Its no surprise to anyone who regularly plays the game, but despite decades of scientific improvements in clubs and balls, the average golf score remains the same: around 100 for 18 holes.
The average 18-hole score for the average golfer remains at about 100, as it has for decades, according to the National Golf Foundation, an industry research-and-consulting service. Among more serious recreational golfers who register their scores with the U.S. Golf Association, the average handicap index, a scoring tool, has dropped 0.5 strokes since 2000. On the PGA Tour this year, the average score of players has risen, by 0.28 strokes, compared with 10 years ago.
In 1960, the average golf score was 100. Fifty years later, with all the innovations in clubs, balls and instruction, the average golf score is … still 100. In fact, only 20 percent of all golfers will ever (honestly) break that mark.
More bad news: Barring a major investment in time and money, you’re stuck with the swing you have. Tips from golf magazines, your buddies—even the occasional lesson from a pro—aren’t going to result in long term improvement. Studies have shown that most players never get better than they are five years into their golfing “career.”
However, this doesn’t mean that lower scores are out of reach. The Five Inch Course offers more than a hundred strategies for improving your golf score without improving your swing. By playing smarter, more strategic golf, even weekend hackers can dramatically improve their scores without improving their swings.