Average Score by Handicap

You probably have a good idea about your average score, right? But do you know how the average score by handicap of players slightly better than you? Today, we took a deep dive into our database and analyzed millions of golf rounds to summarize it in a simple, yet useful graph.

Take a peek at the chart below and locate yourself within your handicap in order to find out the average score for your level. This clearly show how your average over par is not the same as your handicap index.

How does this graph make you feel? You might think the average score of handicap lower than yours is not so far off, right? Well that’s because the Index really shows your performance on your best rounds and not the average. But you knew this.

What’s also interesting is that there are, in rare case, golfers whose average is closer to their Index. Those players are usually a lot more constant than the average player. And that limited variability is an incredible asset that the Index does communicate. Those players have an advantage and will win most of the time. Are you one of those? Our Stats module is a great way to check it out.

As always, please consider getting a  PRO membership, if you are looking to unlock the true power of TheGrint into your game.

Enjoy your golf!

Author avatar
Golfer, Writer, and Grinter for life.


  1. Jesse

    I’m unclear what this is showing exactly. I think the confusing statement is ‘how many shots you need to make to lower your handicap.’

  2. Rick

    Have you considered a similar chart displaying the better rounds (top quartile perhaps) at each handicap level. Average is cool, but it would also be interesting to see what types of scores a player needs to be capable of to get to each handicap.

  3. PerryS

    Love this. Really lets me see what kind of scores I would need to post to get down to my goal handicap. Thanks!

  4. Paul

    Does the golf courses you play on have a big impact on average score? For example if someone regularly plays a par 69 course, wouldn’t that materially impact their average score while the rating and slope with normalize the handicap index?

  5. A number of weeks ago, I sent a message to Grint that my home course is wrong on your app. The new owners reversed the 9’s about a year ago making hole #10 hole #1. Old # 10 is not #1. Would you please update your app accordingly. Thank you. I like the app very much, but will stop using it if you do not fix it for my home course. The course is Sun City Peachtree Golf Club in Griffin, GA. The owner’s email is byron@scpgolf.com, Phone # is 678-335-6140.

  6. Richard Dean Johnson

    I try to look at my over par score vs total score because I play a Par 54 and Par 62 course with some regularity as a less experienced player. I don’t run scared from the Par 70-72 rounds, but it’s a 50-50 split between playing “real” courses and working on short game and reasonable approach shots on the shorter “executive” courses and the 18 hole par 3 course (Heartwell in Long Beach, CA) made famous by tiny tot Tiger Woods. Still this is useful info to a certain degree.

    • Richard Dean Johnson

      …obviously course rating/slope info for shorter course create the handicap index that reminds me a +16 on a 3800 yard layout does NOT mean I’m going to be +16 from 5500-6500 yards.

  7. thank you for the graph. Are those official numbers ?.
    I’ve been trying to figure ESR out. Per USGA:

    “Exceptional Score Reduction (ESR) is applied when a score differential is at least 7.0 strokes better then the players Handicap Index at the time the round was recorded”

    I know what my handicap index is, how do I know what my score differential is based on my handicap ? I was looking for something like your graph. Still scratchin my head. thanks for any insight.

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