Do you constantly dream of improving your golf handicap and getting into single figures? Although many golfers long to accomplish this, it tends to be where it remains. It’s challenging to get a handicap near scratch, which golfers desire. Despite this overwhelming ambition, how good is a 10 handicap in golf?
A 10 handicap in golf is quite good as it is well below the current US average of 14. To achieve a 10 handicap, an accomplished, competent golfer would need to consistently shoot around 80-85 on average and the occasional sub-80 round with the equally occasional 88 to balance things out.
As a 10 handicap player, you have reached the gateway to becoming a high or mid-single figure player. While it may take some time and no small effort to improve the various game elements to achieve that, at 10 handicap, you have a great chance of success.
Let’s dive into exactly how good a ten handicap is in golf.
How Is A 10 Handicap Calculated?
Handicaps are calculated by taking the average score over the last 20 rounds played and factoring in the course rating to achieve the handicap index. A 10 handicap player would have shot an average of 10 over par on their last 20 rounds to achieve this.
For a par 72 course, that score would have been 82, and for a par 71 course, the score would be 81, and so on. As a golfer, you would, for example, make par scores on eight out of eighteen holes and bogeying the rest.
By current standards, if you can par 44% of the holes you play, that is more than acceptable. While this may vary somewhat with the occasional birdie and double bogeys, this is an outstanding achievement.
What Percentage Of Golfers Play Off A 10 Handicap?
As a 10 handicap golfer, you would be in a small group of golfers in the USA that play at this level as according to USGA handicap index stats, only 5.06% of male golfers in the USA play off a 10-10.9 handicap. Overall only 29% of golfers in the USA play at 10 handicap or lower.
That percentage is even smaller for women, with just 0.77% of female golfers playing off 10 handicap and just 5.23% of all women golfers playing off a 10 handicap or lower. So if you are a 10 handicap golfer, you are right up there!
Being in the top 5% of players in the USA as a lady or in the top 29% as a male puts you in a very respectable group indeed and one that many golfers strive to become a member of.
GIR Stats For A 10 Handicap Golfer
One of the critical measurements considered when looking at handicap skill levels is hitting greens in regulation (GIR). The more accurate you are with this, the more likely you will shoot lower scores.
According to Arccos, a 10 handicap golfer should hit around 34% of the greens in regulation, so approximately 6 or 7 greens per round, and if you have that kind of ability and are hitting fairways as well, then you can get to a high single figure handicap with a bit of effort on improving those stats.
Suppose you compare the GIR stats between a 10 handicap player and 5 handicap player. In that case, the lower handicap player will hit about 45% greens in regulation or 8 greens vs. the 6 on average for a 10 handicap player.
The 10% difference in GIR stats is consistent with higher handicaps, as well as a 15 handicap player would only hit about 25% of the greens in regulation vs. the 34% of a 10 handicap player.
If you want to improve on your 10 handicap, then you would need to hit more greens, but that is essentially true for all golfers regardless of their handicap index.
I always aim to be putting for par on every hole I play as an easy measure of how well I’m playing during a round.
How Much Better Is A 10 Handicap Score Than The Average?
In 2021 the average men’s golf handicap in the US was 14. So, getting to a sub-14 handicap is an outstanding achievement in golf, as many players will never reach that skill level.
This alone indicates the game’s difficulty, and any player that is below that average exhibits a good level of skill and understanding of the game. Being a 10 handicap player means you have invested both time and money in equipment and some coaching to get there.
A 10 handicap player will shoot 10 shots above the course rating on average. If you consider that the average round score in the USA is 100, then a 10 handicap player is 18 shots better on average than that.
That is a massive difference in skill level, and this is where you can see how good a 10 handicap player is relative to the average skill level in the USA. As a 10 handicap player, you would have a more consistent swing technique and understand and use your pre-shot routines better.
You would also have either taken coaching or still be using a coach to improve, and your discipline for practicing with a plan and achieving specific goals would be higher than a bogey golfer.
These skills, mental focus, and discipline will give you the base for breaking the 80 mark more often and progressing to the high single figure level and then to the mid-single level as you progress.
10 Handicap vs. Bogey Golfer Equipment
Most high handicap players would use game improvement irons and drivers that are easier to hit straight. In contrast, at 10 handicap levels, a player could look at clubs more suited to single-figure players for better shaping and control.
A 10 handicap player would be more confident in their ability to execute the golf swing accurately and consistently and would also have some ability to create shots and fade and draw shots when needed.
While this would not be at the level of a mid – or low single-figure player, these skills would be much better than the average 14 handicap player and significantly better than a bogey golfer.
So, if you want to know the best irons for 10 handicappers, check out this article, 7 Best Golf Irons For 10 Handicap Players.
Not only that, but at 10 handicap level, you could also start looking at better quality balls that offer more touch, feel and spin so you can begin to work the ball on approach and from around the greens.
Read more: Does Golf Ball Quality Matter?
Let’s Wrap This Up!
At 10 handicap level, a golfer is well above the average skill level and on their way to a lower handicap, provided they can maintain their practice and play disciplines and improve their mental faculties.
Getting to 10 handicap would be an excellent achievement for any golfer, and you would be regarded as an above-average player in club tournaments and competitions.