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How Many Putts Per Round Do Pros Average

In professional golf, the number of putts per round is a critical performance metric for evaluating a player’s skill and consistency on the greens. On average, professional golfers typically average around 29 to 30 putts per round, but this number can vary depending on factors such as course conditions, weather, and personal form. However, it’s important to note that the number of putts per round is just one aspect of a golfer’s overall performance, and doesn’t necessarily reflect their overall ability. Pros spend countless hours practicing their putting technique and are able to consistently sink putts from various distances and angles.

They are also adept at reading the break and speed of the greens, giving them a significant advantage over amateur players. Additionally, professionals have honed their mental focus and concentration, allowing them to maintain composure under pressure and sink crucial putts when it matters most. Overall, the average number of putts per round for professionals serves as a valuable benchmark for assessing putting proficiency, but it’s just one piece of the larger puzzle of a golfer’s skill and expertise. 

Golf professionals are some of the best putters in the world, able to sink difficult putts under pressure. But just how many putts per round do these pros average? Getting the ball into the hole in the fewest strokes possible is the mark of an excellent putter. Understanding the average number of putts taken by pros per 18-hole round can provide context for evaluating your own putting prowess.

Defining Pros in Golf

When examining golf statistics like putts per round, it’s important to clarify which golfers qualify as “pros.” There are different levels of professional golfers, from elite players on major tours to mini-tour professionals and teaching professionals. For the purposes of evaluating putting, PGA Tour pros who play full time on the PGA Tour provide the highest standard for comparison. These professionals compete weekly against the top players in the game, providing a benchmark for elite-level putting across 18 holes.

Other professional tours like the Korn Ferry Tour (the PGA Tour’s developmental circuit) feature professionals who may go on to play full-time on the PGA Tour. Statistics may differ slightly between tours, but provide additional data points for comparison. Examining putting averages across different tours illustrates the putting skills required as players reach golf’s top level.

Tracking Putting Statistics on Tour

Professional tours and media outlets track a range of statistics to measure players’ skills and trends in the game. Putting average provides one performance metric to quantify greens in regulation to actual scoring. Measuring putts per round requires consistent tracking methods to ensure uniformity between players and events.

Tours use guidelines to differentiate putts from other strokes on the green. Players report actual putts holed out, excluding conceded putts and chip shots from off the green. Tracking methodology provides consistency for accurately comparing putting performance over a season or career. Understanding what constitutes a putt helps contextualize averages for putts per round.

Season and Career Putting Averages

Examining putting statistics over a full season or career provides the most comprehensive data on putts per round. Golf is a game of averages – one tournament may produce anomalistic results. Tracking putting over many rounds levels outliers for a better measure of true performance.

Career statistics accumulate through multiple seasons as a pro, accounting for variance year-to-year. Longevity at the upper echelon translates to reliable career metrics. Multi-year data also illustrates trends as players age or take time off for injuries. Their ability to maintain putting prowess demonstrates exceptional skill to stay and compete with younger players.

Top Putters by the Numbers

The PGA Tour provides the deepest database of putting performance statistics across professional golf. Examining career numbers for the top putters identifies leading benchmarks:

  • Brad Faxon: Faxon tops the PGA Tour’s all-time career putting average at 1.599 putts per round across 17 seasons and 593 tournaments.
  • Ben Crenshaw: Crenshaw recorded a career average of 1.603 putts per round through 30+ years on Tour. His brilliance on the greens earned him the nickname “Gentle Ben.”
  • Corey Pavin: Pavin won 15 PGA Tour titles fueled by stellar putting, averaging 1.606 putts per round. His career total ranks third all-time behind Faxon and Crenshaw.
  • Tiger Woods: Woods set records for career earnings and weeks ranked #1 in the world. His putting acumen contributed with a 1.612 average putts per round.
  • Steve Stricker: Still competing on Tour aged 55, Stricker’s career 1.613 putts per round rank fifth. His elite putting skills led many younger players like Jordan Spieth to seek his advice.

These five players exemplify the putting standard required to sustain long, successful PGA Tour careers. Their ability to average barely over 1.6 putts per round played a major role in winning tournaments and major championships.

