers, this journey is often reflected by their handicap, which measures your level of play and serves as an ideal barometer to work from.

When you're just starting out, getting a handicap is the first big step, before you gradually take that down into the 20s and below, with each reduction confirming that you're becoming that little bit better at this tantalisingly challenging hobby of ours.

Reaching single-figures is a milestone that a lot of golfers aspire to. Getting to that standard can be the fulfillment of many years of playing and practicing, while some of us just can't quite get there for one reason or another. 

Earlier this year, when discussing his popular and engaging instructional videos, three-time major champion Padraig Harrington said: "I think I should be able to get every golfer in the whole wide world to a single-figure handicap."

That might be a little grandiose, but one key area to consider is what exactly it takes to become such a proficient golfer.

Looking at the Golfshake Score Tracker, where thousands of players submit their rounds and statistics weekly, we can identify the specific performance categories for every handicap level, revealing the standard golfers achieve with each part of their game to play to that quality.

It means we can see what it takes to be a single-figure handicap golfer and where the rest of us might be missing out.

Single Figure Golf Handicap

(Image Credit: Kevin Diss Photography)

Stat Average Benchmarks - Handicaps 5-10

If you want to break into a single-figure category, these are the average stats from those golfers who have handicaps between 5 and 10. If you're falling short of some of these numbers, that could be where you're struggling, but if you're doing a little better, you might just be a more accomplished golfer than you think!

  • Score: 79
  • Par 3 Avg: 3.50
  • Par 4 Avg: 4.50
  • Par 5 Avg: 5.26
  • #No. Fairways-in-Regulation: 10.30
  • #No. Greens-in-Regulation: 7.96
  • Pars-per-Round: 8.78
  • Birdies-per-Round: 1.75
  • Putts: 32.16

Let's take it a little further and see those stats for golfers with a low single-digit handicap!

Stat Average Benchmarks - Handicaps 1-5

  • Score: 74
  • Par 3 Avg: 3.32
  • Par 4 Avg: 4.20
  • Par 5 Avg: 4.86
  • #No. Fairways-in-Regulation: 12.82
  • #No. Greens-in-Regulation: 10.84
  • Pars-per-Round: 10.87
  • Birdies-per-Round: 2.96
  • Putts: 30.04

The golfers who perform regularly at this level likely have ambitions to become a scratch player, but that's a story for another day!

Stat Average Benchmarks - 9 Handicap

Perhaps you're someone with a handicap just a few shy of reaching that momentous summit of achieving single-figure status. The following numbers belong to those golfers with a 9 handicap, which can serve as a helpful comparison if you're trying to match them!

  • Score: 80
  • Par 3 Avg: 3.60
  • Par 4 Avg: 4.50
  • Par 5 Avg: 5.30
  • #No. Fairways-in-Regulation: 9.72
  • #No. Greens-in-Regulation: 7.56
  • Pars-per-Round: 8.10
  • Birdies-per-Round: 1.66
  • Putts: 32.30

Tracking your performance stats is a great way to see where you're at and the areas that could be improved. That's the magic of the Golfshake Score Tracker - and now you have a touchstone to compare yourself to!

If reaching single-figures is your ambition for this season and beyond, we wish you the very best in that endeavour!

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What do you think? post your thoughts and feedback on the Golfshake Forum: https://forum.golfshake.com/

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