What Percent of Golfers Break 90: Achievable Milestone or Elusive Dream

Justin Sheparovich

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Percent Of Golfers Break 90

For golfers, the quest to break 90 is a significant milestone that represents a pivotal moment in one’s golfing journey. 

It’s the point where you transition from being a casual player to a more serious golfer, demonstrating skill and consistency on the course. 

In this blog post, we delve into the intriguing world of golf statistics to answer the burning question: What percent of golfers break 90? 

We’ll explore the various factors that influence a golfer’s ability to achieve this goal, from skill levels and practice routines to course conditions and mental fortitude. 

Whether you’re a seasoned player aiming to maintain your sub-90 status or a newcomer eager to break this barrier, understanding the dynamics of this achievement can provide valuable insights and motivation for your golf game.

What Is Breaking 90 in Golf?

Breaking 90 in golf is a significant milestone for many golfers, especially those who are relatively new to the game or have a higher handicap. 

In golf, your score is determined by the number of strokes it takes you to complete a round of 18 holes. To break 90 means to complete a round with a score of 89 or lower.

Here’s a breakdown of what it means:


On a typical golf course, each hole has a designated par, which represents the expected number of strokes an experienced golfer should take to complete the hole. 

Par 3 holes are shorter and typically require 3 strokes, par 4 holes require 4 strokes, and par 5 holes require 5 strokes.

Breaking 90

If you’re aiming to break 90, it means you’re trying to complete the entire round in 89 strokes or fewer. This would typically mean shooting one stroke under par for each hole on an average par-72 course.

Breaking 90 is a significant accomplishment for golfers because it requires a reasonable level of skill and consistency. 

It often involves a mix of good ball-striking, solid putting, and course management. Many golfers set this as an initial goal as they work on improving their game. 

Keep in mind that golf is a game where small improvements can lead to significant drops in your scores, so breaking 90 is a big step on the path to becoming a more proficient golfer.

The Basics of the Percent of Golfers Break

The Basics of the Percent of Golfers Break

The “percent of golfers who break” is a way of categorizing golfers based on their skill levels and their ability to achieve a certain score threshold, such as breaking 100, 90, or 80.

This categorization is often used to understand how golfers perform relative to each other and to set performance goals. 

Here are some basics of the percentage of golfers who break down these score thresholds:

Breaking 100

This means completing a round of golf with a score of 99 or lower. Golfers who break 100 are typically considered beginners or high-handicap players. 

Breaking 100 is a common milestone for golfers who are relatively new to the game and are still developing their skills.

Breaking 90

To break 90, you need to complete a round with a score of 89 or lower. This level is often seen as an intermediate milestone. 

Golfers who consistently break 90 have developed a decent level of skill and can enjoy the game more as they are competitive on most golf courses.

Breaking 80

Breaking 80 is considered a significant achievement in golf. It means completing a round with a score of 79 or lower. 

Golfers who consistently break 80 are typically considered low-handicap players and have advanced skills. They are capable of playing at a competitive level and often work on fine-tuning their game.

Here are some basics about the percentage of golfers who achieve these milestones:

Breaking 100

A relatively high percentage of golfers can achieve this milestone, especially those who practice regularly and take lessons to improve their skills. Many golfers start their golfing journey by aiming to break 100.

Breaking 90

Breaking 90 is a more significant achievement, and a smaller percentage of golfers can consistently achieve this level. It requires more skill, consistency, and experience.

Breaking 80

Breaking 80 is a relatively rare accomplishment, and only a small percentage of golfers ever achieve this level. 

It requires a high level of skill, both in ball-striking and short games, as well as a deep understanding of course management.

It’s important to note that these milestones are not fixed, and golfers progress at their own pace. Skill level, practice, dedication, and the amount of time spent on the golf course all play a role in a golfer’s ability to achieve these goals. 

Additionally, the difficulty of achieving these milestones can vary depending on the specific golf course and its level of difficulty.

What Percent of Golfers Break 90?

What Percent of Golfers Break 90?

The percentage of golfers who break 90 varies depending on the skill level and experience of the golfing population. 

Breaking 90 is considered an intermediate skill level in golf, and it requires a reasonable level of proficiency and consistency. 

Here’s a general estimate of the percentage of golfers who are capable of consistently breaking 90:

Intermediate Golfers

Golfers who consistently break 90 are typically considered intermediate to advanced players. They have developed a certain level of skill, experience, and course management. 

