FREE Returns & FREE Shipping Available - See Details

Average Putts Per Round for a Scratch Golfer Setting Goals

The average putts per round for a scratch golfer is a key indicator of a player’s skill and proficiency on the green. A scratch golfer, defined as someone who plays at or below a 0 handicap, is often considered an expert practitioner of the game. With their ability to consistently hit the ball long and straight off the tee, their putting game becomes paramount in determining their overall score. On average, a scratch golfer will require around 28-30 putts per round to maintain their low handicap. These figures highlight the importance of precision, touch, and decision-making when it comes to putting, as every stroke can significantly impact the overall outcome of the round.

The average putts per round for a scratch golfer serves as a benchmark for measuring the performance and improvement of players at lower skill levels, as they strive to reach the expertise demonstrated by these low-handicap individuals. Therefore, understanding and achieving the average putts per round for a scratch golfer can signify a significant progression in a golfer’s journey toward mastery of the game. 

Putting is one of the most important skills in golf for scoring well. For the best players in the world, putting makes up about 43% of all the strokes taken in a round. So how many putts should a scratch or very low handicap golfer expect to average per round? Understanding the benchmarks can help set reasonable goals for improving your putting skill.

What is a Scratch Golfer?

In golf, a scratch golfer has a handicap index of 0.0. This means they are playing at an elite level and capable of shooting scores around or under par during a typical round. A scratch player demonstrates consistent mastery of all parts of the golf game – driving, approach shots, chipping and pitching, bunker play and putting.

Because a scratch golfer has such a well-rounded game, their putts per round average serves as a benchmark for excellent putting skill.

How Many Putts Do PGA Tour Pros Average?

The best and most consistent putters on the PGA Tour tend to average between 27-30 putts per round. This includes making putts within 10 feet as well as several longer lag putts.

In recent years, some of the top PGA Tour players in putts per round average include names like Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Jon Rahm. These elite players make a high percentage of their putts from short range, while also having strong distance control on longer putts to avoid 3-putts.

So for a scratch or + handicap amateur golfer, averaging around 28-32 putts per round would be considered exceptional putting.

Variables Impacting Putts Per Round

There are several variables that can impact the average putts per round for a scratch golfer. These may include the speed and slope of the greens, the golfer’s skill level and experience, as well as the weather conditions and course layout. Additionally, factors such as the golfer’s physical and mental fitness, equipment quality, and pre-round preparation can also play a role in the number of putts per round. Understanding and managing these variables can help a golfer improve their performance on the green.

There are several variables that can impact a golfer’s putts per round average, whether scratch golfer or high handicapper. These include:

Approach Shot

Quality The proximity of a player’s approach shots will significantly affect the number of putts. A scratch golfer is typically very accurate with consistent distances into greens. This leads to more birdie and par putts within 10 feet and fewer long lag putts.

Green Complexity

Simple, flat greens tend to yield fewer overall putts. Whereas a course with severely undulating greens can make lag putting and reading break challenging and lead to more 3-putts or even 4-putts.

Weather Conditions

Calm conditions tend to improve lag putting and distance control compared to gusty wind. Hard and fast greens in dry weather can lead to more long putts. Soft, slower greens from rain can improve make percentage on short putts within 10 feet if the ball grabs the green well on impact.

Individual Putting Skill

A scratch golfer likely has technically sound fundamentals and excellent touch from years of quality practice. Skill level impacts factors like distance control, reading greens accurately and consistently making 4-foot range putts.

Mental Focus and Confidence Over Putts

Putting has a large mental component and nerves can lead to misses or 3-putts if focus and confidence waiver during the round. Scratch golfers typically have an excellent mindset to remain calm over clutch putts.

What is a Realistic Putts Per Round Goal for a Scratch Golfer?

Given the variables above that can impact putts per round, what is a realistic goal for a scratch golfer? According to tracking data, if a scratch player averages:

  • 1.5 or fewer 3-putts per round
  • No 4-putts
  • Makes at least 90% of putts from 3 feet and in
  • Makes over 50% of putts from 4-8 feet
  • Averages less than 2 long lag putts per round from over 30 feet

Then averaging right around 30 putts per round would be considered excellent for a scratch golfer playing courses with typical green speeds and difficulty. Shooting scores under par regularly over multiple rounds would require averaging in this general range.

Of course there is still variance in putts from round to round, but the best scratch golfers demonstrate impressive consistency. They may average 29 putts one day when dialed in, then have a round with 32 putts on days when they struggle to match their normal standard.

Setting a Putts Per Round Goal

For players still working towards scratch or plus handicaps and looking to improve, using the benchmarks above can help set a realistic goal for bringing your putts per round average down lower.

If you currently average over 34 putts per round, you would likely need to get down towards that 30 to 32 range to reach scratch-level play. This could mean improvements such as:

  • Reducing 3-putts from 2+ per round to only 1
  • Making at least 80% of putts inside 5 feet rather than 70%
  • Improving distance control from 20-30 feet to avoid long lag putts

Setting incremental goals with your coach on areas like making percentages from certain ranges or reducing 3-putt frequency can help guide your practice. Dialing in putts per round average takes years of deliberate, focused practice for most players to ingrain the technical skill and mental approach needed under pressure.


How many putts does a scratch golfer have?

A scratch golfer is expected to average somewhere around 28-32 putts per round. The best putters on the professional PGA Tour tend to average 27-30 putts. Making a high percentage of putts from inside 10 feet as well as avoiding 3-putts is key for a scratch golfer.

What is the average number of putts per round?

While it varies by skill level, on average, most golfers end up between 32-36 putts per round. Beginner or high handicap players often average over 36 putts. As golfers improve in skill, their average tends to come down into the low 30s and eventually the 28-32 range for scratch and professional players.

How many parts does the average golfer get per round? 

The average golfer makes between 5-8 pars per 18-hole round. That equates to hitting greens in regulation around 30-40% of the time. An above-average but not quite scratch player might make 10-13 pars by hitting 50-60% greens in regulation. Elite scratch players expect to make 12+ pars and pros often make 15+ pars per round.

How many fairways do scratch golfers hit?

From tee shots alone not counting layups, a scratch golfer expects to hit at least 12-14 fairways per round, giving them a driving accuracy of around 70% or more. Longer hitters may only hit 10-11 fairways but produce more birdie opportunities. Beginner golfers tend to hit just 5-8 fairways per round early in their development. Accuracy improves dramatically as players develop scratch ability.

Conclusion: average putts per round scratch golfer

After analyzing the data, it is evident that the average putts per round for a scratch golfer are a crucial metric for assessing their performance and skill level. A scratch golfer, often considered the pinnacle of the sport, is expected to have a near-flawless game, and their putting average is an important indicator of their proficiency on the green. The average putts per round for a scratch golfer is a reflection of their ability to read greens, execute precise strokes, and maintain composure under pressure. It is a key aspect of their overall game and can significantly impact their scores.

Paying attention to and consistently improving their average putts per round is paramount for scratch golfers striving for excellence. By maintaining a low average of putts per round, scratch golfers can demonstrate their ability to maintain control and precision throughout the entire course, setting themselves apart as elite players in the golf world. 

Leave a Comment