What Is Your Scoring Distance in Golf?

I believe that the universe sends us hints, clues, and direct messages. I try to pay attention to its communication because it generally steers me in the right direction. Others will call this gut feeling, intuition, or sixth sense, but it all amounts to the same thing. The funny thing is, I was tapped three times yesterday with a message dealing with scoring distance. It seems like an odd thing, however I was doing some light reading and watching golf videos and this topic continue to show up. So, I gave it some thought and I think I am on to something that will be beneficial to all level of golfer.

Short game is where most amateurs can lower their handicap.

After finally taking to heart that I needed to think about my scoring distance, I realized that there is no one answer that fits all players. The common thread to all the hints was that to lower our handicap, I must master my short game. The rub to the universes hint is that overcoming my short game distance challenges has changed over the years and I think I can explain why!

After years of examining the concept of mastering my scoring distance I believe that there is a direct correlation of distance and handicap. So, I offer the following chart that compares our handicap to the scoring distance one should expect to excel:

HandicapDistance to Pin
15 +50 Yards
8 to 14100 yards
0 – 7150 yards

As you can see, there are direct milestones where the expectation of scoring distances should increase. It was interesting that as my handicap lowered, my ability to produce scoring shots from ever increasing distances improved. Seems very logical, right!

Of course it is not as simple as I am making it sound. To make another comparison, it might help demonstrate that as the scoring distances increase, I was able to master specific clubs. Take a look:

Club MasteredDistance to Pin
SW / LW50 Yards
PW / GW100 yards
7-8-9 iron150 yards

Mastering any skill in golf takes time and practice. Over the years, I have put in the effort needed to improve my scoring distance. With my growing confidence in hitting solid shots, my expectations also increased. This led to me improving my overall game and lowering my handicap.

Nothing in golf is done in isolation. Regardless of what skill you want to improve, it takes effort and time. In the case of scoring distances, mastering specific clubs helped me produce lower golf scores. That in turn lowered my handicap. To tie all this together, I can offer this advice.

HandicapClub MasteredDistance to Pin
15+SW / LW50 Yards
8 to 14PW / GW100 yards
0 to 77-8-9 iron150 yards

Consider each line a milestone in your game. If you can progress from downwards, your golf scores will be lower because your scoring distance improves. They are directly connected and as such need to addressed as a whole approach to improving your overall golf game!

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

5 thoughts on “What Is Your Scoring Distance in Golf?

  1. Jim, I’m going to invert your numbers a little. In the last three years, I’ve played to a 5 but identified major gaps in my scoring game inside of 100 yards that I was compensating for with other parts of my game. I’d try to avoid those shots rather than embrace them. I needed to identify my “scoring zone” as a point where in calm conditions, I would go directly at the flag wherever it’s location on the green. That turned out to be <115 yards. In most of my instruction, I've focused on relearning full and partial wedge shots and short game around the green. Would that put me in your higher handicap mastery numbers?




    • Brian,

      Your point is well taken. However, I would suggest that your game is more advanced and mature than most amateurs. You have worked your way through my chart and now you are refining your game to take advantage of your strengths. That might make for an interesting article of what happens next after achieving the milestones above. So many variables to our short game it is a bit difficult to capture them all in a short article. I enjoy the discussion though!

      Cheers Jim

      Liked by 1 person

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