As a rough estimate, it’s often suggested that approximately 30% to 40% of golfers who play regularly and work on their game can break 90.

All Golfers

If you consider all occasional and casual golfers, including beginners, the percentage of golfers who break 90 would be lower. 

Many casual and occasional golfers may not be as focused on improving their skills, and their scores can vary widely.

It’s important to note that these percentages can vary widely by region, the difficulty of the golf courses played, and other factors. 

Additionally, golfers can make significant improvements in their game with practice and lessons, so the percentage of golfers who break 90 can change over time for an individual golfer or a specific group of golfers.

Keep in mind that the specific percentage can be challenging to determine with precision, as it depends on various factors, including the definition of “breaking 90” and the characteristics of the golfing population in a given area or community.

What is the Average Golf Score?

The average golf score for an 18-hole round varies significantly depending on the skill level of the golfers. 

Here’s a general breakdown of average scores based on skill levels:

High-Handicap Golfers (Beginners)

Golfers who are relatively new to the game and have high handicaps (usually above 20) tend to have higher average scores. They might average scores well over 100 strokes for an 18-hole round.

Intermediate Golfers

Intermediate golfers, who may have handicaps in the mid-teens to high single digits, tend to average scores in the 90s for 18 holes. They have developed their skills and are more consistent on the course.

Low-Handicap Golfers

Low-handicap golfers, typically those with handicaps of 5 or lower, are skilled players who have a deep understanding of the game. 

They often average scores in the 70s for an 18-hole round, with scores between 70 and 79 being common.

Professional Golfers

Professional golfers on the PGA Tour consistently shoot under par. They often average scores in the low to mid-60s for 18 holes. 

However, the specific averages can vary from player to player and from one season to the next.

It’s important to note that these are general averages, and individual performance can vary widely. Additionally, the difficulty of the golf course and the playing conditions (weather, course setup, etc.) can also impact scores.

Keep in mind that golf is a game where improvement is gradual, and golfers work to lower their scores over time. 

Consistent practice, skill development, and a good understanding of course management are key factors in reducing your average score. Many golfers set personal goals to lower their average score as they gain experience and improve their game.

Factors Affecting Success Percentage of Golfers that Break 90

The percentage of golfers who break 90 can be influenced by various factors, including individual skill and external conditions. 

Here are some of the key factors that can affect the success percentage of golfers who achieve this milestone:

Skill Level and Experience

Skill Level and Experience

The most significant factor is the skill level and experience of the golfer. Golfers who have been playing for a longer time and have worked on improving their skills are more likely to break 90 consistently.


Regular practice and improvement of golf skills are essential. Golfers who dedicate time to practicing their swing, short game, and putting are more likely to achieve scores below 90.

Course Difficulty

The difficulty of the golf course being played can have a significant impact. Some courses are more challenging than others due to factors like length, hazards, and green speed. 

Playing on easier courses may increase the likelihood of breaking 90.

Course Conditions

Weather conditions, course maintenance, and the state of the course can affect scores. Windy or wet conditions can make the game more challenging, while well-maintained and groomed courses may be more forgiving.


Having properly fitted and appropriate golf clubs can make a difference. Clubs that suit a golfer’s swing and skill level can help improve performance.

Course Management

Understanding course management, including when to be aggressive and when to play it safe, is crucial. Good decision-making on the course can lead to lower scores.

Mental Game

The mental aspect of golf plays a significant role. Confidence, focus, and managing pressure and stress can impact a golfer’s performance.

Fitness and Physical Condition

Being in good physical shape can help with consistency and endurance on the course. This can positively impact a golfer’s ability to break 90.

Coaching and Lessons

Professional instruction and coaching can accelerate skill development. Many golfers benefit from lessons to improve their game.

Persistence and Goal Setting

Setting realistic goals and working persistently toward them can increase the chances of breaking 90. Golfers who are dedicated to improving their game are more likely to achieve this milestone.

Handicap and Scoring System

Some golfers use handicaps to measure their progress and compare themselves to others. The handicap system takes into account a golfer’s performance over time and can help set achievable goals.

Competition and Playing Partners

Playing with more skilled golfers or in competitive environments can push golfers to perform better and strive to break 90.

It’s important to remember that golf is a highly individualized sport, and each golfer’s journey toward breaking 90 will be unique. What works for one person may not work for another, and progress can be gradual. 

Consistency in practice, a growth mindset, and the willingness to learn from both successes and setbacks are essential for improving and achieving the goal of consistently breaking 90 in golf.

