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- The average golfer takes approximately 34 putts per round, according to data from Game Golf Live.
- This puts golfers like Phil Mickelson (27.21) and Vaughn Taylor (29.1) at the top of the leaderboard for most wins this season.
- The average number of putts per round, based on The Grateful Golfer’s Twitter poll, is approximately 31-35, with 54.5% of respondents falling into that category.
- 89 out of 260 Reddit users who identify as golf enthusiasts rated the average pace of play at 34-36.
- Improving your golf game requires understanding where you need the most practice. For many golfers, that means focusing on their putting skills.
- There are many different factors that can have an impact on your putting. Find what works best for you and then practice, practice, practice!
I remember the day my good friend called me, completely beside himself with excitement. He had just bought a new house and was getting ready to move in, and one of the things he was most looking forward to was finally being able to start playing golf regularly.
“I’ve been doing some research,” he told me excitedly, “and I think I’ve finally figured out how many putts per round I should be making on average.”
“Really?” I said, genuinely intrigued. My friend is by no means a beginner golfer- in fact, he’s probably better than I am- but I was curious to hear what sort of number he had come up with.
The worst ranked putter on the PGA Tour in 2020 averaged 30.28 putts per round.
If you average 36 putts per round, you would be 24 strokes behind in a 4-round tournament just on the putter.
— Mike Bury (@MikeBuryGolf) October 15, 2020
“Yeah,” he continued. “According to what I’ve read, I should be making around 34 putts per round.”
I whistled softly. 34 putts per round is actually a pretty decent number, especially for someone who isn’t a professional golfer.
“That’s great,” I congratulated him. “I’m sure you’ll be able to improve your score significantly once you’re able to putt more consistently.”
“I hope so,” he said. “But even if I don’t, at least I’ll know that I’m putting about average.”
We both laughed, and then said our goodbyes so he could get back to packing. But ever since that conversation, I’ve been thinking about how many putts per round the average golfer actually makes.
I couldn’t help but think about how interesting it was that even someone like my friend, who has been playing golf for years, still needed to constantly work on his game in order to improve. No matter how good you get at something, there’s always room for growth. And that’s what makes golf such a challenging and fascinating sport.
What does the data say about PGA average putts per round?
Fixed. Can't just look at putts per round to determine if someone is a "bad putter". Higher GIR = more putts on average. For comparison, PGA approx avg GIR is 65.1% and LPGA is 67.5%. https://t.co/e5zHOwDnv7 pic.twitter.com/NnkbIPAdCq
— Jessica Wallace (@JessWGolf) December 4, 2021
Putting is becoming a hot-button topic between the old guard and statisticians in golf. The old guard has it that the short game is of paramount importance, which might be why the phrase “Drive for show, putt for dough” has become so popular.
On the other hand, are the analytics mostly taking into account the strokes gained that have put forward a case that the use of the flat stick is not so much of an imperative to the scores as the approach shots.
Just like many other debates, this has become a nuanced conversation. However, that conversation has focused much on professional ranks. When it comes to amateur golfers, does the conversation change?
The question can be divided into two questions, the first being the number of putts that an average golfer would take per round. According to statistical data from Golf Digest, a reputable source, 34 strokes is the average number. (Source).
A bit of context can be shown in the example of Phil Mickelson leading the tour while having 27.21 putts for every round. Sampling from the best 200 in that particular category, there are Vaughn Taylor, Blayne Barber, and Ryan Blaum, who are at number 100 and have a 29.1 mark.
For these numbers to make sense, more information is necessary. The main question is the percentage of what the player scores from putting. Statistics have it that the putter is used at an average of 41.3% of all the time, which includes from the fringe.
When the short game proceeds from 100 yards inwards, this figure jumps to about 60%. Theoretically, the driving range time should be trimmed with the irons and driver to act in favor of the short game area. But this is not always the case.
The idea that one could use the practice on the tricky ten-footers to improve the accuracy with the irons will contribute to shortening the follow-up putts. This in effect, increases the likelihood of making a conversion. Also, the approach shots become way easier when they come down the fairway compared to coming from farther away in the rough.
Actually, an average golfer will hit the fairway for about 48.5% of the attempts made. The most likely instance of a miss taking place comes to the right, standing at 28.5%. Much of the data available can prove both sides’ points.
However, it is good to remember that the only figure that holds actual merit is the score you have when the round ends. On average, a total of about 31 to 34 putts per round is great putting. (Source).
The underbelly of putts
For a golfer, the idea that you can make every putt is enticing. However, between the concept and its execution, most lose sight of what would happen if they were to miss, which is a vital aspect.
Many golfers are overly aggressive with the putts, which means they do not take the time to think of what would be the consequences resulting from where the ball goes to if they miss.
This means that they might have ten-foot birdie putts on the downhill but end up getting fifteen-foot come-back putts, meaning they have three putts for bogey. As the process continues, the occasional putt does not help them think of making changes to their approach mode.
Finally, they will find themselves having around 36 to 45 putts for every round, which causes them to make a wrong interpretation that it is their terrible swings that have caused them to have terrible scores at the end of the day.
As an experienced golfer, you should have clarity in making the putt and remaining wise when making an attempt. You should ask yourself where you want to be if you miss it. The answer to this should always be within range for a tap-in.
Hi, my name is Vince Richmond and I am the owner of earlygolfer.com. This blog is all about golfing, from tips and tricks to equipment reviews and everything in between. I have been golfing for over 20 years now and love the sport more than ever. I am always looking to improve my game and help others do the same. When I’m not golfing, I can be found spending time with my wife and two kids or playing some other sport (I’m a bit of a sports junkie). Thanks for reading and be sure to check out earlygolfer.com for all your golfing needs!