Surprising Statistics on amateur golfers – Scratch Golfers

Surprising Statistics on amateur golfers – Scratch Golfers

19 January 2024

Scratch golfers, they can do no wrong and hit every shot perfectly – think again! This article will highlight that despite being great players, they are human and have some stats that might just surprise you.

Chance of getting inside 15ft from 150y

Shots from 150 yards come with mixed success for all golfers and scratch players are the same. When hitting the green, the chance a scratch player will leave themselves inside 15ft from the fairway is 20%. 

From the rough, the likelihood of hitting their shot within 15ft drops to just over 1 in 10 shots. 

Interestingly, on a slight tangent, when we reduce this distance from 150 yards to 80, we see a significant change in the likelihood of hitting it inside 15ft.

From 80y in the fairways scratch golfers have a 33% success rate. However, from the rough, the likelihood jumps from 12% to 32% almost matching that of the fairway – is hitting the fairway overrated?

Scratch players don’t hit every fairway!

Many mid to higher handicap players may think that scratch players score better because they never miss a fairway.

However, this is not the case. In fact, scratch players hit 1 in 2 fairways typically or 50% which is on par with the majority of golfers. 

The main difference off the tee is not fairways hit but rather the length of the tee shot, in particular with the driver in hand. 

As we have explored previously, length is a big contributing factor to lower scores so do not be deceived, accuracy off the tee is not the problem. Look at the length off the tee in this blog.

The only handicap bracket to typically miss their putts long

The most common miss amongst amateur golfers both in terms of long game, and on the greens, is short. 

However, scratch golfers disrupt this trend on the green, missing the majority of their putts long rather than short.

Why is this important? Well, 100% of short putts never go in! 

An added bonus to missing putts long is that you can get a read for the return putt as the ball rolls past the hole. This would help to minimise the chances of a 3 putt – scratch golfers typically 3 putt once every 39.2 holes.

From inside 25y, they get up and down 56% of the time

Is this more or less than you would think? Depending on whether you are a glass half full or glass half empty type of person, this is an interesting statistic. 

For the glass half empty person, you could interpret this as the scratch player fails to get up and down nearly 50% of the time.

However, for the glass half full person, which is where we are coming from, the scratch player, when out of position, successfully converts their up and down more often than not. 

When we compare this to other handicap ranges, we can see where some strokes are saved.

A 5hcp player converts 49% of their attempts and this drops to 41% for a 10hcp player. These small margins translate to saved strokes.

Scratch golfers are in the 1% Club

What is the 1% Club? The 1% Club is the percentage of golfers that play to a scratch handicap. 

Whilst golf media outlets and ourselves, refer to scratch golfers throughout our content, there is a very small number of them in the golfing world. 

So if you are scratch player, or have your sights set on scratch, you are, or can be, part of the 1% Club.

If you want stats on your game to help with your journey to scratch, Shot Scope performance tracking products will help. 

Learn your game and save strokes with Shot Scope.


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