What is a Good Golf Score?


    Golf can be a great game no matter what kind of round the golfer has. A beautiful day in an ideal setting is often enjoyable no matter how well or how poorly a golfer plays on a given day. However, most golfers are out there to get better at what they are doing even if they don't have championship aspirations. The goal is improvement and that's measured by the score for a round of 18 holes. Usually a golfer will want to come back and play again after one outstanding hole or even one memorable shot. However, that desire is nourished even further with a great score for 18 holes.


    Most golfers who are coming off a good round of golf will want to head to the driving range or back to the course as soon as possible in order to build off a successful round. Success begets success, so a golfer who normally shoots in the low 90s may believe she is taking her game to a new level when she has fired an 88 and she'll try to get back to the course as soon as possible. However, a small percentage of golfers will lose their desire after a great round, or a career best. The feeling the golfer may have is that bettering the round is not likely or that the feeling of achievement after an outstanding round is not that satisfying. Instead of heading back to the course, they take a week or more off before heading back to the course.


    Playing on a flat midwestern course that is wide open course and has few hazards can bring about a great score from a golfer without much of a challenge. When the golfer is playing a relatively easy course, putting a low score on the board may not be all that satisfying. However, put that same golfer on a course in the far West that has mountains, water hazards, trees and bunkers he will likely struggle. Putting a great round together on a tough course like that will inspire much more pride than putting a good score together on an easy course.


    Al Geiberger set the record for the lowest score ever in a professional tournament when he shot a 59 in the 1977 Memphis Classic. That mark was matched by Chip Beck in the 1991 Las Vegas Invitational and David Duval in the 1999 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. Tommy Armour III set the 72-hole record for a PGA tour even when he shot a 254 in the 2003 Valero Texas Open.

Time Frame

    Registering the improvement needed to shoot a good score in a round of golf is a relative thing. Some golfer will play three rounds of golf, followed by three sessions at the local practice range and step up and show marked improvement. Other golfers will seemingly stay at the same level for three seasons despite diligent effort before seeing any improvement. In any case, the golfer has to remain patient and work on the fundamentals of a good swing if improvement and shooting a good score is the goal. On average, a new golfer will start to show improvement after 2 to 3 months of practice and lessons from a local pro. A more experienced golfer will hit plateaus during their careers and then move on to a new level at his or her own pace.

About the Author

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.