What Percentage Of Golfers Can Break 90? – Statistics & How You Can Do it!

what percent of golfers break 90

Is it easy to break 90? What percentage of golfers can break 90?

As golfers improve their game, goals do too. For many, they set their main big goal to break 90. It becomes an obsession for some as they constantly strive to break that elusive number.

Breaking 90 can be the first major milestone for a lot of golfers and it’s definitely challenging.

Let’s see how many golfers end up breaking 90 and the strategy to do so.

What Percentage of Golfers can Break 90?

Most golfers eventually set their goal to break 90. Although it may seem like a simple achievement, realistically only about 25 percent of all golfers are able to break 90 consistently.

Just a small caveat. You may see some statistics saying that 73 percentage of golfers break 90 or that 0.6% of players ever break par… (See table below from the US Golf Association),

That’s far from the actual scenario. The reason for that might be that once a player reaches a certain handicap, they can break 90 eventually. But that doesn’t mean they can do it consistently.

And like in any sport, golfers have down-days. No matter what they do, they won’t find good sensations and end up making an average golf game. Hence, warming up and having practice time before a round or competition should be an essential part of the golfing routine.

For the amateur golfer, breaking 90 is a good score. It shows that they are able to consistently hit the ball well and make their way around the golf course without too much trouble.

Check the chart below to know how your Handicap relates to the whole U.S. golfing community for the standard 72-par golf courses.

Also, check this guide to learn how to calculate your average Handicap score.

Handicap Range
Percent of Total Men
Percent of Total Women
+0.9 to 0.0
+1 or Better
0.1 to 1.0
1.1 to 1.9
2.0 to 2.9
3.0 to 3.9
4.0 to 4.9
5.0 to 5.9
6.0 to 6.9
7.0 to 7.9
8.0 to 8.9
9.0 to 9.9
10.0 to 10.9
11.0 to 11.9
12.0 o 12.9
13.0 to 13.9
14.0 to 14.9
15.0 to 15.9
16.0 to 16.9
17.0 to 17.9
18.0 to 18.9
19.0 to 19.9
20.0 to 20.9

How hard is it to break 90 in golf?

It can be difficult to break 90, especially for newer golfers who don’t feel like they have a solid game yet.

If this is currently you, you might not have a great tee-shot game or a reliable short game at this point and therefore, you might feel breaking 90 is an intimidating barrier.

However, with well-structured practice and dedication, it is very doable. The best part is that breaking 90 is a great accomplishment and one that will undoubtedly lead you to further improvement and success on the course as you gain motivation and confidence.

In order to break 90, you’ll need to have a serious commitment to the game and be willing to put in the time to build varied skills. You’ll also need to have a good understanding (and execution) of the different aspects of the game, such as course management, club selection, and a decent level of shot dynamics – That is, how to hit different types of shots in different terrains.

This alone will easily boost your confidence to break 90 more consistently.

How Long Does it Take to Break 90?

This is a tricky question, especially for how many variables are at play.

In my case, for instance, I remember that I had this goal of breaking 90 for about 2 years, non-stop. Every round of golf came out to be a hustle to break 90. I was putting immense pressure on myself.

It wasn’t until I focused on polishing my skills that I didn’t notice a serious improvement. And working with a seasoned coach really boosted things up.

So breaking 90 will depend on how much time you spend practicing and the quality of each practice session, whether it’s pure practice or playing with your buddies.

For most serious golfers, it usually takes around 18 to 36 months to break 90 in golf. However, if you manage to work with a reliable coach or another seasoned player you will most likely be able to break 90 in 12 to 15 months.

Just keep putting in the hours and sweat!

How Golfers Break 90 In Golf: 5 Things You Should Master

If you want to learn how to break 90 (or break 100) in golf, there are a few critical things you can start doing next time you’re on the course. Of course, there are more than these 5, but to make things easy and straight-forward we’ll focus on 5 today.

Commit to each and every shot

TRUST is the magic word here. You need to believe in your ability to make each and every shot the way you envision it. No matter how challenging it may seem, always have a very clear mental idea of how the shot should look like.

This is how you stop thinking about the mechanics, and simply let your body move correctly to make the ideal shot you picture in your mind.

My tip here is to always make sure you have a mental picture (or movie) of how each shot should look, no matter the weather or the terrain conditions.

And although this may seem too abstract, it is one of the most critical factors for consistency. And by the way, this is not a new concept. You can learn more in Bob Rotella’s book ‘Golf is not a game of perfect’.

Thinking ahead

This is closely related to the previous idea. You need to be thinking ahead at all times during your golf game. This means to think the way you would do it if you were a better golfer already.