Setting Realistic Goals to Break 90

Setting Realistic Goals to Break 90

Setting realistic goals to break 90 in golf is a crucial step in your journey to improve your game. Here are some steps to help you set achievable goals:

Assess Your Current Skill Level

Begin by honestly evaluating your current skill level. Be aware of your average scores and understand your strengths and weaknesses in different aspects of the game, such as driving, iron play, chipping, and putting.

Understand Your Handicap

If you have a golf handicap, it can be a valuable tool for setting goals. Your handicap reflects your recent performance and can help you track your progress over time.

Identify Areas for Improvement

Identify specific areas of your game that need improvement. This might involve working on your swing mechanics, practicing your short game, or improving your putting. Set specific goals for each area.

Break Down Your Goal

Instead of focusing solely on breaking 90, break down your goal further. For example, aim to improve your average score by a few strokes over a specific period, such as a season or a year. 

Gradually working toward this target can make the process more manageable.

Practice with Purpose

Develop a practice plan that includes drills and exercises to address your weaknesses. Quality practice with specific goals in mind is more effective than simply hitting balls aimlessly.

Seek Professional Instruction

Consider taking lessons from a golf professional. They can provide valuable guidance and help you work on specific aspects of your game.

Set Short-Term and Long-Term Goals

Create both short-term and long-term goals. Short-term goals might involve improving your putting or iron play over the next few weeks, while long-term goals could be about consistently breaking 90 over the season.

Track Your Progress

Keep a record of your scores and statistics during your rounds. This can help you identify trends and measure your progress over time.

Course Management

Learn to manage the course effectively. This involves making smart decisions on club selection, shot strategy, and minimizing risks. Good course management can lead to lower scores.

Stay Positive and Patient

Golf can be a challenging and frustrating game. Stay positive and patient, and don’t be too hard on yourself for occasional setbacks. Setbacks are a part of the learning process.

Stay Committed

Consistency is key to improvement. Stay committed to your practice and improvement plan. Consistent effort over time will yield better results.

Enjoy the Process

Golf is meant to be enjoyable. Find pleasure in the journey of improvement, whether or not you achieve your goals as quickly as you’d like.

Adjust Goals as Needed

If you find that your initial goals were too ambitious or not challenging enough, don’t be afraid to adjust them as you progress. Goals should be flexible and adapted to your evolving skill level.

Setting realistic goals in golf is essential for motivation and improvement. Breaking 90 is an achievable goal for many golfers, but it may take time and effort. 

By following a structured plan and staying committed to your goals, you can work toward consistently achieving this milestone in your golf game.


What percentage of golfers can break 90?

Approximately 30% of golfers have the skill to consistently break 90 on an 18-hole round.

How many golfers can break 90?

Out of the millions of golfers worldwide, a substantial portion, around 30%, can consistently break 90 strokes in an 18-hole game.

What percent of golfers break 90?

About 30% of golfers achieve scores below 90 on a regular basis, indicating a significant portion of the golfing population can break 90.

What are the odds of breaking 90 in golf?

The odds of an average golfer breaking 90 depend on their skill level, but roughly 3 out of 10 golfers are capable of achieving this score.

How many people break 90 in golf?

A considerable number of golfers, approximately 30%, can break 90 in golf, demonstrating that it’s an attainable goal for a significant portion of the golfing community.

Wrapping Up

In the world of golf, breaking 90 signifies a noteworthy accomplishment that many players aspire to achieve. 

While the percentage of golfers who consistently break 90 may vary based on skill levels, dedication, and external factors, what remains constant is the idea that golf is a sport where improvement is a journey. 

With diligent practice, a clear plan, and the right mindset, golfers can increase their chances of breaking 90. Remember, setting realistic goals, addressing weaknesses, and tracking progress are key components of this journey. 

More than just a number on the scorecard, breaking 90 in golf represents personal growth, resilience, and the satisfaction of mastering a challenging and rewarding game. 

So, whether you’re on the brink of breaking 90 or just beginning your golfing adventure, stay committed, enjoy the process, and savor the moments of achievement along the way.

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Justin Sheparovich

I have always loved sports and I have played golf since I was a little kid. I was a very talented golfer in high school but I decided to go to college for basketball. I graduated from UC Santa Barbara playing Division 1 golf and got my degree in business administration. After college, I continued to work on my golf game by playing tournaments all over the world. LinkedIn

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