June 3, 2023

Even pros temper their expectations on the course.

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Editor’s note: This tip was featured in GOLF’s Play Smart package from the September/October 2022 issue of GOLF Magazine. Look for more tips on GOLF.com, and click here to subscribe to the magazine.


One of the keys to happier golf is to be realistic with your own expectations. It’ll help you improve, too, because you get a clearer sense of both the strengths and weaknesses of your own game. 

Unfortunately, too many golfers have expectations that are wildly out of whack with the reality of their game. A great way to work on this is to keep track of the basic stats from your own game as you play. And, in the meantime, allow a handful of stats from pro and scratch golfers, gathered by statistician Lou Stagner of Arccos Golf, to provide some hard truths. 

Do you know that from 150 yards, a scratch golfer hits the green only about 60 percent of the time? It’s essentially a coin flip. Check out the data below. — Luke Kerr-Dineen

150-yard shots from the fairway

Average proximity on all shots
Tour pro: 25′ 3″
Scratch player: 36′ 8″

GIR Percentage
Tour pro: 76.1%
Scratch player: 61.0%

Average proximity when hitting green
Tour pro: 20′ 11″
Scratch player: 23′ 9″

Average proximity when missing green
Tour pro: 38′ 9″
Scratch player: 60′ 1″

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