Benchmarking Your Skills Against the Pros

Very few amateur golfers will ever reach the echelons of putting performance maintained by top professionals. However examining putting averages provides context to evaluate your skills and set improvement goals. Golf coaches often break down scores by each phase of the game – driving, iron play, short game, and putting.

Comparing your own putting statistics to the 1.6 putts per round benchmark demonstrates how many strokes you may be losing on the greens. If you take 36 putts across 18 holes, that’s two more per round than an elite pro like Tiger Woods over their career. Improving your average by a stroke or two per round can lower scores dramatically.

Assessing areas for refinement like routine, green reading, stroke mechanics, and distance control can help bring your numbers closer to the professionals. While matching the best is unlikely, narrowing the gap provides tangible targets for better-putting skills. Any reduction in putts per round pays tangible scoring dividends across the full season.

Key Factors Impacting Putting Averages

A wide range of factors influence a golfer’s putting effectiveness from round to round and year to year. Changes in these variables cause fluctuations in averages, even among top professionals known for outstanding putting:

Golf Course VarietyDifferent golf courses feature greens with varied layouts, grass types and conditioning. These changes impact the speed, break and roll of putts. Adapting practice and mentality adjusts for these variance factors.
Weather ConditionsWeather directly alters green speeds and moisture levels. Wind, rain and extreme temperatures make judging distance and break much harder. Conditions tests a putter’s skill in adapting technique.
Health and AgeInjuries, eye sight changes and declining focus with age can negatively impact putting over time. cumulative wear and changes require adjustments to uphold prowess on the greens.
Equipment and CaddieContinual putter innovations provide new options to match player preferences. An experienced caddie provides additional perspective on tricky putts. However changes in either area may require an adjustment period to regain comfort.
Pressure and BurnoutGolf’s mental challenge manifests itself most clearly on the putting green under pressure. Maintaining focus and handling stress consistently proves difficult even for renowned putters. Changes in motivation and confidence also influence averages.

The putting standards of professionals stand out even factoring periods of variance across changing conditions. Their averages reflect brilliance developed through countless repetitions and continual refinement of technique even as other skills decline. Evaluating your own putting against the benchmark of pro averages provides goals for meaningful improvement across every round.


How many putts should a 5 handicap have?

A golfer with a 5 handicap should aim to average around 30 putts per round or fewer. According to tracking data, an average 5 handicap generally takes between 28-32 putts per 18 holes. Reducing your average number of putts is one of the fastest ways to lower scores. As a benchmark, PGA Tour pros average less than 30 putts per round.

What is the fewest putts in a PGA round?

The fewest putts recorded in an official PGA Tour round is 16. This record belongs to Kevin Chappell who took only 16 putts during the second round of the 2021 Valero Texas Open. Making 112 feet worth of putts, Chappell needed just 16 rolls of the ball to card a round of 10-under par 62.

How many greens do pros hit?

On average, PGA Tour professionals hit between 12-14 greens in regulation per round. The season leader in greens hit generally reaches around 13 per round across a season. Accuracy with irons provides more birdie chances and avoids difficult up-and-downs. However, scrambling and putting still determine actual scoring on holes.

How many putts are required to break 80?

Breaking 80 for the first time generally requires between 28-32 putts in a round. Taking over 32 putts makes shooting in the 70s difficult unless you achieve excellent greens in regulation. At higher handicap levels, prioritizing putting practice helps lower your scores dramatically. Reaching the benchmark of 80 requires avoiding 3-putts and consistently 2-putting once on the green.


Determining just how many putts PGA Tour professionals average per round requires an understanding of tracking methodology and career statistics. The top putters in the history of professional golf have maintained averages at or just above 1.6 putts per round. Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker exemplify active players who still sustain elite putting standards decades into their careers.

Comparing your own putting metrics against pro benchmarks illustrates opportunities for meaningful improvement. While matching the best is improbable for amateur players, narrowing the gap by even one or two putts per round significantly lowers scores. Factors like weather, course conditions and equipment changes impact putting averages requiring continual adjustment. But the pros’ steadiness proves exceptional skill honed through lifelong repetition. With purposeful practice, amateur golfers can reduce putts per round to maximize performance across the putting green.

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