4 stats to help you feel better about your game

Annoyed with your game? Maybe you shouldn't be.

Getty Images

Welcome to Stuff Golfers Should Know, a GOLF.com series in which we reveal all kinds of useful golf (and life!) wisdom that is sure to make you the smartest, savviest and most prepared player in your foursome.


We golfers spend a lot of time tweaking our swings. But what we really should adjust are our expectations.

We’re too hard on ourselves, getting down in the dumps over shots and scores that aren’t as subpar as we think they are. Don’t believe us?

Here’s are four stats to help you feel better about your game.

1. The Truth about 10-Footers

Another birdie bid has gone begging. Too bad. But before you fling your putter across the green or engage in verbal self-abuse, consider this: Tour pros drain only 40 percent of their 10-footers. Why are you being masochistic when the best golfers in the world miss more often from this distance than they make?

2. A 150-Yard Fact Check

You’ve got a green-light special from the fairway, 150 yards to a vulnerable pin. What’s that? You failed to knock the flag down? Pfft. Big deal. From this distance, the average Tour pro leave is 23 feet. You’re practically a hero if you hit the green.

golf ball in broken windshield
The Etiquetteist: If your golf ball damages personal property, should you confess?
By: Josh Sens

3. A Better Bunker Mentality

So, you dunked one in the sand and did not get up and down? This is sad. But it’s not surprising. On Tour, the sand-save average hovers around 50 percent. As handicaps rise, the success rate drops. If your index is higher than a 10, your likelihood of getting up and down is less than 1 in 10. The upshot: don’t be mad. The odds were stacked against you from the start.

4. The Down-Low on Driving Distance

When you flush your drive and still have a fairway wood to the green, you should probably consider moving up a tee. But that’s probably not what’s running through your mind. What you’re thinking is: when did I get so short? The answer is, you’re not. You’re just an ordinary golfer, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The average driving distance for amateurs (accounting for all handicaps) is 216 yards.


Josh Sens

Golf.com Contributor

A golf, food and travel writer, Josh Sens has been a GOLF Magazine contributor since 2004 and now contributes across all of GOLF’s platforms. His work has been anthologized in The Best American Sportswriting. He is also the co-author, with Sammy Hagar, of Are We Having Any Fun Yet: the Cooking and Partying Handbook.