Questions like: ‘How would I hit this shot if I were Handicap 10?’ ‘What target would I choose if I broke 80 each time?’

These can be useful to create a healthy mental framework. One that really brings out the best in you and stretches you slightly to keep growing.

As you can tell, having a pre-shot routine of envisioning each shot will favor the ‘thinking ahead’ idea.

Tee-box Game: Shooting 150 yards or more

The main goal here is to select a club that you feel comfortable with to hit 150 yards or more.

This could be anything from a driver, fairway wood, a hybrid, or a 3 iron. The most important thing is that you are consistent and straight with that club.

Basically, you’re looking to create a very reliable first shot so the second shot will be more placid from the fairway. And as a result, approaching the green will be easier.

There’s no need to go all out and try to hit the ball as far as possible if it will land in the rough.

Approaching the green within 150 yards

Following the previous step, once you’re on the fairway and within 150 yards from the green, you should know exactly what clubs you feel most comfortable with to hit in that distance, 150 yards to the hole.

That can be a pitching wedge, 7 iron, gap wedge, or whatever you feel confident with.

Just focus on choosing something that will add confidence to your game.

If you’re playing a Par 5 and you have 280 yards left, you might want to split that into 2 shots. For instance, you can hit 150 yards and then 130 more yards knowing that you feel really comfortable hitting that gap wedge (or whatever your choice is).

A rock-solid putting game

And finally, of course, once we landed on the green we need a strong putting game.

We should always focus on putting twice for par. That’s it. 3 putting will always be detrimental to lowering the scores.

This is why so many pros and coaches stress the importance of mastering the short game because this is where you will be face-to-face with other superior players. It is the perfect place to beat them.

You can get a putting mat to practice from home or hit the practice green at your local course twice a week and work on lag putts and 3-5 footers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the average golfer break 90?

The average adult golfer does not break 90 regularly. As we said in the beginning, only about 25 percent of golfers can break 90, and probably less than that do it regularly.

If a golfer dedicates time to practice and master the 5 factors previously said, they will eventually break 90 and lower their handicap to 10-15 to even break 80.

What is my golf handicap if I shoot 90?

Considering that most golf courses are 72-par if you shoot 90 your handicap would be around 18.

This can fluctuate as you play more and more rounds of golf, but that is the rough estimate.

From these maths, that would mean that you’re expected to shoot, on average and in normal circumstances, 18 strokes above par on any given golf course.

However, this does not count the slope or course difficulty scores, which can easily affect how likely you are to break 90 on harder courses.

Is The Par At Some Courses 70?

Yes, some courses have a par of 70. The most common is to find 72-par courses, although some courses also have 71 or even 73-par.

Coming back to the 70-par courses here are some to consider:

Golf Course
Brown Deer Park GC
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
George Hansen
Chambers Bay
University Place, Washington
Robert Trent Jones, Jr.
Cherry Hills Country Club
Cherry Hills Village, Colorado
William S. Flynn
Colonial Country Club
Fort Worth, Texas
John Bredemus
East Lake Golf Club
Atlanta, Georgia
Tom Bendelow
Hazeltine National Golf Club
Chaska, Minnesota
Robert Trent Jones, Sr.
Oakmont CC
Oakmont, Pennsylvania
Henry C Fownes
Olympia Fields Country Club - North
Olympia Fields, Illinois
Willie Park Jr.

Is 92 a good golf score?

This question also relates to how much experience you have playing golf and your average score for the last 6 months for instance.

If you’ve been playing golf for 2 years on the weekends and hired a coach on some occasions, 92 might be a good score. That would show you clearly picked up the basics of the game and started improving on more advanced components such as course management, club selection, pitching technique, and short game. You’re on the right track!

However, scoring 92 might not be great if you’re part of the group of golfers shoot below 90 consistently. In this case, it might be the right time to take a look at your game and find what needs improvement. Is this something that happened just once or are you shooting in the high 90s more frequently?

Can I break 90 without a Driver?

Absolutely you can. As mentioned above, as a golfer you should be looking to use clubs that let you be the most reliable and consistent in your game.

If a specific golf club doesn’t work for you, just replace it. This is especially true if you’re trying to break the score of 90 and you’re trying to be more consistent. If using a hybrid or iron 3 gives you more confidence and control to hit the fairways, then stick with these.

You’ll have plenty of time to break out the driver when you become more comfortable with your game and are looking to add some extra yards.


If you’re looking to regularly break 90 in golf, it may not be as difficult as you think—but it will undoubtedly take some effort and practice.

By mastering the five techniques we listed above and making a concerted effort to improve your game, you should be able to see significant progress on your way to shooting lower scores.

And who knows? With enough dedication, maybe one day you’ll find yourself wondering how long it will take to break 70!

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