Putting make percentages by handicap – how do you compare?

Putting make percentages by handicap – how do you compare?

13 March 2022

Is putting your strength or your weakness? See how your putting make percentage compares to your handicap category

An often-heard phrase in clubhouses around the world, “Man, I didn’t hole a thing out there today!” Whilst it may feel like you didn’t hole any putts, the truth is you had to have holed enough putts to complete your round. Whether you had 30 putts or 38 putts, you did hole enough to post a score. Nonetheless, it’s maybe that short putt for birdie on the 8th or a missed opportunity on the 18th that is fresh in the mind and leaves you with a bitter taste in your mouth. However, don’t beat yourself up.

A recent look at the Shot Scope database putting statistics has revealed that for all handicap categories, the make % is pretty good. Yes, there is always room for improvement but don’t beat yourself up about it. If you currently do not track your golf shots, or measure your performance on the course in any way – we highly recommend you start as it is the easiest way to learn what you need to change in order to improve your game.

The Shot Scope database revealed the make percentage from certain distances to be the following:

Make % from 30ft+

Make % 30ft+4.3%4.3%2.8%3.2%1.9%2.3%

Starting from the furthest away benchmark (30+ ft) from the hole to the closest (0-6ft), the data above is very interesting. Indeed, our putting data shows that from 30+ feet there is not a great difference in make percentages at this range. This is unsurprising as from this distance it is often quite rare to hole putts on a consistent basis, the aim should be to at least two-putt every time from this distance rather than hole it. Whilst holing a putt from this distance is great, the focus should be predominantly about pace and then line which will ensure your next putt is a tap-in more often than not.

Make % from 24-30ft

Make % 24-30ft8.3%10.1%5.4%7.8%6.8%6.3%

The next distance bracket, 24-30 feet, offers up some interesting insights. In particular the make percentage of 5 HCP golfers. The 5 HCP golfers make percentage from 24-30 feet is a very respectable 10.10%, the highest of all handicap categories. These figures are a good standard, especially considering the nearest stat comparison of 20-25 feet make percentage on the PGA tour for last season was 12.43%. 

Putting Make %

Make % 18-24ft14.5%13.0%10.3%11.2%11.8%10.1%
Make % 12-18ft25.1%23.9%20.2%20.2%18.8%16.0%
Make % 6-12ft42.8%41.4%38.1%39.6%37.8%35.0%

The next three categories, encompassing 6-24 feet, again showcase the good standard of the typical 0 handicap golfer on the Shot Scope database. They have the highest make percentages in all three categories. Other handicap categories are not too far behind from these distances.

Putting Make % from 0-6ft

Make % 0-6ft92.8%90.2%89.3%84.4%84%82.5%

The final distance bracket, and perhaps the most crucial, is the 0-6 feet category. Unsurprisingly the lower the handicap the higher the make percentage, this pattern follows all the way from 0 HCP to 25 HCP. This crucial category is where the 0-handicap category pulls ahead at 92.80%. This is a great make percentage as the PGA tour make percentage from inside 5 feet (not direct distance comparison but closest stat available) last year was 96.70%. Considering an extra foot added on to our distance bracket then this is a very high standard.

With a lot of second putts falling within this distance and short game shots when attempting to get up and down also coming into this distance bracket, it is crucial for scoring to hole as many 0–6-foot putts during a round as possible. Therefore, it is reasonable to suggest that part of the reason the lower handicap golfers are in their handicap category is because of their higher make percentage from this 0-6 feet distance. We suggest all handicap categories practice their putting from this distance on the putting green once or twice a week, it can even be practiced at home. If your make percentage in this distance bracket increases then there is a good chance your scores on the course will come tumbling down.

So, how does your make percentage compare to your handicap category? Have a look on your Shot Scope mobile app or web dashboard to see how your putting skills match up to golfers of your handicap ability.



Related Posts

Free Golf e-books

Did you know that 84% of missed putts over five feet finish short?

Or, that your typical drive is nearly 30 yards shorter than your Sunday best drive? These are just two intriguing statistics thrown up by Shot Scope’s performance tracking data platform.

Download our free guides for golfers now!

FREE e-books to lower your score